Parliamentary System In Danger: 2018 Budget Affecting 130 Crore People Passed In 30 Minutes Without Discussion
March 14th, 2018
Today the most bizarre thing happened in Lok Sabha. The entire country’s budget was passed in less than 30 mins. There were 21 amendments that were introduced in the Finance Bill, 2018 and all of them were passed in the Lower House of the Parliament without any discussion.
What happened in the Lok Sabha?
The Congress MPs were disrupting Lok Sabha for the last eight days and protesting against the Punjab National Bank and Nirav Modi scam. On the other hand, TDP MPs also demanded “special category status” for Andhra Pradesh and raised their voices. For the last eight days, the sessions were being adjourned.
Even today, the same thing happened. While the Congress MPs kept on shouting and creating a ruckus, in 36 minutes, the entire Budget of our country was passed without any discussion.
First, Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker, asked for papers and reports to be tabled. She then further asked for all notices under Rule 377 (matters of importance) to be tabled. While all these things kept happening, MPs continued to protest and raise slogans such as “Loktantra ki hatya bandh karo” (Stop killing democracy).
In the backdrop of all the noise, Speaker swiftly announced that because of the paucity of time, Cut Motions (mostly moved by Opposition asking for cuts in Budget) cannot be discussed and will be directly put to vote, all in one go. Then all the cut motions were put to vote and just within a minute with all the noise around her, the Speaker announced the “No’s” have it and defeated all the motions.
In the very next moment, she also granted the budget for all the 53 ministries of our country. Then she quickly moved to the “Appropriation Bill” which was passed without resistance. The Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, then introduced the Financial Bill 2018. The Speaker read the 218 clauses in the bill out loud and just passed it.
The entire Budget of the country, concerning 1.3 billion people and planning to spend Rs 24 lakh crore was accepted in 2 mins. All this happened within 36 minutes amidst MPs shouting “Loktantra ki hatya bandh karo”.
The Logical Indian Take
The current government has no regard for parliamentary functions which puts democracy at stake. Usually, when a bill is introduced in the parliament, it is discussed among the government and the opposition. The entire Budget of 2018 and the Financial Bill with 218 clauses were passed in the Lower House without paying any heed to the opposition. This is a clear abuse and misuse of power.