Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday bemoaned the “instances of misuse of the Money Bill provision” by the Narendra Modi government in the recent past. He said the government “must ensure that such instances are avoided”.
Speaking on the occasion of the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha, Singh said a crucial differentiating factor between the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha is that Article 110 of the Constitution allows the Lok Sabha precedence in matters of the ‘Money Bill’.
“In the recent past, we have seen instances of misuse of the Money Bill provision by the Executive, leading to bypassing the Rajya Sabha on crucial legislations of importance, without any deliberation. Those in Treasury benches must ensure that such instances are avoided. It dilutes the stature and importance of our institutions, including the Rajya Sabha,” Singh said.
In its previous term, the Modi government did not introduce some of the Bills, including the Aadhaar Bill, in the Rajya Sabha as it claimed that these were ‘Money Bills’ as decided by the Speaker. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had moved the SC against the government decision.
Singh, a member of the House since 1991, spoke on the importance of the Rajya Sabha in the constitutional system of checks and balances. He said the Rajya Sabha “has a central role to provide checks and balances to a majority government in the Lok Sabha, along with its other key role is to represent the interest of the states in our federal Union.”