The Cabinet Committee Meeting on Parliamentary Affairs took place in Delhi on Tuesday and it was reported that the budget session was likely to be preponed to begin from January 31. The first phase of the budget session is likely to start between January 31-February 9. The Financial Year 2018 budget is to be tabled in the Parliament on February 1. According to government officials, the Economic Survey is to be presented in the parliament on january 31.This comes in the wake of the Narendra Modi-led- National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government having already advanced the date to February 1, 2017 very recently. The move had then caught the political parties by surprise and they have all vowed to carry out protests to force the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led the government to revert the dates back to the traditional date, which is February 28.
The government had then reasoned that the advancement in the date of the presentation of the budget was to allow the authorisation of expenditure by the time the new financial year begins. It has to be noted that the union budget is generally presented at the end of February but is passed by both Houses of the Parliament only by Mid-May. By preponing the Budget, the need of presenting a Vote On Account is done away with and allow government spending in the first few months of fiscal. The CCPA meeting on Tuesday was expected to further advance the date of presentation to January end, which is the most likely scenario here. This year the government is looking set to convene the longest session of Parliament in the last week of January.
The Budget Session is being advanced as the government wants the early allocation of funds for various schemes– from April 1, the beginning of the financial year. The CCPA meeting was convened to decide the date for the commencement of the Budget Session, a source said. Home Minister Rajnath Singh was reportedly chairing the meeting. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar are the known members of CCPA, among others.