Parliament goes into crucial budget session Monday


The last budget session of the current parliament begins on Monday with the participation of the BNP-led opposition, raising a hope that the new Speaker will play a crucial role in resolving the ongoing political crisis.

Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, the country’s first female Speaker, has suggested both the ruling Awami League and the opposition BNP to place in parliament their proposals over the polls-time government to resolve the long-drawn political impasse.

A number of leaders of opposition BNP have already made it clear they are going to join the budget session for the sake of the country’s welfare and its people.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the opposition MPs will be held on Monday to decide whether they will join the next parliament session beginning later in the day.

BNP chairperson and opposition leader Khaleda Zia will chair the meeting to be attended by the lawmakers of BNP and its allies.

The opposition MPs are likely to join the budget session after the meeting on the day.

However, most of its MPs are on the verge of losing their memberships because of their prolonged parliament boycott.

According to the rules of procedure, an MP cannot refrain from attending parliament sessions for more than 90 days in a row.

BNP lawmakers must return to parliament by mid-June as they can skip, at best, six more working days of the budget session, otherwise they will lose their memberships for boycotting parliament sessions for 90 consecutive sittings.

Forty-one opposition MPs — 38 from the BNP, two from Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and one from Bangladesh Jatiya Party — have remained absent from Parliament for 83 consecutive days.

According to records, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia attended only eight of the 370 working days during the 17 sessions of the current parliament.

Other BNP MPs attended the House only 52 days, setting a new record of parliament boycott.

BNP has so far boycotted sittings of the current parliament for 318 working days.

While in the opposition during the BNP-led eighth parliament, the Awami League stayed away from the House for 223 out of 373 working days.

In the seventh parliament, the BNP was absent from Jatiya Sangsad sessions for 163 of 382 working days.

In the fifth parliament, the then main opposition AL skipped 135 of the 400 sittings.

The current parliament will expire on October 25.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister AMA Muhith will place his last budget on June 6.

Parliament is set to see an historic event when Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury will start presiding over the session on June 3 as the first female Speaker of the country. She is also the country’s first Parliament Speaker elected from a seat reserved for women.

On May 14, President Abdul Hamid summoned the budget session which will begin at 5:30 pm.

The Parliamentary Business Advisory Committee, headed by the Speaker, will sit on Monday to determine the length of the budget session.

The last session of parliament ended on April 30 with the main opposition boycotting it.

Source: The Independent


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