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Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, February 20, 2013
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday expressed the hope that the budget session of Parliament beginning Thursday would run smoothly and the government was able to push some "important financial business".

"This session of Parliament is going to transact important financial business before the house and it is our sincere hope that we will have a productive, constructive debate leading to agreed solutions to the many national problems that our country faces," Manmohan Singh told reporters after an all-party meeting.

"I have said this before and I'll repeat it again... Parliament is the forum for discussions or dialogue and all parties have an obligation to ensure that Parliament runs smoothly," he said.

"And I am hopeful and confident that this session is going to be a fruitful session."

The party meet, called by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, was aimed at the the smooth functioning of Parliament. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced that it would  disrupt proceedings and take on the United Progressive Alliance government over bribery allegations on the chopper deal and union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde's remarks on "saffron terror."

The prime minister also said that the country faces many "economical challenges".

"...It is my sincere hope that all political parties will join hands to find productive, constructive solutions to the formidable challenges facing our nation," he said.