Lok Sabha passes demands for grants

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The Lok Sabha on Tuesday completed the second phase of budgetary exercise with the house passing the necessary appropriation bill after all outstanding demands for grants for several ministries were put to the “guillotine” vote.

The exercise will allow the government to withdraw about Rs 66.07 lakh crore from the consolidated fund to meet its expenditure during 2016-17.

The lower house approved the Appropriation Bill, 2016, after the demands for grants for several ministries were collectively put to vote and passed by applying “guillotine”, which denotes the speaker, on the last of the allotted days, putting all the outstanding demands to vote.

While Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan presided over the crucial session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior ministers and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge among others were present in the house.

The appropriation bill was passed by voice vote after it was moved by Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha in the absence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is abroad on official tour.

The first phase of the budgetary process was completed after parliament passed the vote-on-account in March.

Under the rules, the minister is scheduled to move the Finance Bill 2016, containing tax proposals of the government for the new fiscal, for passage in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Jaitley is likely to reply to the debate on the Finance Bill on Thursday.

The finance bill will go to Rajya Sabha after its passage in the Lok Sabha and the budgetary exercise for 2016-17 will be completed with the passage of the finance bill by both houses of parliament.

According to a source in the Bharatiya Janata Party, the government intends to complete the budgetary exercise within this week in Lok Sabha.

The Lok Sabha earlier in the day passed demands for grants of ministries of civil aviation and tourism and housing and urban poverty alleviation. It had earlier discussed and passed the demands for grants of ministries of skill development and entrepreneurship, social justice and empowerment, and development of northeastern region.

–IANS

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