New Delhi: With the Supreme Court coming down heavily on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government in the coal scam case, the passage of the Finance Bill looks in jeopardy as the Opposition has taken on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh directly and demanded his resignation.
Earlier, a temporary truce on the Finance Bill was achieved on Monday and the Bill is scheduled to be taken up after noon on Tuesday. The Bill will be guillotined along with the Appropriation Bill, Demands for Grants and the Railway Budget.
But there will be a constitutional crisis if the Finance Bill fails to get Lok Sabha's approval by April 30. The Central Government cannot use the money earmarked in the Budget for various schemes if the Finance Bill is not passed, leading to a major crisis. Even the tax proposals outlined in the Budget cannot be implemented.
Main Opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will stage a walkout to register its protest leaving the ground open for the government to pass the crucial money bills. The Finance Bill can't be delayed beyond Tuesday as per the rules as the government has to pass all money bills within 75 days of the Budget speech. After being passed in the Lok Sabha, the money bills will go to the Rajya Sabha and then to the President for his assent.
So it is crucial for the government to get Lok Sabha's approval by April 30 to meet the deadline of 75 days from the Budget speech which will be May 14. The on-going Budget Session gets over on May 10.
The stalemate ended on Monday after a meeting of floor leaders of various parties convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. "All financial business will be taken up in Parliament tomorrow," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters after the meeting.
He dismissed suggestions that Parliament would be adjourned sine die after passage of financial business. "There is no talk of adjourning Parliament sine die (before May 10)," he said. Along with the Finance Bill, some other financial business pending include the Railway Budget and Demand for Grants of ministries.
"It is unfortunate that in the last five days Parliament did not run. I am optimistic and hopeful that the House will function," Nath had said before the Speaker's meeting. Both Houses of Parliament have faced repeated adjournments over the issue of coal scam and JPC draft report.
The BJP has been very vocal in demanding the resignation of Manmohan Singh and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar on the issue of CBI's report to the Supreme Court on coal block scam. Fifteen JPC members of Opposition parties have expressed "no confidence" in Chairman PC Chacko and have sought his removal by the Speaker on the 2G draft report, giving a clean chit to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister.