Budget Session To Be Stormy, Opposition to Give Tough Time to Government on Ordinances

Published: 21st February 2015 03:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2015 04:07 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: The budget session of Parliament beginning on Monday is expected to be a stormy affair with the Narendra Modi dispensation facing the tough task to ensure passage of six bills replacing Ordinances in the face of stiff opposition in the Upper House.         

Emboldened after the ruling BJP's Delhi debacle, several opposition parties have virtually declared a war on "Ordinance Raj" and especially against the changes brought in land law through the emergency provision.      

A highlight of the three-month long session will be the presentation of the first full-fledged budget of the government.

Opposition parties have enough ammunition to target the government with a host of issues ranging from controversial statements of some BJP leaders and members from sangh parivar to inflation.    

While the government has held back channel discussions with many Opposition leaders, there is no sign of any let up from the Opposition side.      

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has called a meeting of leaders of parties in both Houses of Parliament on Sunday noon for "mutual consultations ahead of budget session of Parliament". Amid the possibility of a stormy session, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has also called a dinner meeting of leaders of political parties the same day to ensure smooth run of the House.            

The first part of the session will continue till March 20 and the second part will commence after a month-long recess from April 20.  

The session will conclude on May 8. Government will have to pass the six bills on Ordinances in first half of the budget session itself.  

The NDA government is especially under pressure to legislate the ordinances on insurance and the coal sectors so that the new systems in place for attracting FDI in insurance and for auctioning of coal blocks are not disturbed.   

The 44-item agenda of the Government proposed for the Budget session comprises of financial, legislative and non-legislative business.           

The 11 items of financial business include presentation of and discussion on General and Railway Budgets for 2015-16, discussion and voting on Demands for Grants, both General and Railway Budgets, supplementary demands for Grants for 2014-15 and excess demands, if any for 2013-14.         

While the first part of the Session is likely to have 26 sittings, the second part would have 19 sitings.             

A day before the Session commences on February 23, former Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh will address a Kisaan Mahapanchayat on Sunday in Chauroli village of Gautambudh Nagar district and will target the government over the Ordinance on land law.      

Gandhian Anna Hazare, along with farmer's bodies, is scheduled to hold a two-day protest against the ordinance from Monday at Jantar Mantar.         

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party has also expressed willingness to join Hazare's protest against the amendments made in the Land Acquistion Act if the veteran social activist wants them to do so.         

Stepping up its opposition on the controversial Land Acquisition ordinance, Congress will be staging a dharna at Jantar Mantar here on Feb 25, which is likely to be led by Rahul Gandhi.       

Holding that the changes effected through Ordinance have made the land law "worse than the law passed by the British Raj in 1852", JD-U president Sharad Yadav has said that his party will certainly raise the issue in Parliament and will oppose it tooth and nail.         

Hoping that Kisaan rally will spread the movement of farmers toward Wetsern UP, UP Congress spokesperson Dhirendra Singh said,"upcoming budget session of Parliament will be full of protests until Modi Government takes back this Ordinance on land acquisition."  

On December 29 last year, the government recommended promulgation of an Ordinance making significant changes in the Land Acquisition Act including removal of consent clause for acquiring land for five areas of industrial corridors, PPP projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.            

Besides Congress, parties from the Janata Parivar JD-U, SP and RJD are likely to make common cause on the land ordinance issue.        

A meeting of the Janata Parivar parties will also be held in Parliament to work out a common protest strategy next week.

During the session, government will push for passage of bills on six ordinances promulgated recently.            

The ordinances include those on coal, mines and minerals, e-rickshaws, amendment to Citizenship Act, Land Acquisition and the one on FDI in insurance sector.  

The legislative agenda comprises of introduction, consideration and passing of seven new bills by both the Houses including the Finance Bill, 2015, consideration and passing of three Bills pending in Lok Sabha and seven in Rajya Sabha and introduction of ten new Bills.          

The pending Bills in the Lok Sabha are the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 relating to introduction of GST, the Lok Pal and Lok Ayuktas and other Related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and the Repealing and Amending Bill, 2014.           

After being passed by the Lok Sabha, these Bills need to be taken up by Rajya Sabha. The bills pending in the Rajya Sabha include four, which have already been passed by Lok Sabha.

They are the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2014, the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill 2014, the Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill 2014 and the Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill 2014 and the Payments and Settlement Systems(Amendment) Bill, 2014.            

Other pending Bills include the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2013 and the Constitution (Scheduled Casts) Orders (Amendment)Bill 2014.      

The new Bills for introduction pertain to National Cooperative Development Corporation, Warehousing Corporation, Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation, Arbitration and Conciliation, Repeal of Appropriation Acts, Registration of Births and Deaths, Whistle Blowers Protection, Indian Institutes of Management, National Academic Depository and Identification of Scheduled Castes.     

The non-legislative business include discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address and constitution of Railway Convention Committee.   

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