Speaker begins consultations for smooth budget session

February 22nd, 2008 - 5:04 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee is beginning a series of meetings with leaders of various political parties Friday in an exercise aimed at smooth functioning of the crucial budget session. Chatterjee will meet leaders of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over dinner later Friday. He is expected to seek the opposition’s cooperation for a peaceful session. The two-and-a-half month session during which many important legislations are expected to come up begins Monday.

Non-Congress and non-NDA leaders, including those of the Samajwadi Party, Left parties and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), are invited for lunch on Saturday.

And on Sunday, Chatterjee will host lunch at the parliament house library building for all party leaders.

The parties are expected to indicate the major issues they would like to raise in the house during the session, which will have 35 sittings. The session, which will go for recess March 21 to April 14, will continue till May 9.

President Pratibha Patil will address both houses of parliament on Feb 25.

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad would present the railway budget for 2008-09 on Feb 26. Three days later, on Feb 29, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram would present the general budget. The Economic Survey would be presented on Feb 28.

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