Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to present Union Budget today

New Delhi [India], Feb. 1 : The 2017 Union Budget will be presented today in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and there will be no separate Rail budget from this year, as it has been merged with the General Budget.

The government has advanced the date of budget presentation so as to complete the entire process before the end of financial year.

The first part of the budget session has been kept brief in view of ongoing assembly polls in five states.

Later in the day, the Finance Minister will reply to questions by Twitterati on the budget proposals. He said that he will be happy to respond to the questions sent directly to him on Twitter. The questions can be asked on Twitter by using hashtag #MyQuestionToFM. Swatting away the opposition's charges of rushing the Budget for political gains, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has stated that the economic growth of the nation cannot be put on hold just because certain states are conducting elections.

"Our Prime Minister has already made it very clear that we will not be approaching the five states going for polls with any issue.

You need to understand that we have the courage of conviction and the integrity, both to deliver and lead by example, but you cannot stop the economic growth or progress of this country because certain states are going to elections," BJP spokesperson Shaina NC told ANI.

Confident that the Union and the Railway Budget 2017 will make the nation self-sufficient, the BJP has asserted that government's decision to present both the Union and the Railway Budget 2017 together is astute.

Meanwhile, the Congress has firmly stated that any proposal made in the name to 'lure' the population should not be suggested in the Budget.

"The Election Commission (EC) along with the Supreme Court is suggesting that no new schemes should be introduced in the poll-bounded states.

Also, proposals merely to lure people should not be taken into consideration," Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge told ANI.

The two Houses will have a month-long recess from February 10 to March 8 to enable the Standing Committees to consider the Demands for Grants of Ministries and Departments and prepare their reports.

Source: ANI