President addresses both Houses of Parliament; Union Budget tomorrow

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pranab-mukherjeePresident Pranab Mukherjee will address both Houses of Parliament in the Central Hall of Parliament House.

The Economic Survey will be tabled later in the day and on February 1, the Rail Budget will be presented with the General Budget this year.

This is a historic session heralding advancement of budget and merger of general budget with rail budget with the first time, said the President. Stating that more than Rs 16,000 crore have been made available to self-help groups,” he said, “as many as 26 crore plus Jan Dhan accounts have been opened and Rs 20 crore RuPay cards were given to enable cashless scheme.”

“While 1.2 crore consumers voluntarily gave up their subsidy to help the poor,” he said, “1.4 lakh villages, 450 cities, 70 districts and 23 states were declared open defection-free.”

This apart, 34 bills will be tabled during the entire Budget session. While this was so, Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested all members of both houses to participate the session for fruitful outcome.

He appealed to the opposition parties to make the Budget session a success, which would be in the interest of the people. Moving away from tradition, he said this is the first time when the Rail Budget will be merged along with the General Budget. He sought the support of every party in the House to see that the Budget tabled so earlier be successfully passed.

An angry Trinamool Congress has decided to stay away on the first two days of the session in protest against the government’s demonetisation scheme and arrest of TMC leaders in the chit-fund scam.

Later, the party would take up the issue of arrest of its Lok Sabha party leader and another MP by the CBI.

“There is ample opportunity to discuss. We can discuss and analyse the Budget. People want debate and not disruption. We have nothing to hide or fear. The government is ready to discuss every issue,” said Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu.

Meanwhile, the market gained sharply as the benchmark Sensex garnered 847.96 points to 27,882.46, while the broader Nifty finished above 8,600-level.