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PM urges constructive budget session

Posted on Feb 21, 01:30PM | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 21 : Under the shadow of the defence choppper purchase scam, the budget session of Parliament begins on Thursday with the Prime Minister ahead of the session appealing for a constructive and productive business in the house.

"We're looking forward to a productive, constructive session of parliament. That's what our country's people expect," the Prime Minister said and urged the Opposition for "responsible dialogue and debate."

The PM also emphasised on credible action to ensure "we are least affected by global slowdown." "We need to cope with formidable challenges that the country faces," he said.

The government, however, bought peace with the Opposition BJP after Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde officially regretted for his Hindu terror camp remarks.

The three-month-long session will commence with the customary address by President Pranab Mukherjee to the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday said the government is ready for any kind of probe into the AugustaWestland chopper deal that involves allegations of kickbacks worth 50 million euros in the scam.

"The helicopter deal is not about corruption. It is a slur on India," Nath told the reporters.

"The government is open to any kind of investigation, inquiry into this matter. We must have a complete transparent and a very incisive inquiry," Nath had commented ahead of the Budget Session of the Parliament.

India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier said it will raise the issue of chopper scam in the Parliament.

"Before every session of Parliament a scam gets highlighted. Earlier it was the Coal allocation scam and now the helicopter scam...the BJP will raise the issue," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday.

Some crucial issues including the helicopter scam, inflation, farmers' plight due to drought in Maharashtra and hailstorm in Madhya Pradesh and ordinance on stronger anti-rape laws are expected to be raised in the Session.

However, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said he is hopeful that the session will be a fruitful one.

"This session of Parliament is going to transact the important financial business before the house, and it is our sincere hope that we will have a productive, constructive debate, leading to agreed solutions to the many national problems that our country faces," Singh said on Wednesday.

The Railway Budget is scheduled to be presented on Feb 26, the Economic Survey Feb 27 and the General Budget on Feb 28.