Cut Motions in Indian Parliament

After the budget is presented in Parliament and discussions over it are completed, the members get an opportunity to move cut motions to reduce the amount of demand. The members from particular parties or coalitions may bring their own cut motions. The members generally give notice of the Cut Motions for the reduction of the votable heads of expenditure of the Demands for Grants immediately after the Finance Minister or the Railway Minister as the case may be, has presented the Budget in the House.

Every Cut Motion to a demand for Grant represents disapproval of some aspect or other of the Budget or the economic policy of the Government. Accordingly Cut Motion is of three kinds:

Policy Cut

This type of cut motion aims that the amount of the demand be reduced to Re. 1. It represents the complete disapproval of policy underlying the Demand. This is because the motion aims to reduce the demand for grant to Re. 1 only, which almost finishes the demand for grant of a ministry.

Economy Cut

This type of cut motion aims that the amount of demand be reduced to certain other amount and it represents that the demand for grants should be altered.

Token Cut

This Cut Motion aims that the amount of the Demand be reduced by Rs. 100” in order to ventilate a specific grievance, which is within the sphere of responsibility of the Government of India. Actually, Token cut is symbolic and is humiliating for the Government. To be precise, all cut motions are humiliating for the ruling party or coalition. The Cut motions provide the members maximum opportunity to examine every part of the budget and criticize the Government.

Implications of Cut Motions

The Cut Motions are mostly defeated due to Number strength of the ruling party or coalition. As the cut motion is a veto power given to the member of the Lok Sabha to oppose a demand in the financial bill discussed by the government, it is seen as an effective tool to test the strength of the government. If a cut motion is adopted by the House and the government does not have the numbers, it is obliged to resign. The cut motion can be admitted to the house only if it is related to only one demand and not many. No cut motion can be moved on charged expenditures. The cut motions are important because they facilitate the constructive discussion on each demand and uphold the principle of democratic government, by giving the members power to veto the demands.

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