The first week of the 2023 budget session of parliament began on 31 January with the first-ever address of the President Droupadi Murmu to a joint sitting of Parliament. The economic survey and the budget were also presented. The first week was also marked by repeated disruptions & adjournments as the opposition demanded a discussion & enquiry on the issues relating to the Adani group.
The 2023 budget session began on 31 January 2023, with the President of India, Droupadi Murmu, delivering her maiden address to the joint sitting of the Parliament. Following the speech, the Economic Survey of India was tabled in both houses of the parliament by the finance minister. The session is scheduled to go on a break on 13 February 2023 and will resume on 13 March 2023 and conclude on 06 April 2023, with a total of 27 sittings. The session will have recess from 14 February to 12 March 2023.
Tentative business schedule
A total of 27 sittings are planned in the Eleventh session of the seventeenth Lok Sabha. In the legislative business, a total of seven bills are expected to be taken up for consideration and passing by the Lok Sabha. Below is the list.
Further, a total of 19 new bills are expected to be taken up for the ‘Introduction, consideration and passing’ during this eleventh session. The list of all the new bills to be introduced can be accessed here. Some of the important bills among them are mentioned below.
The Economic Survey 2022-23 was tabled on the floor of the House on 31 January 2023. The 2023-24 union budget was introduced by the finance minister on 01 February 2023. Under the Fiscal Responsibility and Management (FRBM) Act, 2003, the Medium-term fiscal policy cum fiscal policy strategy statement and macro-economic framework statement were also tabled on the floor of the house. The session was adjourned to the next day after the introduction of the Finance Bill, 2023.
The house was adjourned repeatedly during the third day (02 Feb), fourth day (03 Feb) and the fifth day (06 Feb) of the session because of the protests by the opposition demanding a discussion & enquiry into the issues of the Adani group. No significant business took place during these five days of the session. On the sixth day of the session (07 Feb), the ‘Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address’ was moved, and twenty-six members spoke for about 8.5 hours on the motion. The discussion also continued on the seventh day (08 Feb), and the ‘Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address’ was adopted after the Prime Minister replied to the debate. The general discussion on Union Budget 2023-24 has commenced on 08 February 2023.
Important Standing Committee Reports
337th and 338th reports of the Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism, and Culture on the action taken by the Government on the recommendations/observations of the Committee contained in its Three Hundred Seventeenth Report on Demands for Grants (2022-23) of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways was tabled on the floor of the house. Further,
- 38th Report on the action taken by the Government on the observations contained in the 27th Report on ‘Ethical Standards in Media coverage’ relating to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,
- 37th Report on the action taken by the Government on the observations contained in the 26th Report on ‘Suspension of Telecom Services and its Impact’ relating to the Ministry of Communications,
- 22nd Report on ‘Review of performance of Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana’ pertaining to the Ministry of Rural Development was released.
- 42nd report on the action taken by the Government on observations contained in the 35th report on ‘Demands for Grants’ relating to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology,
- 41st report on the action taken by the Government on observations contained in the 34th report on ‘Demands for Grants’ relating to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,
- 40th report on the action taken by the Government on observations contained in the 33rd report on ‘Demands for Grants’ relating to the Ministry of Communication (Dept. of Posts),
- 39th report on the action taken by the Government on observations contained in the 32nd report on ‘Demands for Grants’ relating to the Ministry of Communication (Dept. of Telecommunications) was also tabled.
Additionally, reports of the Standing Committee on Water Resources, and the Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change were also tabled.
Important matters raised under Rule 377
Prof. Sougata Ray raised a matter to not ban films/movies based on ideological differences, and P.R. Natarajan raised the issue of the need to grant an attempt to Civil Service aspirants who could not avail of their last attempt in the Civil services Examination due to COVID-19 Pandemic, and Tiruchi Siva raised a matter in Rajya Sabha regarding time-consuming and prolonged organ donation procedures in the country.
On a question on tap connections under Jal Jeevan Mission, the Government replied that the total rural households with tap water connections as of 15 August 2019 were 323.63 lakhs which increased to 1104.04 lakh households with tap water supply as on 30 January 2023. Around 57% of rural households have a tap water supply.
On Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Program (PMNDP), the government informed the parliament that a total of 17.27 lakh beneficiaries have availed of dialysis services till 31 December 2022. A total of 1350 dialysis centres have been established for that purpose.
On the question of challenges faced during work from home, the government answered that the Ministry has not conducted any study on challenges faced during work from home. But according to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the Central Government published the draft Model Standing Orders (MSO) on the “service sector” in the official Gazette dated 31 December 2020, inviting suggestions or objections from all stakeholders, including the general public. This was done in accordance with Section 29 of the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, which among other things contains the provision regarding “Work from Home.” The draft MSO, among other things, authorises “Work from Home” under certain appointment or agreement terms between the employer and employees, for whatever length or periods the employer may select. The Industrial Relations Code, 2020 has not, however, taken force yet.
On the question of the number of MSMEs that are incorporated as well as closed during the last five years, the government informed that more than 18.23 lakh MSMEs have been incorporated during 2022-23, which is less than the 21.72 lakh MSMEs in 2021-22. Additionally, the number of MSMEs that have applied for cancellation due to shutdown in the Udyam Registration Portal stood at 175, 6222, and 10,729 during 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 respectively.
On increasing trade deficit with China, the Government replied that the trade deficit with China in 2021-22 was 73.81 billion, while from April-November 2022, the trade deficit remained at 58 billion and that it did not cross the 100 billion USD.
On a question on the maternity benefits under the ESI Act 1948, the number of women who received maternity benefits under this act stood at 49200, 46327, and 45610 during 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 respectively. Additionally, the data regarding the availability of crèches, under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, as amended in the year 2017, are not maintained centrally by the Ministry. However, as per the scheme run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, a total of 3578 creches are available across India.