"A New Tradition Begins Today", Says PM Modi Ahead of Budget

The budget session is spread over two parts—the first will begin on 31 January and end on 9 February while the second half of the session will begin on 9 March and will conclude on 12 April

Amid the Opposition protests against the decision of the NDA government to demonetise old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said there should be a constructive discussion on all issues in Parliament despite differences over certain issues. Post-meeting, Opposition leaders questioned the timing of the Budget - it comes days before Assembly elections get under way in five states - and said they have told the government that they want to discuss issues of demonetisation and internal security during the session.

"The Prime Minister said that differences may arise between parties but democracy should win, and there should be a debate in Parliament", Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar said after the meeting.

He noted that in the last few days, the government has held discussions with all political parties to ensure that House proceedings are not disrupted.

The Economic Survey will also be tabled later in the day and the Rail Budget will be presented with the General Budget this year on Wednesday.

"Budget is a financial exercise, so demonetisation has to be an important issue", he said. "We will definitely raise this issue", he said, adding that a final call will be taken by party chief Mamta Banerjee on Monday.

"I urge all parties to help in smooth functioning of the session".

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As the government prepares itself for February 1, the Opposition parties made it clear that they will be closely watching the Budget referring to disruptions if any major annoucement would be made related to the poll-bound states.

However, Trinamool Congress is expected to skip the meet. The Government was mulling the introduction of a separate Agriculture budget, but it doesn't seem to be happeing as of now.

"Demonetisation has had such adverse impact on the economy".

He said his party too wanted a discussion on demonetisation.

"The government's efforts will be that the budget should benefit all and takes the country forward", Mr Kumar said.

The Budget Session starts from January 31 and will go into a break on February 9. "The Supreme Court has given its verdict".

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