Lok Sabha initiated a discussion on the Union Budget 2019-20. You can read our detailed analysis of the Budget here.
Later this week, discussion on some Demand for Grants (ministry allocations) will take place in Lok Sabha. You can read detailed analyses of these demands here.
Some key ministries:
- Railways: The Railways finances were presented on July 5, 2019, by the Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman along with the Union Budget 2019-20. The Ministry of Railways manages the administration of Indian Railways and policy formation through the Railway Board. Indian Railways is a departmental commercial undertaking of the government. Our note looks at the proposed expenditure of the Ministry of Railways for the year 2019-20, its finances over the last few years, and issues with the same.
- Defence:The Ministry of Defence frames policies on defence and security-related matters, and ensure its implementation by the defence services (i.e. Army, Navy and Air Force). In addition, it is responsible for production establishments such as ordnance factories and defence public sector undertakings, research and development organisations, and ancillary services that assist the defence services, such as the Armed Forces Medical Services. Our note analyses budgetary allocations and expenditure trends in the Ministry. It also provides insights into key issues affecting the defence sector.
- Human Resource Development:The Ministry of Human Resource Development consists of two departments: (i) school education and literacy, and (ii) higher education. In 2019-20, the Ministry has been allocated Rs 94,854 crore, the sixth highest allocation among all Ministries. The allocation constitutes 3% of the central government’s estimated expenditure for 2019-20. Our note presents the trends in expenditure and discusses some of the issues related to the education sector.
- Rural Development:The Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal Ministry for development and welfare activities in rural areas. The Ministry has two departments: (i) rural development, and (ii) land resources. The Ministry of Rural Development has the fourth highest ministry-wise allocation in the Union Budget 2019-20, of Rs 1,19,874 crore. Our note presents the detailed budgetary allocations to the Ministry of Rural Development, and analyses various issues related to the schemes implemented by the Ministry.
The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha today. In the 16th Lok Sabha, the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 was introduced. However, the Bill lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. The Bill regulated the use of DNA technology for establishing the identity of persons in respect of matters such as criminal matters under the Indian Penal code and matters of parentage.
Four other Bills: the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019, the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, and the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill were also introduced in the Lower House.
The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill was discussed and passed in Rajya Sabha today. The Bill makes certain changes to the Aadhaar Act, 2016. Also, it amends the Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The Bill was passed in Lok Sabha last week.
Three changes made by the Bill include:
- It permits the use of Aadhaar as one of the permitted identification methods for bank accounts and telephone connections, in addition to passport or any ID that the government may notify.
- It allows a system of offline identification. i.e. without biometric verification.
- It allows enrolled children to opt out and cancel their Aadhaar when they become adults.
Additionally, the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in Rajya Sabha. The Bill was passed in Lok Sabha last week.
Lok Sabha was sitting at the time of sending this report.