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Lok Sabha passes interim budget amid walk out by Congress, NCP

Union Minister Piyush Goyal speaks during the Budget Session of Parliament in New Delhi, Monday, Feb 11, 2019. (LSTV GRAB via PTI)

The interim budget 2019-20 was passed in the Lok Sabha Monday amidst sloganeering by the TDP MP’s demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh and walk-out by the Congress, NCP and CPI-M.

Accusing the Congress of betraying the nation by opposing government policies for the poor and farmers, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said the people will never forgive it, PTI reported.

While replying to the debate on the interim budget, Goyal said the Modi government had taken a lot of initiatives in the past four-and-half years for the benefit of poor, farmers and middle class and the 2019-20 Interim Budget was a continuation of that.

Referring to the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi under which small farmers will be provided Rs 6,000 financial assistance every year, Goyal said that those living in palaces will never understand the importance of Rs 2,000 every four months and hence they "belittle" the scheme.

Goyal said that the Narendra Modi-led government has changed the working style followed by the Congress party. ‘We are moving towards an honest system,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that he was ‘grudgingly given only two minutes’ to debate the ‘longest interim budget speech in history.’


Tharoor said that his party would have welcomed the proposed tax exemption move, but it was coming from the government that is ‘pulling cash out’ of the middle class in every possible way.

He also said that the AIIMS promised in Kerala still remains unfulfilled and no money has been allocated with regards to the damage caused by Cyclone Okchi.

All India Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy questioned the central government over employment data. He alleged that the government is not releasing the data on unemployment because it is an all-time high.

Rajya Sabha remains unproductive

Earlier in the day, the Rajya Sabha proceedings were washed out for the sixth day in a row amid uproar by the opposition over various issues including special status for Andhra Pradesh. Only two bills were introduced before Congress and TDP MP’s trooped into the Well, following which the Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House till 2 pm.

When the house met again, the disruptions continued forcing Deputy Chairman Harivansh to adjourn the house for the day. "It is unfortunate that members are not allowing the discussion to continue despite consensus in the business advisory committee," Harivansh said.

CAG report likely to be present tomorrow

The government is likely to table the CAG report on Rafale jet fighter deal tomorrow in Parliament, news agency PTI reported.

The fighter jet deal has generated a massive political controversy with the Congress party levelling allegations of corruption on the Modi-led government.

The Congress party Sunday had asked Comptroller and Auditor General of India Rajiv Mehrishi to "recuse" himself from auditing the deal, citing "conflict of interest" and "gross impropriety".

Addressing a press conference, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal had said that Mehrishi was the Finance Secretary at the time of the "unilateral announcement" on the purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft at a cost of Rs 58,000 crore in April 2015, and cancellation of the 126 aircraft MMRCA deal in June 2015.

Congress has accused Mehrishi of "attempting to help the government by giving it a clean chit certificate".

(Inputs from PTI, ENS)