Financial Bill, Appropriation Bill, Finance Bill

A bill that relates to the revenue or expenditure is a financial bill. "Those bills which make provisions for any of the matters specified in the Money Bills but not contain solely those matters, are known as Financial Bills. For example, a Bill contains taxation clause, but it not solely deals with taxation. Financial Bill includes expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India. �The difference between a Money Bill and a Finance Bill is purely technical. All Finance Bills are not Money Bills. A Finance Bill is considered to be a Money Bill when it contains matters specified in the Constitution for a Money Bill. Only those Finance Bills would be considered as Money Bills, which are certified by the Speaker. A Finance Bill, which contains any matter specified for a Money Bill but does not deal exclusively with such matters, has some features common with a Money Bill:

  • It cannot be introduced in the Rajya Sabha;
  • It cannot be introduced only with the recommendations of the President. If the finance bill is not classified as a Money Bill, the Rajya Sabha has full powers to reject or amend it as it does in an Ordinary Bill.

In case of disagreement over such a bill between the Houses, the President can call for a joint sitting to resolve the deadlock. A Finance Bill, which involves expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, is treated in the same manner as an Ordinary Bill. Hence, it can be introduced in both Houses. �The Rajya Sabha has power to reject or amend such a bill. Such a bill does not require the recommendations of the President for its introduction. However, the President�s recommendation is necessary before the Bill can be passed by both the Houses. An Appropriation Bill seeks to give legal sanction to the government to appropriate expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India. �The Constitution says that no money can be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund without the enactment of a law by the Parliament.

A bill that incorporates demands for grants voted by the Lok Sabha as well as expenditures charged on the Consolidated Fund, is introduced in the Lok Sabha. Such a bill is known as the Appropriation Bill. It is passed in the manner as any other bill. However, no amendments can be proposed to the bill. �The Rajya Sabha can make suggestions on such a bill but it does not have the power to amend or reject the bill. �Therefore, the bill is presented to the President for his assent. A Finance Bill incorporates financial proposals of the government for the year to come. It is ordinarily introduced in the Lok Sabha every year, immediately after the budget is presented. Discussions on the bill are restricted to matters relating to general administration. No discussion is permitted on the details of particular estimates. �This bill has to be considered and passed by the Parliament and assented to by the President within 75 days after its introduction. �This bill is certified as a Money Bill by the Speaker. �Thus, Rajya Sabha can only make recommendations to the bill. �The Lok Sabha may accept or reject such recommendations.

Budget and the Steps of its passage

A budget is an �annual financial statement� or an estimate of receipts and expenditure of the Government of India. It is presented for the ensuing financial year, which usually begins on the first of April every year. �The budget includes an estimated inflows and outflows of the government for three years. It gives (i) the actual expenditure for the preceding year, (ii) the revised estimates for the current year and (iii) the budget estimates for the next year. �The pre-budget Economic Survey is prepared by the Finance Ministry. �The survey deals with the overall economic development in the country, focussing on areas like banking, capital markets, prices, industry, agriculture and infrastructure, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), demand and supply factors, fiscal developments, and the like.

�There are budgets such as:

  • Railway Budget, pertaining to the Railway finance;
  • General Budget, which gives an overall picture of the financial position of the Government of India, excluding the Railways.

�The Railway Budget and the General Budget are presented in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of Railways and the Minister of Finance, respectively. �The General Budget is divided into two parts: Part A : dealing with the general economic survey of the country; and Part B : containing the taxation proposals for the following financial year. Following the budget presentation, the annual financial statement related to the Government of India (duly authenticated by the Finance Minister) is laid on the table. Also, the Finance Bill is introduced at this time.

�The general budget involves numerous steps, which, mainly, are:

(a) Presentation of Budget: �The Finance Minister introduces the budget in the Lok Sabha, in February, with a speech giving an overview of the budget. A copy of the budget is laid on the table of the Rajya Sabha. �There is no discussion of the budget on that day.

(b) Discussion on Budget: �The Parliament allocates time for the discussion after the budget is presented. �The Budget is discussed in two phases�a general discussion 98�Indian Polity and Governance followed by a detailed discussion and voting on the demands for grants. �The Rajya Sabha too discusses the budget but only in general terms.

(c) Voting on Demands: After the debate in the House is over, the Speaker puts all the demands for grants to a vote. A voting on demands is the exclusive power of the Lok Sabha. �The demands can be of cut motions by members of the Lok Sabha.

(d) Appropriation Bill: A bill is introduced after all demands for grants are passed by the Lok Sabha. �The bill paves the way for the enactment of an Appropriation Act and is certified as a Money Bill. �The government can then seek money from the Consolidated Fund of India.

(e) Finance Bill: Such a bill includes all taxation proposals, and paves the way for enacting the Finance Act

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