NEWDELHI: With the Budget session of Parliament set to resume after recess on Tuesday, the Centre on Monday tried to make grounds for smooth functioning of both the Houses saying it was reaching out to the political parties to garner support on various Bills, including the Lokpal and those related to economic reforms.
Addressing a press conference, a Group of Union Ministers outlined the government’s strategy for the second half of the Budget session. Expressing confidence that both the Houses would function smoothly, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said discussions on demands for grants would begin on April 26. “About 40 Bills are to be passed by Parliament. Of them, 23 are with various Parliamentary standing committees, while 10 others are ready. The government wants them to be listed at the earliest,” Bansal said.
He informed that the Insurance Amendment Bill, Pension Regulatory Bill and Banking Amendment Bill were likely to be taken up once the Finance Bill was passed. Chalking out a strategy for the Budget session, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said the government has been reaching out to the Opposition parties, besides trying to bring allies on board for reaching a consensus on various Bills. He added that the government was open to discuss all the issues with the Opposition. “We welcome the comments made by Arun Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, supporting the Pension Bill.
The reform process has to be taken forward,” he said. Reacting to Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee’s recent contentions on various Bills, Sibal said TMC continued to be an important ally of the UPA. “Mamata is an ally and will continue to be an important alliance partner. All issues will certainly be discussed and settled. These things happen in coalition politics,” he said.