Budget session set for a showdown between Opposition and government

The UPA floor managers are working overtime to ensure that at least the important bills, besides money bills are passed in the second half of the session.

Published: 22nd April 2013 07:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd April 2013 12:14 PM   |  A+A-

The remainder of the Budget session of Parliament will get under way on Monday after a month-long recess.  However, with just 13 days left for the session to conclude, it is unlikely that the House will take up the key Bills.

Meanwhile, the UPA floor managers are working overtime to ensure that at least the important Bills, besides some money Bills are passed in the Budget session itself.

Across the political spectrum, the Opposition NDA is also gearing up to corner the UPA Government on the various scams and controversies like the coalgate and the leaked Joint Parliamentary Committee report.

And the chief Opposition BJP has lined up several issues including the leakage of the draft Joint Parliamentary Committee report on 2G, coal allocation scam and the brutal rape of a five-year-old girl in Delhi to put the Centre on the mat.

Though the UPA Government has a heavy list of legislative business scheduled for the Budget session, with no less than 35 Bills to be passed, it has so far failed to get even half of them cleared in the first phase of the  session that ended on March 21.

With several key Bills pending, the UPA managers are trying to get the Opposition onboard to push through the legislation in both the Houses.

In order to avoid a run-in with the Opposition, the Congress managers had acquiesced to the Opposition demands to get a broad consensus on the Land Acquisition Bill. Sources said that the Centre could also get a helping hand from the  BJP on the Food Security Bill.

Even though the legislative agenda is heavy, there is hardly any time left for the Centre to complete the legislative business.

Despite the acute shortage of time, the  UPA is expected to bring in the Lokpal Bill, since the select committee had already submitted its recommendations.

The Centre is also ready for a debate on the working of four Ministries -- Home Affairs (MHA), Law and Justice, External Affairs (MEA) and Power -- besides the demands of grants for the various ministries. With many pending Bills for reforms in the education sector, Union HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju recently met Leaders of  Opposition in both the Houses -- Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley -- to elicit the Opposition cooperation in the getting the reform Bills passed at the earliest.

The Centre is scheduled to introduce four new Bills -- the Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill, The Employment Exchanges (Compulsory notification of vacancies) Amendment Bill, The Wild Life (protection) Amendment Bill and Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India on Monday.

Besides, the  UPA is scheduled to introduce The Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill 2013 in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to amend the Constitution to enable acquiring of the territories by India and the transfer of certain territories to Bangladesh, in pursuance of the agreement signed by New Delhi and Dhaka.


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