Dhaka, Bangladesh
Parliament session sees raucous start

Parliament session sees raucous start

Budget placing tomorrow

News Report Present parliament's maiden budget session began Tuesday amid some fiery speeches by two of opposition BNP's few members that drew roars from the mega treasury bench. Confusion over the eid moon-sighting and questioning the very existence of this parliament generated the heat. The first salvo came from Harunur Rashid, one of the four BNP MPs-elect who took oath as members of the 11th parliament on April 29 after the initially defiant swearing in of one from Thakurgaon. Harunur Rashid demanded resignation of the religious affairs minister for what he said creating "confusion" in people's mind over the sighting the Shawwal moon this year that resulted in a belated declaration on eid celebration. The lawmaker, taking the floor on point of order, made the plea in a heated deliberation also touching on religious tenets. Jatiya Party lawmakers Pir Fazlur Rahman and Rustom Ali Farazi also supported the demand by thumping their desks at the time. In the evening of June 4, State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah said the crescent moon was sighted nowhere in Bangladesh. Hours afterwards, the state minister held meeting with the National Moon Sighting Committee for a second time and revised the decision, saying that that holy Eid-ul-Fitr to be celebrated in the country Wednesday as the Shawwal moon was sighted in Bangladesh sky on Tuesday night. Barrister Rumeen Farhana, a first-timer in the House from a reserved seat for women, set off a row from the heavily dominating treasury bench as she dubbed this parliament 'illegal' and wanted its dissolution for a fresh election. "I am sitting in a Sangsad which is not elected by the peopleā€¦I expect to see the tenure of this illegal Sangsad not extended by a single day more," she said. Her voice sank in roaring protests by the Awami League members, as Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury kept repeating her request to the member to resume he seat as the time granted for her 'goodwill speech' was over. Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan then took the floor and requested the speaker to expunge Rumeen's objectionable remarks about the parliament as he said it's an "insult upon the 16 crore people and contravention of the constitution". The chair declared the remarks "expunged". The budget session will continue till July 11 as per decision taken in a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of the parliament held at the Jatiya Sangsad. Committee Chairman and Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury presided over the meeting. The Finance Minister will place the budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year at 5pm tomorrow (June 13). The supplementary budget will be passed on June 17 after discussions on June 16. The Finance Bill will be passed on June 29 while the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year will be passed on June 30. The meeting also decided that the Speaker can extend or reduce the working days of the current session, if necessary. The session will resume at 3pm every (working) day. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Raushon Ershad, Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Obaidul Quader, Rashed Khan Menon, Hasanul Huq Inu, M Fazle Rabbi Miah, Anisul Huq, Anisul Islam Mahmud and Nur-E-Alam Chowdhury were present at the meeting Meanwhile, Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury nominated a five-member panel of chairmen for the 3rd session of the 11th parliament. The panel members are Maj (retd) Rafiqul Islam, AB Tajul Islam, Md Habibe Millat, Kazi Firoz Rashid and Meher Afroj. The Speaker announced their names at the outset of the day's business. They will conduct the House proceedings in a chronological order in the absence of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker. (Inputs taken from agencies)

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