A fresh session of Parliament will commence from January 31 and conclude on February 13, it was officially announced on Wednesday. The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha will have 10 sittings.
With Lok Sabha elections scheduled this summer, the government will present an interim budget on February 1. It is not clear yet who will present the interim budget in case Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, currently in the United States due to health reasons, is not back by then.
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had substituted for Jaitley when he was away from work last year to undergo a kidney transplant.
The session will begin with the customary President’s Address to members of both Houses. The first session in a new year has to start with this address, outlining policies of the government; an outgoing government is expected to avoid it. Keeping in view this logic, the government had originally planned the coming round of sittings as part-two of the last session, but it was forced to change track in order to facilitate a re-promulgation of three ordinances, which is not possible if Parliament is in session.
Convened basically for conducting urgent financial business, the two Houses would be mainly occupied with discussions on the Motion of Thanks for the President’s Address and the interim budget. Only five sittings — from February 4 to 8 — are slated to have Question Hour. Only one day, February 8, has been earmarked for private members’ business.