New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on Thursday approved the Union Budget 2013-14 without a debate, a development witnessed perhaps for the first time and which triggered protests from opposition parties.

With only one day left for the House to go into a month-long recess, the chair directed members to lay their written speeches so that the crucial money Bill could be returned in time. Lok Sabha has already passed this Bill.

E.M.S. Natchiappan, who was in the chair, said that according to a decision taken by Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari, the members could lay their speeches in 400 words and it would become part of the proceedings. The members could lay their speeches either on the table of the House or send it electronically.

But after protests from opposition parties, Natchiappan relaxed the word limit.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M. Venkaiah Naidu took strong exception to the general budget being passed without discussion.

Even the members of the Samajwadi Party (SP), which supports the government from outside, said there was no time to write the speeches.

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