Winter Session of Parliament to resume on Feb 5 to pass ‘Vote-on-Account’ budget ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Press Trust of India, January 17, 2014

The current Lok Sabha will meet for the last time from February 5 to February 21 to pass a ‘Vote-on-Account’ budget ahead of the Lok Sabha elections expected to be held in April-May.

“Parliament will meet from February 5 to 21. Yes, it will be continuation of the winter session,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters after yesterday’s meeting of Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs in New Delhi chaired by Defence Minister A K Antony.

Sources later said the ‘Vote-on-Account’ is likely to be taken up on February 17.

The coming session will be a continuation of the winter session as both Houses were not prorogued.

During the session, government also plans to ensure passage of some anti-corruption legislations which have been identified by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi as the broader “framework” to fight graft.

Whistleblowers’ Protection Bill, Judicial Accountability Bill, Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, Citizens Charter Bill, The Electronic Delivery of Services Bill, The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Public Procurement Bill are pending in Parliament.

Mr Gandhi had wanted extension of the winter session for passage of these Bills.

A total of 126 bills – 62 in Lok Sabha and 64 in Rajya Sabha – are pending at various stages.

With elections looming large, government goes for a vote-on-account budget without any policy measures being disclosed or taxes levied, a job it leaves to the new government to undertake.

Election Commission sources have said Lok Sabha polls may be held in April-May in five to six phases.

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