Decision not to print copies of Union Budget is cheap theatre, says Manish Tewari

NEW DELHI: Congress Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari on Tuesday lashed out at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stating that the decision not to print copies of the Union Budget is cheap theatre.

“Decision not to print copies Union Budget is cheap theatre. COVID-19 count stands at 10.5 million cases-11.57% of cases worldwide, social distancing is non existent, mask wearing is the exception not the norm what will this tokenism achieve Nirmala Sitharaman?” Tewari tweeted.

According to sources, for the first time ever, the Budget will be paperless this year in the view of COVID-19.

“Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry has decided not to print copies of the Budget 2021. The Budget will be typed and available for all as a soft copy, online,” sources said.

India’s coronavirus tally reached 1,04,66,595 including 2,22,526 active cases and 10,092,909 recoveries.The cumulative death toll climbed to 1,51,160.

On January 5, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi while announcing the dates for the budget session said that the government’s intention is to complete the session without any curtailment.He that the first phase of the budget session will begin on January 29 and conclude on February 15.

“In the first half of the budget session, the President’s address will be delivered on January 29 along with the discussion on it. The budget will be presented on February 1. If there are any emergency bills or ordinances to bring, we will prefer to do that in the first phase. Bills that need to be taken will be taken. There will be question and zero-hour as well and the rest will be at the discretion of the Speaker,” Joshi said.

The minister said the second phase of the budget session will be from March 8 to April 8.”In that phase, we would discuss grants and finance bill too will be discussed. The session, hopefully, will be longer. Last time we planned the session to be a little longer but due to pandemic and members of opposition too requested curtailment of the session, we could not run it fully. This time it will be like it used to be. This is our intention,” he said.