Oppn protests as govt pushes finance bills amid stalemate in Lok Sabha

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The Lok Sabha today gave its seal of approval to the Union Budget 2018-19 with the passage of the Finance Bill, 2018 and Appropriation Bills without discussion amidst uproarious scenes by the opposition. The appropriation bill was passed through guillotine which means that all the main demands in the funds of different departments will be put for the vote but the discussion is not necessary. In a span of a little over 30 minutes, the entire crucial second and third leg of the budgetary process was completed by the lower house amidst din and protests from the Opposition Members of Parliament. It will now go to the Rajya Sabha, where though the Opposition has a majority, it can not do much in terms of stalling the finance and appropriation bills which are money bills.

He stressed that all opposition parties were ready for discussions on the bill but the government did not take any step to enable debate. After last year's freakish incident of smuggling in the Aadhaar related laws into the Finance Bill and getting it passed quickly in Lok Sabha, a similar but even more dictatorial move was adopted by the ruling party on 14 March 2018. Neither the Rajya Sabha nor Lok Sabha is functioning properly since then.

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The opposition has been demanding a discussion under adjournment motion on the Rs 12,600-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam and other frauds in various public sector banks.

Other party MPs present with Scindia said the scope of the admitted discussion is so wide that it may even spill into the role of the finance ministers during Jawaharlal Nehru era by putting the vague phrase of irregularities "over the years" instead of the recent banking frauds.

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Earlier, the House mourned the death of its former member VPM Samy and legendary British scientist Stephen Hawking, as well as the killing of nine CRPF personnel in a naxal attack in Chhattisgarh.

"Sittings of the House has been disrupted continuously for the past few days". Amid the din, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, who was in the Chair, directed the Secretary General to read out a message from the Lok Sabha. The government, however, is agreeable to debate on the issue without voting with the caveat that all scams which took place in Independent India would be discussed. They also submitted the same in writing."This shows Government arrogance and unilateral move to bulldoze all the Financial Business without discussing them on the floor of the house", said the submission.Seeking speaker's immediate intervention to protect the rights of the MPs, the submission further says that the government is not taking any initiative to ensure smooth functioning of the House.

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