### Budget Session of Parliament Expected to be Tumultuous Starting July 22

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07 Jul 24
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Gopendra Nath Bhatt

### Budget Session of Parliament Expected to be Tumultuous Starting July 22

The budget session of Parliament is set to run from July 22, 2024, to August 12, 2024. This crucial 21-day session will see both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha pass the central budget and conduct other parliamentary business. Recently, a new trend has emerged where important parliamentary information is shared on social media accounts, whereas it was previously disseminated through the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha secretariats or the Press Information Bureau (PIB) of the Government of India.

On Saturday, July 6, Central Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju announced the upcoming budget session on his social media account. He posted that the honorable President of India, on the recommendation of the Government of India, has approved convening both houses of Parliament for the budget session from July 22, 2024, to August 12, 2024. The central budget for 2024-25 will be presented in the Lok Sabha on July 23, 2024.

The Rajya Sabha Secretariat also released a press statement on Saturday, quoting Rajya Sabha Secretary-General P.C. Mody, stating that the President has called a meeting of the Rajya Sabha on Monday, July 22, 2024, to address parliamentary necessities. This session is scheduled to conclude on Monday, August 12, 2024. Rajesh Kumar Kalra, Deputy Director (Media) of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, informed accredited journalists about this via a WhatsApp group.

The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha commenced on June 24 and concluded on July 2. Similarly, the 264th session of the Rajya Sabha started on June 27 and ended on July 3. The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha involved the swearing-in of newly elected MPs, the election of the Lok Sabha Speaker, the appointment of the Leader of the Opposition, the President's address to the joint session of Parliament, and subsequent discussions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to the debate on the President's address. The first session was tumultuous due to increased numbers of Congress and INDI alliance MPs, leading to heated debates and clashes with the Treasury benches. In the Rajya Sabha, the opposition was led by Congress National President and Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, while in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi, the newly appointed Leader of the Opposition, delivered fiery speeches that sparked a new debate across the country with his comments on Hindutva. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar condemned the opposition's conduct. The Lok Sabha also passed a resolution condemning the Emergency on its 50th anniversary.

After a 19-day hiatus, the upcoming budget session is also expected to be tumultuous. On July 23, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the central government's full-fledged budget. She will be presenting the central budget for the seventh time, making her the first woman finance minister to do so. In the 17th Lok Sabha, she presented an interim budget to cover essential expenditures before the general elections. This time, she will present a comprehensive budget that will reflect the NDA government's vision. After the budget is passed in Parliament, the contributions, grants, and assistance from the central government to the states will be clarified, which will help the states finalize their own full-fledged budgets.

As the largest state in terms of area, Rajasthan has high expectations from the central government. Particularly, the state hopes for special status to address water scarcity in the desert and border regions, 100% central assistance, the declaration of the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) as a project of national importance, help with interstate water and power agreements, increased central assistance for border area development programs and state road projects, the completion of pending railway projects and other significant schemes, an increased share in central taxes, and greater participation in centrally sponsored schemes. The state also seeks to resolve the coal crisis for energy projects, support for environmental and mining-related plans, the development of tiger and other wildlife sanctuaries, projects related to textiles, handicrafts, tourism, and heritage conservation, and the completion of pending international and other airports. Additionally, the state hopes to address the issues faced by farmers, especially opium farmers, and receive more assistance for education, medical, health, and other ambitious schemes.

Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma of the BJP government in Rajasthan has met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Health and Family Welfare Minister J.P. Nadda, and other central ministers to advocate for Rajasthan's legitimate demands and ensure the state's rights. Central Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw hails from Rajasthan. Furthermore, it is a matter of pride that Tourism and Culture Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is also from Rajasthan. Other representatives from the state include Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav, Minister of State for Law (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal, and Minister of State for Agriculture Bhagirath Choudhary. Additionally, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla are from Rajasthan, who are expected to advocate for the state’s legitimate issues and pending projects, ensuring the desired support from the Government of India. It is hoped that the long-pending demand for including the Rajasthani language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution will be fulfilled, or a resolution will be passed to amend the Constitution to allow states to have their own official state languages.

It remains to be seen what new gifts the largest geographical state in the country, Rajasthan, will receive from the central budget this time.

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