Parliament completes budgetary process with passage of Finance Bill
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
New Delhi: The budgetary process in Parliament's budget session was completed on Monday with the two Houses passing the Finance Bill 2023 amid vociferous protests by opposition members over their demand for a joint parliamentary probe into the Adani issue.
The opposition members were also protesting against disqualification of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from Lok Sabha.
Lok Sabha approved the Finance Bill 2023 which had an amendment from the bill approved by the House last week.
The bill with an amendment moved by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was passed earlier in the day by Rajya Sabha.
The bill was passed amid ruckus in the two Houses over opposition demand for a JPC on Adani issue.
The change related to Securities Transaction Tax levied on sale of options trading.
The government had said earlier that there was an inadvertent mistake in the STT charges on options.
"The rate intended was 0.0625 as against present rate of 0.05," the government had said.
The bill had hiked STT on futures trading from 0.017 per cent to 0.021 per cent.
Lok Sabha had passed the Finance Bill 2023 with 64 amendments on Friday amid din created by sloganeering by the Opposition parliamentarians who continued with their demand of a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Adani-Hindenburg issue.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman tabled the tabled the Finance Bill after presenting the Union Budget 2023-24 on February 1.
Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha faced adjournments on Monday, the 10th successive day of protest by the opposition parties over their demand.
The Rajya Sabha passed five bills within minutes amid ruckus.
The House passed the Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation (No. 2) Bill, 2023; The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bill, 2023; The Appropriation (No.2) Bill, 2023; The Appropriation Bill, 2023 and The Finance Bill, 2023.
The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bill, 2023 seeks to authorise payment and appropriation of certain further sums from and out of the Consolidated Fund of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the services of the financial year 2022-23
The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation (No. 2) Bill, 2023 relates to appropriation of certain further sums from Consolidated Fund of India for 2023-24.
The opposition parties, who have been pressing a JPC probe into Adani issue, had come out in support of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi following his disqualification from Lok Sabha last week. The parties held a black protest against the government on Monday.
A meeting of opposition parties was held at the residence of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge in the evening. They decided to continue their 'black' protest on Tuesday against the BJP-led government over the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi and "trampling upon democracy in the country" and a final call will be taken in the morning, sources said.
Leaders from DMK, NCP, JD-U, Bharat Rashtra Samithi, CPI-M, CPI, AAP, MDMK, TMC, RSP, RJD, National Conference, IUML, Samajwadi Party and JMM were among those present. Shiv Sena (UBT) was not present amid its concerns over Rahul Gandhi's remarks concerning VD Savarkar.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet later that leaders of 18 parties were present .
Opposition members took out a march in the morning wearing black attire or bands as part of their protest.
Days after his disqualification, Rahul Gandhi was sent notice by the Lok Sabha House Committee to vacate his official bungalow.
Rahul Gandhi was on Friday disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha, a day after a Surat court sentenced him to two years imprisonment in a defamation case filed against him over his 'Modi surname' remark.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday accused Congress of drama" over Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from Lok Sabha.
"Rahul Gandhi and Congress have been insulting the OBC community. Has the Congress party stopped believing in the courts? Rahul Gandhi's arrogance is such that he did not apologise to the OBC community, or in the court. He is not ready to accept the court's judgment. The order was of the court. His membership ended soon after the court delivered its verdict. Why are they creating this drama now?" Thakur said.
"They are not letting the Parliament session run for one man who goes abroad and insults India. And when he returns, the Parliament cannot run if he does not speak. Will the Congress party keep on insulting the OBC community like this? Will Congress keep wearing black clothes after doing black deeds? Will the party now resort to black magic to save itself?" the union minister asked.
Asked about assertions by Rahul Gandhi that he would never express any regret for criticising the BJP-led government, Thakur stated that the Congress leader can never be Veer Savarkar even in his "best dreams" as it as it required strong determination and love for the country.
"Rahul Gandhi can never be Savarkar. Savarkar never went abroad to roam for six months. He was dedicated to the country's freedom. Rahul Gandhi can never be Veer Savarkar but he should have respected former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Nehru. He insulted them also along with Savarkar. A post stamp was issued (on Savarkar) during your government in 1970. Indira Gandhi had written a letter and talked about Savarkar's contribution," Thakur said.
Rahul Gandhi had said at his press conference on Saturday that his name is not Savarkar.
"My name is not Savarkar, it is Gandhi and Gandhi never offers an apology," Rahul Gandhi said.
The budget session of Parliament started on January 31. The union budget was presented on February 1. The second part of the Budget session has seen continuous disruptions over opposition demands. The BJP has been demanding an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his remarks in United Kingdom.