What is meant by policy cut, economy cut, or token cut motions?
You might have noticed about the Demand for Grants while going through Indian Budget.
These are demands usually made in respect of the grant proposed for each Ministry.
But Parliament being the authority to check the expenditure of the government may not approve all demands.
Cut motions are motions in the parliament moved to reduce the amount of demand.
A motion may be moved to reduce the amount of a demand in any of the following ways:-
1. Disapproval of Policy Cut Motions
- A Disapproval of Policy Cut motion is moved so that the amount of the demand be reduced to Re.1.
- It represents the disapproval of the policy underlying the demand.
- A member giving notice of such a motion shall indicate in precise terms the particulars of the policy which he proposes to discuss.
- The discussion shall be confined to the specific point or points mentioned in the notice and it shall be open to members to advocate an alternative policy.
2. Economy Cut Motions
- An Economy Cut motion is moved so that the amount of the demand be reduced by a specified amount.
- It represents the economy that can be effected.
- Such a specified amount may be either a lump-sum reduction in the demand or omission or reduction of an item in the demand.
- The notice shall indicate briefly and precisely the particular matter on which discussion is sought to be raised and speeches shall be confined to the discussion as to how the economy can be effected.
3. Token Cut Motions
- A Token Cut motion is moved so that that the amount of the demand be reduced by Rs.100.
- This is to ventilate a specific grievance that is within the sphere of the responsibility of the Government of India.
- The discussion thereon shall be confined to the particular grievance specified in the motion.
Admissibility of cut motions
In order that notice of motion for reduction of the amount of demand may be admissible, it shall satisfy the following conditions, namely:-
- it shall relate to one demand only;
- it shall be clearly expressed and shall not contain arguments, inferences, ironical expressions, imputations, epithets or defamatory statements;
- it shall be confined to one specific matter which shall be stated in precise terms;
- it shall not reflect on the character or conduct of any person whose conduct can only be challenged on a substantive motion;
- it shall not make suggestions for the amendment or repeal of existing laws;
- it shall not refer to a matter which is not primarily the concern of the Government of India;
- it shall not relate to expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India;
- it shall not relate to a matter which is under adjudication by a court of law having jurisdiction in any part of India;
- it shall not raise a question of privilege;
- it shall not revive discussion on a matter which has been discussed in the same session and on which a decision has been taken;
- it shall not anticipate a matter which has been previously appointed for consideration in the same session;
- it shall not ordinarily seek to raise a discussion on a matter pending before any statutory tribunal or statutory authority performing any judicial or quasi-judicial functions or any commission or court of enquiry appointed to enquire into, or investigate any matter: Provided that the Speaker may in his discretion allow such matter being raised in the House as is concerned with the procedure or stage of enquiry, if the Speaker is satisfied that it is not likely to prejudice the consideration of such matter by the statutory tribunal, statutory authority, commission or court of enquiry;
- it shall not relate to a trivial matter.
Speaker to decide admissibility
The Speaker shall decide whether a cut motion is or is not admissible under these rules and may disallow any cut motion when in his opinion it is an abuse of the right of moving cut motions or is calculated to obstruct or prejudicially affect the procedure of the House or is in contravention of these rules.
Notice of cut motions
If notice of a motion to reduce any demand for the grant has not been given one day previous to the day on which the demand is under consideration, any member may object to the moving of the motion, and such objection shall prevail unless the Speaker allows the motion to be made.