Union Budget To Be Presented On Feb 1, Say Sources

The budget session of parliament will be conducted in two parts. The first phase of the session will begin on January 29.

The centre had last month cancelled the winter session of parliament over the pandemic (File)

New Delhi:

The Union budget will be presented in parliament on February 1, sources said, adding President Ram Nath Kovind will address both the Houses - Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha - on January 29.

The budget session of parliament will be conducted in two parts. The first phase of the session will begin on January 29 with President Kovind's address and end on February 15. The second phase will run from March 8 to April 8, sources said.

The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs or CCPA.

The centre had last month cancelled the winter session of parliament because of the coronavirus pandemic. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi had said in a letter to the Congress's Lok Sabha leader that all political parties were in favour of scrapping the session to avoid any Covid spread.

"I have informally contacted floor leaders of various political parties and they have expressed their concerns about the ongoing pandemic and opined of doing away with Winter Session. The government is willing to have the next session of Parliament at the earliest. It would be appropriate to have the Budget Session, 2021 in January, keeping in mind the unprecedented circumstances created by Covid-19 pandemic (sic)," the letter read.

The Congress had, however, said that it was not consulted and that the winter session was cancelled by the centre to avoid questions on the ongoing farmers' protest against three central laws.

"We wanted to raise the farmers' issues in parliament and wanted a solution. The way the farmers are protesting in the cold is not good for the country's image," Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary had told NDTV.

Seventeen members of the Lok Sabha and eight from the Upper House of parliament had tested positive in September last year, forcing the centre to curtail the monsoon session. Many MPs had contracted the virus in parliament despite strict anti-Covid measures.