Budget session likely to end on March 25

The Times of India, March 04, 2011

With the election fever in five states catching up, the ongoing budget session of Parliament is likely to end abruptly on March 25 to enable the MPs to hit the campaign trail well in advance.

Under pressure from MPs from Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu, the government on Thursday made the first hint of its willingness to rework the session’s schedule to accommodate the exigency of the upcoming assembly polls.

The business advisory committee (BAC) of Rajya Sabha discussed a proposal that instead of going into recess from March 16, the session can end on March 25. There is a possibility of Parliament meeting in early June for two weeks to complete the unfinished business from the truncated budget session.

Since passing the budget is primarily the responsibility of Lok Sabha, it is left to the managers of the Lower House to take the call. Lok Sabha BAC is likely to meet on Friday to discuss the proposal.

The overwhelming mood among MPs across partylines is for terminating the session towards end-March. However, one section favours a longer monsoon session, instead of a brief one in June.

Rajya Sabha BAC was of the view that the House should work longer on the Fridays, and prune some of its customary business to take up the Bills.

The election season begins with the first phase of polling in Assam on April 4.

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