Budget presentation on 1 February, session to begin on 31 January

The union budget will be presented on 1 February under the revised calendar cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) on Tuesday. The CCPA will now recommend to President Pranab Mukherjee to convene the Budget session on 31 January.

As per the Centre's decision to advance the budget presentation by about a month, the President will address both the Houses on the first day, ie, 31 January and the Economic Survey will be tabled on the same day.

The union budget will be presented on 1 February and the first phase of the budget session will end on 9 February.

The budget session is expected to close on 31 March so that the entire exercise is over before the next financial year begins. However, the start of the second lap of the session is yet to be decided.

The CCPA meeting was chaired by home minister Rajnath Singh and was attended by parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley will present the combined Union budget – including allocations for the railways and ending a 92-year-old tradition of presenting a separate railway budget – on 1 February.

Jaitley was present at the meeting also attended by home minister Rajnath Singh, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

While officials expect the move will allow for earlier allocation of funds for government schemes and projects, there is still uncertainty as to the revenues that will finally accrue under various taxes and this could affect implementation on the ground.

Parliament passes the budget through a two-stage process. A vote on account is passed in March to meet necessary expenses on employees' salaries and other costs for two to three months.

The finance bill, which contains tax changes, and the demands and appropriation bill, which spells out full year expenditure details, are passed in May. Political pressures often force tax changes proposed in February during the finance bill's passage in May.

The previous winter session of Parliament was a complete washout with disruptions throughout the month-long winter session as opposition parties and the government clashed primarily over the recall of Rs500  and Rs1,000 banknotes.

The confrontation that overshadowed Parliament's legislative business, including passage of key social and financial reforms bills could still unravel amidst new political disputes.