After a near-washout Winter Session, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) is scheduled to meet and finalise the date for the forthcoming Budget Session of Parliament, at 11 am on Tuesday. The Budget session is likely to be advanced and begin from January end, sources have told news agency ANI.
Almost no business was conducted in either House during the Winter Session with the Opposition staging protests over demonetisation almost every day resulting in constant disruptions in Parliament. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2014, which was introduced in Rajya Sabha in 2014, was the only bill cleared by both Houses.
This year’s budget session will be the first after the merger of Railway Budget and the Union Budget. The 92-year-old practice of presenting a separate Rail Budget is going to end from the this fiscal, with the Finance Ministry accepting Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s proposal to merge it with the General Budget.
The Finance Ministry had constituted a five-member committee comprising senior officials of the ministry and the Indian Railways to work out the modalities for the merger. With this merger, Indian Railways is expected to rid of the annual dividend it has to pay for gross budgetary support from the government every year.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has indicated that railway travel may become pricier for passengers come the next financial year. Jaitley is also set to hold pre-budget consultation with states on January 4, after the meeting of the GST Council gets over.