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Budgetary exercise to be completed by May 8

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee`s ultimatum notwithstanding, government today expressed confidence that her party will be on board to ensure passage of the Budget and the Finance Bill for 2012-13 by May 8.

Plans are afoot to have a discussion and voting in the Lok Sabha on the Finance Bill on May 7-8 with government managers hoped to address the issues raised by the West Bengal Chief Minister.

The guillotine on the discussion on Demands for Grants in the Lok Sabha is being planned to be applied on May 3. "She (Mamata) is an ally and will continue to be an important ally. All issues will certainly be discussed and settled. These things happen in coalition politics," Union Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters when asked about her 15-day ultimatum to the Centre to declare a moratorium on the loans of West Bengal.

"May be it is being dealt with already," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said, adding that meeting of UPA allies are also being held regularly during the parliament session for a better floor coordination. He said senior ministers, representing all allies, will be present in these meetings and issues will be resolved.

With 19 MPs, TMC is the second largest constituent of the UPA and has also emerged the most vocal in raising difficult issues for the Centre like "attacks" on the federal structure and FDI in retail. Passage of a cut motion on the budgetary Demands for Grants and amendments to the Finance Bill will be considered a defeat for the government and it has to go.

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