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|April 21, 1999||
President summons Sinha, Kumaramangalam to discuss non-passage of Budget
Irked over the non-passage of Union and railway Budgets for 1999-2000, President K R Narayanan today summoned Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha and Parliamentary Affairs Minister P R Kumaramangalam to seek details why the financial business could not be transacted in the Lok Sabha despite his directive.
The President, who was keen to pass the financial business at the earliest, had directed the government to clear the financial business today itself. He had also held meetings with the prime minister and the finance minister in the morning on the Budget.
After the second half-an-hour meeting with the President, Sinha told newspersons that the railway and Union budget is expected to be passed tomorrow, provided there was no disturbances in the Lok Sabha.
Earlier in the day, the BJP and its allies prevented the house from transacting financial business, protesting against the alleged "horse-trading" by the opposition parties.
Sinha said that during his meeting with the President in the morning, where Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajapyee and Finance Secratary Vijay Kelkar were also present, he had informed Narayanan about the situation. The finance minister had also assured the President that the Budget would be passed today itself.
However, in the evening, Sinha explained the reasons to the President why the railway and Union Budgets could not be passed in the Lok Sabha in spite of the fact that the special session was called only for this purpose.
Kumaramangalam told the President that the government still had time to pass the Budget, Sinha said and added that according to the schedule, the finance bill would have been passed in the Lok Sabha on April 23 and subsequently the financial business could be passed by the Rajya Sabha.
We are still working as scheduled earlier, Sinha said and hoped that the Budget would be passed within the stipulated period of 75 days from the presentation of Budget in the Lok Sabha.
Sinha said that they had also informed the President about the kind of activities going on outside Parliament, in relation to MPs, and how this was disturbing atmosphere in the house.
He said no amendments would be placed in the house by the government as decided at the all-party meeting held on April 19.
Agreeing that a few technical amendments were necessary to implement certain provisions of the finance bill, he said amendments relating to these provisions could be brought later by the new government.
Denying the charges levelled by opposition that the Vajpayee government is not keen on passing the Budget, Sinha said this is our Budget and we are committed to get the Budget passed.''
''We would ensure that the Budget is passed,'' he said in reply to a question.
Justifying the action of the BJP, TDP and its allies in the lok Sabha, Kumaramangalam alleged that the main opposition party had been indulging in the horse-trading, which was not in the interest of poltical parties.
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