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PMO gathers inputs for session from January 31


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NEW DELHI:  The poll-eve Union Budget is set to be presented on February 1 as part of the annual exercise, with the government informing the secretariat of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha that the budget session will be convened from January 31.

It will conclude on April 8, while there will be a recess from February 12 to March 14 to allow the Parliamentary standing committees to deliberate on demands for grants of different ministries.

The budget session will commence with the address of President Ram Nath Kovind to the joint session of the two Houses of Parliament. The budgetary exercise is going on in full swing, with finance minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman holding consultations with cross-sections of the stakeholders.

In line with the norms in the NDA government, the Union Budget is known to bear firm imprints of the Prime Minister and his office. The PMO has been gathering inputs for the upcoming budget, which will carry on with the broad economic architecture along with fulfilling promises made in the vision documents of the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Prime Minister has in the past few months held seven sessions of the Council of Ministers in which “freewheeling brainstorming” was done over a number of issues, which may also reflect in the Union Budget, said sources.

The thrust in line with the previous budgets is likely to be on infrastructure and agriculture, with due focus to appeal to the youth.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be listening to the views of entrepreneurs from the start-up eco-system on Saturday. The Union Minister of State in the PMO, Jeetendra Singh will also be listening to the views of these experts, which may also form inputs for the Union Budget.

The Union Budget will precede Assembly elections Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Punjab, Manipur, and Uttarakhand. The BJP leads incumbent governments in four of the five poll-bound states, barring Punjab.
The budget session will be held in the shadow of the third wave of the pandemic, with hundreds of parliamentary staff already having been affected by the virus, resulting in a restricted work roster.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)