Budget gets postponed if sitting MP dies?: Explained

Budget gets postponed if sitting MP dies?: Explained

By: Updated: 01 Feb 2017 11:22 AM

NEW DELHI: Brushing aside doubt in the wake of death of a sitting member, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced that he will present the Union Budget for 2017-18 as scheduled at 11 am.

  • Some quarters even demanded putting off the Budget presentation till tomorrow following the tradition of Lok Sabha adjourning for the day as a mark of respect whenever a sitting MP passes away.

  • Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said in view of the death of such a senior leader, the budget must be postponed by a day as there is nothing pressing for it to be presented on Wednesday itself.

  • As per precedent, if a sitting MP dies, the House gets adjourned after making obituary reference to the deceased.

  • The government, however, felt that performing a constitutional duty did not mean any disrespect to the departed soul and there were two precedents where death of a sitting MP and minister did not prevent the then government from presenting the Budget on the scheduled day.

  • Sources said the government cited death of minister M B Rana on the Budget day on August 31, 1974. The then Speaker G S Dhillon decided to go ahead with the Budget presentation. Indira Gandhi was the prime minister then.

  • Also, on April 19, 1954, sitting member Jujhar Pal Sorein passed away on the day of presentation of the Railway Budget, but the House proceedings were held as scheduled.

  • Sources said that on both occasions, the Lok Sabha met in the morning and was adjourned for a few hours as mark of respect to the departed and the Budget was unveiled in the evening, in line with the schedule.

  • In those days, the Budget was presented in evening, usually at 5 pm.

  • Also, all Budget papers are printed with today's date, postponement will cause many hassles, the government argued.

  • Sources said Jaitley met President Pranab Mukherjee in the morning to fulfil the constitutional obligation of getting a go-ahead from the head of state for the Budget presentation.

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