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Parliament’s Budget session to begin from January 31

NEW DELHI: The Budget session of Parliament, the third of seventeenth Lok Sabha, will commence on January 31 and subject to the exigencies of government business, it is likely to conclude on April 3 with a 19-day recess in between, an official communique said on Wednesday.

President Ram Nath Kovind will address both Houses of Parliament assembled together in the Central Hall, Parliament House at 11 a.m. on January 31.

“In order to enable the standing committees to consider the Demands for Grants of Ministries or Departments and prepare their reports, the House will adjourn on February 11 to meet again on March 2,” the communication from the Lok Sabha Secretariat said.

Senior BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to present her second Union Budget as the Finance Minister on February 1.

The decision to hold the Budget session in two phases — from January 31 to February 11 and March 2 to April 3 — was taken following a recommendation of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, said sources.

The Budget session could be stormy on account of the current protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and the economic slowdown.

The previous session of Parliament was marked by Opposition protests over various issues, including political developments in Maharashtra.

Sitharaman’s task would be to stage a reversal of the sharp economic slowdown that has gripped Asia’s third-largest economy with an official data suggesting earlier this week that Gross Domestic Product growth is likely to shrink to 5 per cent this fiscal, the slowest in about a decade.