Before the second half of the Budget session, a key Lok Sabha panel will meet.

The Lok Sabha business advisory committee will meet on March 1, 12 days before the second half of the budget session starts. Most of the time, the weekly meetings only happen when the parliament is in session. The committee, which is led by the speaker of the Lok Sabha, Om Birla, decides what the House will do each week.

Officials who asked not to be named said that the meeting was called early to set up a schedule for discussing ministry-specific grant requests in the House. The discussion about grants is part of the discussion about the general budget, where ministries’ functioning is discussed before their budgets are approved in Parliament.

The leader of the Revolutionary Socialist Party in the Lok Sabha, NK Premachandran, said, “Usually, this schedule is made during the first half, because discussions on requests for grants will start on the first day of the second half.” “But the schedule could not be set because there were still protests by the opposition and other problems. I think the Speaker called the meeting early so that the schedule for talking about the need for grants could be finalised so that it could start on March 13.”

The budgets of all ministries are never discussed on the House floor because there isn’t enough time. The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha each choose 4-5 ministries to discuss in depth. The Finance Bill will be passed as the last part of the budget discussion.

Some opposition leaders said they were surprised to hear about the March 1 meeting, but they said they will go. “It was a little strange. But we are at the meeting of the Lok Sabha Speaker,” said Sudip Bandopadhyay, the floor leader for the TMC. “We don’t know what’s on the agenda, but we think it will be to finalise the schedule for the discussion on demand for grants.”

Birla is not in Delhi right now. He has a busy schedule in the next few days, but officials say he wants to ensure the important budget talks aren’t delayed.


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