UPDATE: The Budget Session of Parliament will commence from January 31, 2017, with the Economic Survey to be presented on the same day followed by the General Budget on February 1 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The central government is likely to advance the Budget 2017 Session of the Parliament to the last week of January after having already advanced the date to February 1 recently. The decision on the final date will be taken during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) at 11 am on Tuesday.
The Opposition parties were surprised when the date of the Budget Session was advanced to February 1 and had vowed to protest against the decision and force the Narendra Modi-led government to change the date back to the last week of February — the traditional date on which the session begins.
The Budget Session, which is the longest session of Parliament, is normally held towards the end of February, but the Centre is trying to convene the session in January end.
According to the government, the date of the Budget Session is being advanced so that expenditure can be authorised by the time the new financial begins on April 1, 2017. The budget is usually presented in the end of February and is passed by both the Houses of Parliament only by mid-May. If the Budget Session is advanced, there would be no need to present a Vote On Account, while the Centre would be allowed expenditure in the first few months of fiscal.
The CCPA will meet on Tuesday at 11 am to decide on the final date of the Budget Session. If the date is advanced, the government will be able to allocate funds for several schemes by April 1, which is when the financial year begins.
The meeting will be chaired by Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh, the Financial Express reported. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar among others are members of the CCPA.