The first week of the second leg of the 2023 budget session of parliament began 13 March 2023. The house was adjourned repeatedly during the first four days of the session because of the protests by the opposition demanding a discussion & enquiry into the issues of the Adani group, and protests by the treasury benches demanding an apology from Rahul Gandhi for his comments abroad.
The budget session for the year 2023 started with the maiden speech of the President of India, Droupadi Murmu, to the joint sitting of the Parliament on 31 January 2023. The first leg of the budget session went till 10 February 2023, following which a month-long recess was scheduled to review the budget documents. The second leg of the budget session commenced on 13 March and is expected to go on till 06 April 2023. A total of 27 sittings were originally scheduled for this entire budget session. The summary of part-1 of the budget session 2023 can be read here.
The house was adjourned repeatedly during the first four days of the session because of the protests by the opposition demanding a discussion & enquiry into the issues of the Adani group, and protests by the treasury benches demanding an apology from Rahul Gandhi. No significant business took place during these days. Pankaj Chaudhary, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, on behalf of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented a statement (Hindi and English versions) showing Supplementary Demands for Grants – Second Batch for 2022-23 on 13 March 2023 in the Lower House. On 15 March 2023, The Inter-Services Organizations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2023 was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
In the Upper House, no significant business took place as similar conditions that of the Lower House prevailed. On 14 March 2023, The Budget of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, 2023–2024, was laid on the table of the Upper House, which was earlier presented in the Lower House on 13 March 2023.
Standing Committee Reports
Multiple Standing Committees have submitted their ‘Demand for Grants’ pertaining to various ministries in the current session. The reports of the following committees and ministries associated with them are tabled in the Lower House.
- Standing Committee on Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Processing.
- Standing Committee on Labour, Textiles and Skill Development.
- Standing Committee on Railways
- Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture
- Standing Committee on Rural Development & Panchayati Raj
- Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment
Further, the report of the Joint Committee on the Multi-State Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was also presented in the Lok Sabha. In the Upper House, the following Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees have tabled their reports.
- Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare
- Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law, and Justice
- Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change
Important matters raised under Rule 377
N. K. Premachandran raised a matter regarding enhancing the monthly income ceiling limit in ESIC. Hanuman Beniwal raised a matter about the appointment of widows of Pulwama martyrs on compassionate grounds. Vivek Narayan Shejwalkar raised the issue regarding the inclusion of traditional crafts in the educational syllabus. Kaushalendra Kumar pointed out the need to increase wages and workdays under the MGNREGS. Aparupa Poddar raised the issue regarding the need to establish ‘SC/ST/OBC Welfare and Grievance Redressal Committees’ in higher educational institutions.
On a question on Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), a total of 1118 Lakh Metric Tons of foodgrains were allocated in seven phases and a total of Rs. 3,11,386.64 crore funds were released over the period of three years from 2020-21 to 2022-23.
Regarding the cash in circulation and demonetization, the Ministry stated that the ratio of cash in circulation to GDP as of March 2022 stood at 13.7%, which is higher than that of March 2013. After a brief decline in circulation due to demonetization, the value of cash in circulation has been rising since March 2017.
On a question on the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), at an all-India level, the number of training providers/training centres in which training was imparted fell drastically from 6141 during 2019-20 to 539 in 2020-21, thereafter it improved to 2589 in 2021-22. Similarly, the number of candidates reported placed fell from 6,08,389 in 2019-20 to 2,16,102 in 2020-21 and to 1,64,162 in 2021-22.
Regarding the number of Out-of-School students, the Ministry replied that a total of 9,30,531 students are currently out of school, of which boys comprise of 54% while girls account for the rest. In absolute terms, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Gujarat are the top-3 states.
Regarding the status of funds collected for welfare of building and other construction workers, the Ministry of Labour and Employment responded that around 5.6 Crore workers are registered, and a total of Rs. 87,478 Crores have been collected as cess, out of which only Rs.49,269 Crore have been spent.
On student suicides, a total of 61 students died by suicide from 2018 to 2023 in IITs, NITs, and IIMs. 2019 and 2022 registered the highest number of suicides.
Regarding the rise of cases of gold smuggling in India, the Ministry responded that the year 2022 registered 3982 cases of gold smuggling, which is higher than 2445 cases in 2021 and 2567 cases in 2020. In terms of quantity, 3502 kgs of gold was smuggled in 2022, compared to 2383 kgs in 2021 and 2154 kgs in 2020.