Tuesday, February 16, 2010

budget preparations scene hotting up

17 Feb 2010


By  R Rajagopalan

NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is the busiest man in the government, spending hours on the Union Budget he is to present to Parliament on February 26 and also driving down to the Rashtrapati Bhawan to brief her on the address with which she will open the 78-day long budget session on Monday.

He had a long session with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to get his nod on the salient features he wants to introduce in the budget.

Home Minister P Chidambaram and Law Minister Veerappa Moily had separate sessions with Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Rajya Sabha chairman Mohammad Ansari to brief them on the Bills that the government intend to bring in the session that will have a recess in between from March 16 to April 12. The session will then go on till May 7. Over 30 Bills are already pending while the government intends to bring a dozen more, wanting to sqeeze them in despite most of the time taken up by the budgets.

In his meeting with the Rajya Sabha chairman, who is also the vice-president of India, Chidambaram discussed the political situation as also the Pune bakery bomb blast. He told him the government plan to bring a Bill on setting up a national anti-terrorism centre.

Law Minister Veerappa Moily is reported to have broached with the Speaker and the Chairman importance of the Judges Inquiry Bill. He is also told them that the government is toying with the idea of raising the retirement age of the Chief Justice of India.


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