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BUDGET IN PARLIAMENT III BY NANDINI MAHARAD
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Stages in Enactment o The budget goes through the following six stages in the Parliament: I. Presentation of budget. 2. General discussion. o 3. Scrutiny by departmental committees. 4. voting on demands for grants. o 5. Passing of appropriation bill. o 6. Passing of finance bill.
Voting on Demands for Grrants o In the light of the reports of the departmental standing committees, the Lok Sabha takes up voting of demands for grants. The demands are presented ministry wise. A demand becomes a grant after it has been duly voted.
o Two points should be noted in this context. One, the voting of demands for grants is the exclusive rivilege of the Lok Sabha, that is, the Rajya Sabha as no pouwer of voting the demands. Second, the voting is confined to the votable part of the budget-the expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India is not submitted to the vote (it can only be discussed).
While the General Budget has a total of 109 demands (103 for civil expenditure and 6 for defence expenditure), the Railway Budget has 32 demands o Each demand is voted separately by the Lok Sabha, During this stage, the members of farliament can discuss the details of the budget. They can also move motions to reduce any demand for granb o We will be discussing such motions in the next Lesson.
Passing of Appropriation Bi The Constitution states that no money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of India except under appropriation made by laus' Accordingly, an appropriation bill is introduced to provide for the appropriation, out of the Consolidated Fund of India, alt money required to meet o (a) The grants voted by the Lok Sabha. (b) The expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
o No such amendment can be proposed to the appropriation bill in either house of the Parliament that will have the effect of varying the amount or altering the destination of any grant voted, or of varying the amount of any expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
o The Appropriation Bill becomes the Appropriation Act after it is assented to by the President. This act authorises for legalises) the payments from the Consolidated Fund of India. o This means that the gover nment cannot withdrau money from the Consolidated Fund of India till the enactment of the appropriation bill.
o This takes time and usually goes on till the end of April But the government needs money to carry on its normal activities after 31 March (the end of the financial year) o To overcome this functional difficulty, the Constitution has authorised the Lok Sabha to make any grant advance in respect to the estimated expenditure for a part of the financial year, pending the completion of the voting of the demands for grants and the enactment of the appropriation bill.
Passing of the Finance Bill The Finance Bill is introduced to give effect to the financial proposals of the Government of India for the follosing year. It is subjected to all the conditions applicable to a Money Bill. o Unlike the Appropriation Bill, the amendments (seeking to reject or reduce a tax) can be moved in the case of finance bill.
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