Budget session likely to start from January 31

New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) on Tuesday recommended starting the budget session of Parliament from January 31, official sources said here.

The CCPA met on Tuesday morning and decided that the first half of the budget session should be held from January 31 to February 9. This is around a month earlier than the usual time for the Budget session.

The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, among others.

The recommendation will now be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for his consent.

Informed sources said the general budget is likely to be presented on February 1, which would be a first. The budget so far has usually been presented at the end of February.

In another first, the Railway Budget is likely to be merged with the General Budget this time.

The Finance Ministry had constituted a five-member committee comprising senior officials of the ministry and the Indian Railways to work out the modalities for the merger.

The Budget session so far has been divided in two halves. However, there was no information on the second half of the session.

The recently concluded Winter Session of Parliament proved to be almost a washout amid protests over demonetisation.

The Chairs of both houses made it a point to express their displeasure at this as no significant business could be transacted during the 21 sittings.

The Lok Sabha could transact just 17.39 per cent of its scheduled business in the 19 hours that it worked, while the Rajya Sabha transacted 20.61 per cent of the listed business in its 22 working hours.