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Budget Session Updates: Lok Sabha Passes Finance Bill

Lok Sabha passes Finance Bill on Tuesday, Citizenship Bill to be tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday
Lok Sabha passes Finance Bill on Tuesday, Citizenship Bill to be tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday

On day-nine of the Parliamentary Budget Session, 2019, the Lok Sabha passed the Finance Bill, while the Upper House of Parliament was adjourned before the tabling of the controversial Citizenship Bill. Today’s session will witness the final verdict on the amendment bill (previously passed by the Lok Sabha) in the Rajya Sabha

Amid sloganeering and protests in the Parliament regarding a myriad of issues raised by the opposition and regional parties this Budget Session, discussions in both Houses of Parliament have been perturbed. With the Lok Sabha finally passing the Interim budget on Monday, the ninth day witnessed discussion on several important issues like GST, employment and the tourism sector. The Lower House passed the Finance Bill, 2019, on Tuesday.

The Rajya Sabha, on the other hand, was adjourned till 11 am on Wednesday after the Samajwadi Party flooded the upper house with protests against their party leader Akhilesh Yadav being held at the Lucknow airport and being stopped from entering Allahabad. The protests had started earlier in the day, forcing Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to adjourn the Parliament till 2 pm soon after it was convened. Prior to the adjournment, the chairman requested the protestors to go to their respective seats. He said, “Please don’t spoil the atmosphere. This is not the way. We have lost so much of valuable time”.

The controversial Citizenship Bill, which aims at ensuring Indian citizenship rights for religious minority groups from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, was expected to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. However, due to vehement demonstrations by the opposition, the bill, passed by the Lok Sabha in January, will be discussed in the Rajya Sabha today.

Wednesday’s session witnessed yet another turbulent start as United Progressive Alliance leader Sonia Gandhi, Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi, and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh joined the Trinamool Congress in protesting against the Centre. Telugu Desam Party members also protested in the Parliament premises, demanding a special state status for Andhra Pradesh.

This year’s disturbed budget session has resulted in the negligence of several important bills. Pending bills for the Upper House include; (i) The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018, (ii) The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019, (iii) The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, (iv) The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018, (v) The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019, (vi) The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, (vii) The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Third Amendment) Bill, 2019, (viii) The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, (ix) The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018, (x) The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage). More importantly, if the remaining bills (passed by the Lok Sabha) are not tabled in the Rajya Sabha today, they will lapse.

The Lok Sabha is expected to witness the tabling of (i) The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018, (ii) The Jalianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2018, (iii) The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2018, and (iv) The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2018, in today’s session.

*Stay tuned for recent updates on the Budget Session, 2019.

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