- PM Modi urged parties to rise above politics
- The BJP strongly supports the abolition of instant triple talaq
- President Ram Nath Kovind addressed a joint session
Here are the top 10 updates on the budget session of parliament:
The last full budget before the national election next year will be presented on Thursday February 1. It will galvanise the country's development and will fulfil the aspirations of people, said the Prime Minister.
PM Modi urged parties to rise above politics and contribute positively to the budget discussions in parliamentary committee meetings.
The government and the opposition met yesterday for an all-party meeting to discuss the session.The Opposition plans to counter the government on rising incidents of rapes, the alleged "attack" on constitutional institutions and the plight of traders. "The government should adopt a cooperative attitude and allow the opposition to raise these issues," Congress leader Pramod Tiwari was quoted as saying ahead of the meeting.
The focus of the union budget will be job creation, small businesses and rural schemes, reported news agency Reuters, quoting officials. "The budget is likely to offer incentives to the farm sector and small businesses," Reuters quoted an official as saying.
The gross domestic growth forecast for the year ending March 2018 has been predicted as 6.5 per cent, the weakest in four years. The slowdown has been attributed to the rollout of a nationwide goods and service tax (GST) last year and a shock move to ban high value currency notes in late 2016.
The budget will be presented in the first part of the session till February 9. The government will present the economic survey today. After a recess, parliament will meet again from March 5 to April 6.
Two important bills to be taken up this session - the triple talaq bill that's pending in Rajya Sabha, and the bill seeking constitutional status for the OBC commission, are seen to have political significance for the BJP.
The BJP strongly supports the abolition of instant triple talaq, which has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The bill proposes a three-year jail term and a possible fine for any Muslim man guilty of the offence.
The BJP also hopes to consolidate its support among backward classes by giving constitutional status to the OBC commission, which will make it more powerful.
This was President Ram Nath Kovind's first address in parliament.