Budget session of Parliament begins with President address

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 21, 2013 06:40 hrs

The Budget Session of Parliament began on Thursday with President Pranab Mukherjee addressing both Houses.

The President in his speech hoped that the Budget Session of Parliament would be productive.

"I hope this session will be productive and peaceful," he said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh appealed to the Opposition for smooth functioning of Parliament ahead of the Budget Session.

Expressing hope for a responsible dialogue and debate in the Budget Session, Dr. Singh said: "We are looking forward to a very productive, constructive session of Parliament. That is what our country's people expect Parliament to do. We are meeting against the background of global slowdown of economic activity, which has also affected us. It is now a challenge for all of us to take credible action to ensure that we are least affected by this global slowdown."

"In this context, the way we conduct the financial business now before Parliament will be a crucial determinant of our country's ability to cope with the formidable challenges that our country faces," he added.

Dr. Singh further said that he looks forward to the cooperation of all sections of the house

"We look forward to the cooperation of all sections of the house. On our part, we wish to engage constructively, productively with all sections of the house in the expectation that there would be responsible dialogue, debate among Members of Parliament," he added.

The BJP has criticised the government for speaking in different tunes over the need to cancel the copter deal.

The Home Minister's remark wherein he has accused the BJP and the RSS of running training camps has not gone well with the opposition.

Shinde, however, yesterday expressed regret over his Hindu terror remark, saying he did not wish to link any organisation or religious group with terror.

The Home Minister said that his statement at Congress Chintan Shivir in Jaipur has created a misunderstanding that he was linking terrorism to a particular religion and was accusing certain organisations of being involved in organising terror camps.

The Budget (Railways) for 2013-2014 will be presented to the Lok Sabha on February 26 immediately after Question Hour. The Economic Survey of India will be laid in the Parliament on February 27. The Budget (General) for 2013 - 2014 will be presented at 11.00 a.m. on February 28.

To finalise the government business for the 2013Budget Session, Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath took a meeting with Secretaries/senior officers of various Ministries/Departments on February 15. The Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs co-chaired the meeting.

During the meeting, 71 items [55 Bills, 13 Financial items and 03 Non-legislative items] were identified for 2013 Budget Session. (ANI)

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