Arun Jaitley begins Budget presentation in Parliament


l2017020198673Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 1 started the presentation of the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha soon after the clouds over MP E Ahamed, who died on January 31, had passed.

It was earlier thought that the death of Ahamed, minister in previous UPA government, would delay  the presentation of the Budget. Even the Congress was of the view that the presentation of the Budget should be postponed by a day.

The government has advanced the date of Budget presentation so as to complete the process before the financial year-end.

Normally, said the Speaker, I would have adjourned the House. But the Budget presentation is a constitutional fixture and hence cannot be postponed. Parliament will be adjourned on February 2, said Sumitra Mahajan.

Soon after, Jaitley started presentation of the Budget by thanking people of India for their support. He said the country, which has been an engine of international growth, stands out as a bright spot in global economic scenario.

There are many indications that Jaitley was likely to announce sops for the middle and lower strata of the society during his Budget speech. And hence his speech was heard by rapt attention by millions outside Parliament and MPs of the poll-bound states.

Meanwhile, a ruckus of sorts was witnessed at the RML Hospital where MP E Ahamed expired late January 31 night. Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and others alleged that his family members were not allowed to see Ahamed. The party blamed the Intelligence Bureau, which has denied restricting access.