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Uphill task ahead for government to pass pending bills

Published: 26th August 2012 09:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th August 2012 09:24 AM   |  A+A-

Around 90 Bills are on hold owing to the standoff between the Centre and Opposition over the CAG report on coal allocation. No legislative business has been transacted.

Also, there is a re-emergence of the economic reform scuttle involving Mamata Banerjee. The moment West Bengal Chief Minister said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh needs her backing, she called her shot -- no Pension Reform Bill, no Insurance Bill, no land acquisition, no FDI in either retail or aviation.

The UPA had high hopes of pushing through its educational, social and economic reform agenda: the National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010, Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011, National Highways Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2011, The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Bill, 2011; the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010 and the Whistleblowers’ Protection Bill, 2011.

But none of them are likely to be passed in the current session.

In the remaining 10 sittings, there are two Fridays, which are allotted to the Private Members Bill, then Parliament will be on holiday on Onam on August 29. That leaves only seven days, in which it would be a herculean task to get even one-tenth of the listed pending bills passed.

More than 90 Bills are pending. Yet the Centre got rather ambitious and listed around a  dozen bills for consideration and passing in Parliament.

These are, no doubt, important Bills including the one to strengthen the regulatory powers of the Reserve Bank of India and address capital raising capacity of banks. The Centre wanted to pass the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011.

The Whistle Blowers’ Protection Bill is still pending in the Rajya Sabha. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, aimed at establishing a fund to pay compensation to the kin of persons who were killed or sustained grievous injury in hit-and-run motor accidents, is still pending in the Parliament since 2007.

The Centre wanted the Parliament to also pass the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill, 2012 to replace the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Ordinance.

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister

Ghulam Nabi Azad is desperately trying to  convince MPs not to allow the ordinance to lapse. But there is little chance that Monday will be a functioning day.



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