Ordinary Bill and Money Bill for UPSC CSE Preparation


1. Introduction to Bills in Parliament

In the Indian legislative process, proposals for laws are introduced in Parliament in the form of bills. Before a bill becomes an Act of Parliament, it must be passed by both houses and receive the President's assent. There are different types of bills, each serving specific purposes, with Ordinary Bills and Money Bills being two principal categories​​.


2. What is a Money Bill?

A Money Bill is specifically concerned with financial matters such as taxation, government spending, and other fiscal issues. Defined under Article 110 of the Indian Constitution, Money Bills have specific characteristics and a unique legislative procedure which underscores their critical role in financial governance​​.


Key Features of Money Bills:

  • Introduction: Can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha and must be recommended by the President before introduction.
  • Content: Includes aspects like imposition, abolition, remission, alteration, or regulation of taxes and the appropriation of funds from the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • Restrictions on Rajya Sabha: The Rajya Sabha cannot amend Money Bills but can recommend amendments, which the Lok Sabha may accept or reject. Furthermore, the Rajya Sabha must return a Money Bill with recommendations within 14 days, after which the bill is deemed to have been passed by both houses in the form it was originally passed by the Lok Sabha​​.
  • Final Assent: After passing through both houses, the bill goes to the President for assent, and the President cannot return a Money Bill for reconsideration​​.


3. What is an Ordinary Bill?

Ordinary Bills encompass all legislative proposals that do not qualify as Money Bills. These can be related to any subject other than financial matters and do not have the stringent restrictions that apply to Money Bills.


Key Features of Ordinary Bills:

  • Introduction: Can be introduced in either house of Parliament by any member or minister.
  • Procedure: Requires passage through both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Unlike Money Bills, Ordinary Bills can be amended or rejected by the Rajya Sabha.
  • Joint Sitting: In case of a deadlock between the two houses over an Ordinary Bill, a joint sitting of both houses may be convened to resolve the impasse​​.
  • President’s Assent: Once passed by both houses, Ordinary Bills go to the President, who may give assent, withhold assent, or return the bill (except a money bill) to Parliament for reconsideration​​.


4. Key Differences Between Ordinary Bill and Money Bill

Understanding the distinctions between these two types of bills is crucial for UPSC candidates, as it highlights the legislative limitations and powers associated with financial legislation compared to general legislation:


5. Conclusion: Implications for Governance

The distinction between Ordinary Bills and Money Bills underscores the checks and balances inherent in the legislative process, particularly in financial governance. Money Bills emphasize the primacy of the Lok Sabha in fiscal matters, reflecting the democratic principle that those elected by the populace have the final say in the utilization of public funds. Ordinary Bills, conversely, allow for broader participation by both houses, ensuring a comprehensive review of legislation that affects all aspects of governance.


UPSC Focus

·        For UPSC aspirants, understanding these distinctions is not only crucial for scoring well in both Prelims and Mains but also for appreciating the procedural nuances that underpin democratic governance in India.

·        Questions on this topic can range from direct distinctions to more nuanced queries about legislative procedures and their implications on the functioning of democracy.


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