Tag Archives: 2014

All Party Meet on Budget Session of Parliament on Sunday

 

Session to open with President’s Address to members of both the Houses
44 items of Government Business on the agenda for Budget Session

Newsroom24x7 Desk

parliament houseNew Delhi: The Government will discuss with leaders of various parties the financial, legislative and other business to be taken up in both the Houses of the Parliament during the ensuing Budget session. The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs M.Venkaiah Naidu has convened a Meeting of Leaders of all Parties in both the Houses for mutual discussions on the Budget Session on February 22, 2015.

The Budget session of Parliament begins on February 23, 2015 and subject to the exigencies of the Government Business will conclude on May 8, 2015. The Budget session will be held in two phases. The first phase will be from February 23 till March 20, 2015 and the second phase from April 20 till May 8, 2015. There will be 20 working days during the first phase and 13 in the second phase. During the intervening recess, the Standing Committees will take up detailed examination of the Demands for Grants of different Departments and Ministries.

The Budget session begins with the Address by President Pranab Mukherjee to members of both the Houses of Parliament in the Central Hall of Parliament.

The 44-item agenda of the Government proposed for the Budget session comprises of financial, legislative and non-legislative business. Financial business(11 items) includes Presentation of and discussion on General and Railway Budgets for 2015-16, Discussion and voting on Demands for Grants, both General and Railway Budgets for 2015-16, Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2014-15 and Excess demands, if any for 2013-14.

The Government has proposed presentation of Railway Budget on February 26, Economic Survey on February 27 and General Budget on February 28, 2015.

The Legislative agenda comprises of Introduction, Consideration and Passing of 7 new Bills by both the Houses including The Finane Bill, 2015 and Bills replacing six Ordinances, Consideration and Passing of 3 Bills pending in Lok Sabha and seven in Rajya Sabha and introduction of ten new Bills.

The pending Bills in the Lok Sabha are : The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 relating to introduction of GST, The Lok Pal and Lok Ayuktas and other Related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2014. After being passed by the Lok Sabha, these Bills need to be taken up by Rajya Sabha.

Bills pending in the Rajya Sabha include 4 Bills already passed by Lok Sabha viz., The Companies (Amendment) Bill,2014, The Public Premises Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2014, The Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill,2014, The Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill, 2014, and the Payments and Settlement Systems(Amendment) Bill, 2014. Other pending Bills being: The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill,2013 and The Constitution (Scheduled Casts) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2014

The new Bills for introduction pertain to National Cooperative Development Corporation, Warehousing Corporation, Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation, Arbitration and Conciliation, Repeal of Appropriation Acts, Registration of Births and Deaths, Whistle Blowers Protection, Indian Institutes of Management, National Academic Depository and Identification of Scheduled Castes.

The Non-Legislative Business include Discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address and constituion of Railway Convention Committee.

50 countries do not meet fiscal transparency requirements: US Report

Newsroom24x7 Flash

Department of StateThe US department of State has concluded that, of the 140 governments that were potential beneficiaries of foreign assistance and were evaluated 50 did not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. Of these, eleven governments made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

On January 14, US Secretary of State John Kerry released the FY 2014 Fiscal Transparency Report, assessing whether governments that receive U.S. assistance meet minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. The Department’s assessments evaluate the substantial completeness, reliability, and public availability of budget documents, as well as the transparency of natural resource extraction contracting and license procedures.

The Report is prepared under Section 7031(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014. The Report examines governments receiving bilateral allocations of assistance under the Act. In compiling the Report, the Department assessed the fiscal transparency of governments as of the date the Act became law.

Governments meeting fiscal transparency requirements

The Department assessed the following governments as meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for FY 2014: Albania, Angola, Armenia, Argentina, The Bahamas, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, Vietnam, and Zambia.

The following table lists those governments that were found not to meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency and identifies whether the governments made significant progress toward meeting those requirements:

Governments Assessed Pursuant to the Act as not Meeting Minimum Requirements of Fiscal Transparency for FY 2014

Significant Progress

No Significant Progress

Afghanistan

X

Algeria

X

Azerbaijan

X

Bahrain

X

Bangladesh

X

Burkina Faso

X

Burma

X

Burundi

X

Cambodia

X

Cameroon

X

Central African Republic

X

Chad

X

China

X

Comoros

X

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

X

Congo, Republic of the

X

Dominican Republic

X

Egypt

X

Ethiopia

X

Fiji

X

Gabon

X

Gambia, The

X

Guinea

X

Guinea-Bissau

X

Haiti

X

Kazakhstan

X

Laos

X

Lebanon

X

Libya

X

Madagascar

X

Malawi

X

Maldives

X

Nicaragua

X

Niger

X

Nigeria

X

Oman

X

Sao Tome and Principe

X

Saudi Arabia

X

Somalia

X

South Sudan

X

Sudan

X

Suriname

X

Swaziland

X

Tajikistan

X

Tanzania

X

Turkmenistan

X

Ukraine

X

Uzbekistan

X

Yemen

X

Zimbabwe

X

US views fiscal transparency as a critical element of effective public financial management since it helps in building market confidence, and sets the stage for economic sustainability. Transparency also provides a window into government budgets for citizens of any country, helping them to hold their leadership accountable. Reviews of the fiscal transparency of governments that receive U.S. assistance help to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is used appropriately and sustain a dialogue with governments to improve their fiscal performance, leading to greater macroeconomic stability and better development outcomes, the US department of State goes on to emphasise.

The Office of Monetary Affairs (OMA) monitors global macroeconomic developments and works to prevent and resolve financial crises in countries where U.S. interests are at risk. It seeks to increase the financial security of the United States and its key partners. OMA also works to expand global economic growth and development by advocating sound macroeconomic policies that foster economic stability and expand opportunities for U.S. trade and investment worldwide.

OMA provides the Secretary of State with expertise on global financial and macroeconomic issues, working in close cooperation with the Treasury Department’s Office of International Affairs. OMA is also the Department’s liaison with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In addition, OMA interacts with a wide range of foreign government officials and representatives of other international and non-governmental organizations. It also consults with representatives of private financial institutions to ensure that U.S. financial interests abroad are accurately and effectively reflected in U.S. foreign economic policy.

To help poorer countries overcome unsustainable debt burdens and improve their chances for economic growth and development, OMA promotes debt relief through the Paris Club, representing the Secretary of State as Head of the U.S. delegation. The Paris Club is the forum for coordinating debt relief policy among sovereign creditors and negotiating individual country debt treatments. Paris Club agreements can also affect non-member country and private sector creditors when debtor countries are required to seek comparable treatment. OMA also coordinates with the Treasury Department to formulate U.S. debt-relief policies more broadly and to promote initiatives through multilateral institutions.

OMA develops strategies to fight corruption and improve transparency from an economic and business perspective. OMA heads the U.S. delegation to the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, coordinates the interagency to combat bribery of foreign public officials, and ensures compliance with the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in Internationals in International Business Transactions, also known as the Anti-Bribery Convention.

Click Here for Government by Government Assessment (Fiscal Transparency Report)