LS clears first stage of General Budget 2011-12

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Friday approved the first stage of Budget for 2011-12 and supplementary spending for the the current fiscal.

The House approved the supplementary demand for the current financial year after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee replied to general discussion on the budget in the Lower House.

The government had last week sought Parliament`s nod for the sanction of an additional Rs 79,590 crore to meet extra expenses related to oil and fertiliser subsidies during the current fiscal, over and above the funds allocated earlier.

This includes an additional Rs 21,000 crore for compensating the oil marketing companies for under-recoveries on the sale of sensitive petroleum products, according to the third supplementary demands for grants tabled in the Lok Sabha.

In view of the elections in five states (West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry), the government has curtailed the budget session of Parliament, which will conclude on March 25.

It proposes to complete the entire budgetary exercise including passage of the demands for grants, relevant Appropriation Bills and Finance Bill in Parliament by March 24.

As regards the demands for grants for 2011-12, the Lok Sabha will discuss allocations for the four ministries — Rural Development, External Affairs, Mining and Road Transport — next week.

In the Rajya Sabha discussions will take place on demands of ministries of Tribal Affairs, Minorities Affairs, Defence and Civil Aviation.

Guillotine will be applied in the Lok Sabha on discussion for the demands of other ministries on March 17.

Guillotine is a parliamentary procedure to curtail debate on demands for grants of various ministries to ensure timely passage of the Finance Bill, which completes the budgetary exercise.

The Finance Bill, which incorporates tax proposals for 2011-12, will be taken up for discussion on March 21 and 22 in the Lower House and the entire process would be completed by March 24.

Mukherjee had unveiled the budget proposals for 2011-12 in the Lok Sabha on February 28.