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Guillotine in Indian Legislative

  • 25 Mar 2023
  • 2 min read

Why in News?

The ongoing stalemate in Parliament has led to speculation that the government may guillotine the demands for grants and pass the Finance Bill without any discussion.

  • This has led to confusion and questions about what exactly guillotine means in legislative parlance.

What is Guillotine?

  • The term guillotine originally referred to an apparatus designed for executions by beheading.
    • It was introduced in France during the French Revolution to make capital punishment more reliable and less painful.
  • In legislative parlance, guillotine means to bunch together and fast-track the passage of financial business. It is a fairly common procedural exercise in Lok Sabha during the Budget Session.
    • Once the guillotine is applied, any remaining demands for grants are put to vote without further discussion.
    • This ensures that the budget is passed within the allocated time, and the government can continue its work without any delay.

What is the Guillotine Parliamentary Procedure?

  • After the Budget is presented, Parliament goes into recess for about three weeks, during which time the House Standing Committees examine demands for grants for various Ministries and prepare reports.
  • Sometimes, given the limitation of time, the House cannot take up the expenditure demands of all Ministries; therefore, the BAC identifies some important Ministries for discussions; ususally the Ministries of Home, Defence, External Affairs, Agriculture, Rural Development and Human Resource Development.
    • Once the House is done with these debates, the Speaker applies the “guillotine”, and all outstanding demands for grants (discussed or not) and undiscussed clauses of a bill/resolution are put to vote at once in order to save time.

Source: IE

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