RS returns appropriation bill without debate

The Rajya Sabha Thursday returned to the Lok Sabha the appropriation bill after members decided to skip a debate on account of paucity of time and submitted their speeches to the house,

"With a heavy heart, I lay my speech (on the table of the house). The budget should be discussed threadbare, it is government's failure that is creating this situation... We are setting a bad precedent here," said Bharatiya Janata Party leader M. Venkaiah Naidu, who had initiated the debate on the general budget in the upper house.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, however, assured the house that he would go through all speeches submitted by the members, prepare a reply and circulate it.

In his written statement submitted to the house, Naidu dismissed the budget as "uninspiring and deceptive".

"The budget has failed to address major challenges, including the two main issues of corruption and inflation, which is breaking the backbone of the poor and middle class," he said.

"Credibility of the budget system is lost. There is no mention about corruption in the entire budget speech... it is not clear how the fiscal deficit of 4.8 percent will be bridged. There are only two ways -- to print new notes or to borrow. The first will increase inflation and the other will lead to insolvency," he said.

He said "mismanagement of economy and policy paralysis have led to the present situation".

The appropriation bill enables the government to draw funds from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet its expenditure till the finance bill is passed.