Budget Session

Chidambaram pti 22aug Tue, 16 May 2017

Budget Session

Shri P. Chidambaram said that the budget session of Parliament will come to a close tomorrow.

The budget session is mainly to transact the financial business of the government. It is marked by three major events: (1) The Budget;(2) The Appropriation Bill; and (3) The Finance Bill.

This budget session was special because there was a fourth major event — the passage of the GST Bills.

The country expected that at the end of the budget session, thanks to the debates and the information provided by the government, there would be greater clarity about the state of the economy. Unfortunately, there is no such clarity. At the end of the session, we are no wiser than we were at the beginning of the session.

ON THE BUDGET, the Congress Party had pointed out that the best that could be said about the budget was the nation was relieved that no more harm was done to the economy. The general consensus was that it was a totally wasted opportunity. It beat the drums to march that was not there.

ON THE GST BILLS, we had pointed out that they were imperfect Bills and no attempt was made to make them less imperfect. The Rajya Sabha could have improved the Bills, but that opportunity was denied when the government stubbornly turned down the demand that the Bills be introduced, debated and passed as non-Money Bills. I have no doubt in my mind that in the medium to long term, GST is extremely beneficial to the country but in the short term, it might bring us less benefit than the Government claims but I think it will bring us some benefit. Tuesday, 11th April, 2017