Govt to complete budgetary exercise by March 24

New Delhi: The government proposes to complete the exercise for passage of general budget for 2011-12 in Parliament by March 24, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said on Monday.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will initiate the discussion on the budget in the Lok Sabha tomorrow and will reply on the debate on Thursday, Bansal told reporters here.

The discussions on the budget will be taken up in the Rajya Sabha on March 9 and 10, he said, adding that the Finance Minister will reply to the debate in the Upper House on March 11.

The Lok Sabha will discuss demands for grants of only four ministries — Rural Development, External Affairs, Mining and Road Transport. 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 to discuss 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, Bansal said.

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

The budget session is being curtailed due to the forthcoming assembly elections in five states — West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.