Demand For Grants, Railway Budget Cleared Sans Debate

New Delhi, Aug 25 | Updated: Aug 26 2004, 05:30am hrs
While the Lok Sabha (LS) cleared the demand for grants for fiscal 2004-05, the Rajya Sabha (RS) gave its seal of approval to the rail budget. Both legislations were passed without discussion on Wednesday.

LS is expected to approve the Finance Bill (No 2), giving effect to finance minister P Chidambarams tax proposals on Thursday. The approval of the Finance Bill by the RS would later complete the three-stage budgetary process. Both Houses are likely to be adjourned sine die ahead of the schedule after completion of the budgetary exercise. As per the original schedule, the Parliament session was to last till September 3.

Faced with a stand-off, the government and Opposition got together in the LS and approved, without discussion, the appropriation of over Rs 8,61,000 crore for government expenditure during 2004-05.

Parliament has been witnessing a logjam over the issues of Uma Bharti, Veer Savarkar and tainted ministers since August 16 when both houses reassembled after a three-week recess.

The Finance Bill will be taken up and passed on Thursday and the LS is expected to be adjourned sine die soon after.

The railway budget got the parliamentary seal of approval after RS returned the relevant appropriation bills without discussion. LS had passed the Bill on Monday.

The move to pass money bills without discussion was strongly objected to by Left party members.