The PM urged leaders to ensure success of Budget session and said the govt is taking suggestions of opposition 'sincerely'.
New Delhi: Day ahead of the Budget session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged the political leaders to ensure success of the session. Modi has said the government is taking the suggestions of the opposition "sincerely", Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told the media after the all-party meeting on Sunday. The budget 2018-19 will be the last full-fledged before the 2019 general elections. The budget will be presented on Thursday, February 1.
The government which is facing opposition attack on issues including job creation and the plight of traders also plans to push through several key bills. The main among them are banning instant triple talaq and giving constitutional status to the Commission on Other Backward Castes.
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- At the all-party meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged all political parties to avoid "tokenism" in the Standing Committees of Parliament and asked them to give concrete solutions to issues of national importance.
- The opposition, however, said it planned to counter the government on issues such as incidents of rape and other atrocities on women, alleged attacks on the Constitution and constitutional institutions and the plight of traders, besides the recent incident of communal violence in Uttar Pradesh. The opposition has also asked the government to allow a discussion on these issues during the Budget session.
- The focus of the Union budget will be job creation, small businesses and rural schemes. "The budget is likely to offer incentives to the farm sector and small businesses," Reuters quoted an official as saying.
- The gross domestic growth (GDP) forecast for the year ending March 2018 has been predicted as 6.5 per cent, the weakest in four years. The slowdown has been attributed to the rollout of a nationwide goods and service tax (GST) in 2017 and a shock move to ban high value currency notes in November 2016.
- The two key bills for the session - the triple talaq legislation that's pending in Rajya Sabha, and the bill seeking constitutional status for the OBC commission, are seen to have political significance for the BJP. Government will do everything to ensure passage of triple talaq bill in Budget session; will talk to parties for consensus, Ananth Kumar said.
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- The Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said, "We will leave no stone unturned and persuade and request all political parties so that the (triple talaq) bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha, as it has been in the Lok Sabha." The BJP strongly supports abolition of instant triple talaq, which has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The bill proposes a three-year jail term and a possible fine for any Muslim man who indulges in the practice.
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- The BJP also hopes to consolidate its support among backward classes by giving constitutional status to the OBC commission, which will make it more powerful.
- The first leg of the budget session will be between January 29 and February 9, during which the Government will present the economic survey on January 29 followed by the Union Budget on February 1. After a recess, parliament will meet again from March 5 to April 6.
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- The session will begin with President Ram Nath Kovind's address - his first - to a joint sitting of members of both houses. President Kovind is expected to outline the government's thrust on development and empowerment of people, especially those from backward and weaker sections, reported news agency Press Trust of India (PTI), quoting officials.