Call for leaders to get more time to study Union budget
During a debate on “scrutinizing budgetary proposal” at the 7th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) India Chapter, delegate after delegate spoke about shortcomings in the budgetary process.Updated: Jan 17, 2020 00:34 IST
Lawmakers should be given more time to study the Union budget and have a deeper understanding of the budgetary process to help India’s economic growth, presiding officers of Parliament and several state assemblies concluded on Thursday.
During a debate on “scrutinizing budgetary proposal” at the 7th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) India Chapter, delegate after delegate spoke about shortcomings in the budgetary process.
The discussion assumes significance as the budget sessions of Parliament and state assemblies will begin in the coming weeks. Parliament’s budget session is scheduled from January 31 to April 3, with a recess in between.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who heads the conference, pointed out that capacity building of lawmakers was essential to have “an informed and meaningful discussion on the budget”, and announced that a team of experienced MPs would go to the states to discuss the budget process with MLAs.
Rajasthan assembly speaker CP Joshi said during the conference that lawmakers usually talk less about policies and more about their constituencies, while Bihar assembly speaker Vijay Kumar Chowdhury questioned the large number if “guillotines” during the demand for grants in the budgetary process.
After the budget is presented, an extensive review of budget requirement of select ministries is done on the floor of the House. Due to the paucity of time, the demand for grants of other ministries are not separately discussed and directly taken up for the approval of the House. This process is called “guillotine”.
Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh maintained that everyone wants India to be super power and all political parties want economic growth. “But as lawmakers, we should know more about economic and social indicators to understand the budget.”
He added that lawmakers must know more about India’s social and economic indicators and technical and economic terms related to budget.
Joshi even said that because political parties look at winnability while distributing tickets for election, several deserving candidates fail to come to Legislative house.
Several speakers said that a proper analysis of the budget did not happen on several occasions.
The Lok Sabha speaker wanted that a calender for 2020 be prepared for legislatures in advance, so that they have enough time for such consultations and conferences.