Government braces for Opposition offensive, prepares ammunition on 26 burning issues

According to sources the concerned departments have been told to work on a detailed response, in case opposition demands a discussion.

Published: 08th March 2017 08:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2017 08:51 PM   |  A+A-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Modi government is digging into details of at least 26 burning issues to counter opposition’s offensive during the second part of budget session beginning Thursday.

The government documents exclusively accessed by the Express shows the Centre is putting together a comprehensive response on arrest of TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay in Rose Valley Chit Fund Case and effects of demonetization on Indian economy.

The government is expecting an uproar over printing of currency notes allegedly by a blacklisted firm as well as problems faced by the poor due to banning old Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes.

The government is also compiling information on relation with Sri Lanka with respect to issues related to Tamil fishermen. The move comes in the backdrop of killing of an Indian fisherman by Sri Lankan navy. DMK member Kanimozhi has already given a notice in Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue.

The government is also expecting offensive from opposition over recent clashes between student groups in Ramjas College, Delhi and other associated issues related to heated ‘nationalism’ debate.

Besides, government is expecting opposition’s onslaught to counter its tall claims of being a torchbearer of farmers’ interests. The Supreme Court had last week questioned the sincerity of the government saying it was going in the wrong direction and not addressing the causes behind the farmer’s suicides happening since so many decades. According to the government sources, they have compiled details of action taken by the Modi government-short term, medium term and long term- to benefit the farmers and to ensure that their income is doubled by 2022. This includes proposed changes in the agricultural produce market committee act, which being discussed by all the stakeholders.

The government is also worried about Jat agitation that will hit the entry points to Delhi on March 20. The Jat leaders have threatened to block supplies to Delhi if the government does not accept their demand for OBC status for reservation in government jobs and education. 

The government is scripting the details on recent killings and attack on NRIs and American-Indians in US. After Kansas killing, the Indian government had termed the incident as ‘an individual act.’ The government, aware of controversy over former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister K.Pul suicide and Aadhar, which has been made mandatory for midday meal.

According to sources the concerned departments have been told to work on a detailed response, in case opposition demands a discussion. Safety and security of passengers in the trains, non-performing assets, ban on commercial surrogacy and triple Talaq are among the other issues, the government is expecting opposition outrage.

“We are ready for the discussion on all the issues and looking forward to a constructive session,” a senior government official said.

Government Ready With Legislative Business  

The government has finalized the draft for the ‘Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2017 that will allow abortion of foetus and increase the legal limit for termination from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. The bill now seeking cabinet nod will ensure that upper gestation of termination of pregnancy does not apply in case of diagnosis of severe foetal abnormalities incompatible with life. Once cleared by the parliament, the new law will increase access to legal abortion services to women to reduce maternal mortality.

The government will also push for the Maternity benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was cleared by the upper house on August 11, 2016. The government will also introduce three subordinate legislations drafted after hectic consultations to operate the major reform Goods and Service Tax (GST).

The cabinet has cleared a new bill ‘Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to further streamline the adjudication of Inter-State river water disputes by consulting standalone tribunal with permanent office space and infrastructure.

Another new legislation-the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill 2017 is in the priority list of the government to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in respect of Odisha and to modify the name of UT of Pondicherry to Puducherry. The Indian institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill 2017 cleared by the cabinet is likely to be taken up in the upcoming session of the parliament. The bill provides for inclusion of Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing (IITDM) , Kurnool along with other IITs in the principal act. Once cleared by the parliament, IITDM Kurnool will be declared as an institute of national importance with the power to award degrees to the students.

“ There remains apprehension on the Enemy property bill, which will replace an ordinance.,” the government official further added.


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