Marked by some historic events, Parliament Budget session ends
Marked by some historic events, the Budget session of Parliament came to an end on Wednesday after approval of four landmark GST bills and several other legislations besides the Budget and the demand for grants of various ministries.
The two-part session, which was advanced for the first time in the country's history, commenced on January 31 with the customary Address by the President to a joint sitting.
For the first time, the Budget was presented on February one, almost a month ahead of the usual date, as the government wanted to complete the budgetary exercise before the end of March instead of May, the time by which the process would be completed earlier.
Another historic development witnessed this time was the merger of the Railway Budget with the General Budget, ending a 92-year-old practice of presentation of two separate budgets. The session also saw all the parties coming together in both the Houses over the death sentence awarded to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court on the charges of spying.
The first part of the session was from January 31 to February 9 and the second part from March 9 till Wednesday.
Altogether, there were 29 sittings, with the Lok Sabha working for 176 hours and 39 minutes and the Rajya Sabha for over 136 hours.
The Lok Sabha lost eight hours and 12 minutes due to disruptions, including one by the Shiv Sena over the flying ban by domestic airlines on one of its MPs who had allegedly thrashed an Air India employee. The Upper House lost 13 hours because of furore over different issues.
Both the Houses passed four bills of the GST (Goods and Services Tax), the biggest tax reform which would bring India under a uniform indirect tax regime.