Bypassing Rajya Sabha; character of money bill

29ss1Arun Jaitley, the incumbent finance minister recently stated in a press talk that money bill seems to be the last resort to get bills implemented in the wake of disruptions by opposition in the Upper House. In this context, one must understand the importance of Money Bill and its character. According to Indian constitution, Rajya Sabha has limited powers in matters related to money bill. Any money bill is first presented in Lok Sabha and if passed there, it is presented in the Rajya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha can only put recommendations to the bill and cannot reject it. Moreover, the Lok Sabha has its discretion to reject the recommendations in toto. Even then it will be considered to be passed by both the Houses. This is the reason why many persons have raised concerns over this issue, citing probable attempt to undermine the power of Rajya Sabha. However, the constitution strictly defines what constitutes a money bill in the strictest of terms under Article 110, thereby eradicating any sense of arbitrariness. Also constitution gives absolute power to speaker to decide whether a bill is money bill or not, and Rajya Sabha cannot question the speaker’s decision. This is a matter of concern particularly if the speaker has some vested interests or political alignment to a specific party.

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