After Lok Sabha, the Finance Minister replied to the Budget debate in Rajya Sabha today. Addressing concerns of Members on fiscal devolution, the Minister said the central government front loaded its payments to the states. In November 2021 and January 2022, instead of one installment of tax devolution to states, the Minister said her government ensured an advance installment was provided.
Speaking on the government's emphasis on encouraging start-ups, the Minister said that a high-level committee will be formed to understand ways to ensure more resources for funding startups and other business ventures in India through private equity and venture capital.
Members during the Budget debate had sought a clarification on whether the government was legitimizing cryptocurrencies by taxing digital assets. The Minister reiterated that the decision to ban or not to ban cryptocurrency will be taken after consultations.
During Special Mentions, a Member asked the government to present a white paper to the House on the recent threats to India’s national and territorial integrity from hostile countries. Another Member sought the government’s intervention in connection with cartelization by major Indian tyre companies to the detriment of rubber farmers.
A Member in the Lok Sabha pointed out the Ministry of Law and Justice had incorrectly stated that the government has not received a proposal from Odisha to establish a legislative council. The Member, himself from Odisha, informed the House that the state Assembly had passed a resolution for a Council three years ago and subsequently sent it to the central government.
The discussion on a Private Member Resolution regarding the welfare of Anganwadi workers was ongoing at the time of sending the email. Parliament heads into a recess to examine the Demand for Grants in detail.
The second half of the Budget session will begin again on March 14, 2022.
Numbers to note
The PRS Session Track data shows that Lok Sabha recorded a productivity of 121% for the first nine days of the session.
Before adjourning, the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman noted that answers to 51 Starred Questions were given on the floor of the House and Members raised 71 Zero Hour Submissions and 50 Special Mentions.