The Hindu Business Line

No date has been set yet for Budget session: Ananth Kumar

The Union Cabinet had earlier decided to end the colonial era tradition of presenting the Budget on the last day of February

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The Narendra Modi government, which has indicated advancing the Budget session of Parliament to January-end, is yet to decide on a firm date.

“No decision has yet been taken on the date of the Budget session,” Parliament­ary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters.

When asked if the Union Budget is likely to be presented on February 1, as indicated by the Finance Ministry, Kumar said: “No date has been fixed yet, but yes, you can go by what the Finance Minister has said.”

Kumar was referring to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s comments earlier that his Ministry would ‘in principle’ like to advance the Budget date so that it does not fall in the middle of Assembly elections in five States — Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhan­d, Goa and Manipur.

With Delhi under high security cover due to Republic Day celebratio­ns on January 26, and Beating the Retreat on January 29, there is speculatio­n that the Budget session could start on January 30, to enable a joint House address by the President, followed by the presentati­on of the Economic Survey and the Union Budget, which will see the merger of Railway Budget with it this year.

On September 21, the Union Cabinet had ‘in principle’ decided to end the colonial era tradition of presenting the Union Budget on the last day of February. This, it felt, would help in completing the legislativ­e approval for the annual spending plans and tax proposals before the beginning of the new financial year on April 1.

GST Bill

To a question if a special session of Parliament could be called to pass the Bills to speed up implementa­tion of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Kumar said: “Let the GST Council, which is meeting on December 22, decide on the architectu­re, only then we will work on a legislativ­e strategy.”

Before the session began, the government had exuded confidence on the Central GST and Integrated GST Bills being passed by both the Houses, after it managed to get a consensus from all political parties to reach a four-tiered GST tax structure.

 ??  ?? Parliament­ary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar
Parliament­ary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar

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