UPA government set to swim in troubled waters

NEW DELHI — The budget session of parliament is set to resume on Tuesday with the government hoping to pass some key pending bills, but also staring at some house trouble over issues like uncontrolled inflation, corruption and setting up of an anti-terror intelligence hub.


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Published: Mon 23 Apr 2012, 11:33 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:41 AM

The government’s main task in the second half would be to get the budget for fiscal 2012-13 passed by parliament. But the going seems tough with opposition joining hands to corner the government.

In an indication that there would be some heat in the two houses, opposition leaders said they would raise the key issues, as well as other matters including the pending Lokpal bill during the month-long sitting. Inflation is likely to lead to fireworks, with the opposition — both the Left and the right — closing ranks.

“Price rise is definitely one of the top issues to be raised alongside the issue of agrarian crisis,” Basudeb Acharia of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) said. Acharia, the parliamentary party leader of the CPM, said the Left parties would be meeting before the budget session resumes to discuss the strategy.

“We have our meeting to discuss the issues which could not be raised during the first half of the session. Those issues are like centre-state relations, unemployment and the Lokpal bill.”

The CPM leader said the issue of the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre is also likely to generate heat, as “explanation will be sought from the government on disturbing centre state ties”.

The formation of NCTC has been deferred following the opposition fears that the anti-terror agency with police powers will infringe on the rights of states.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also indicated it would seek a discussion on price rise and the Lokpal bill.

“The government has promised to pass the Lokpal bill in the budget session. We will press for that with our amendments,” BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain said.

The BJP leader said his party was confident that even Congress’ allies will side with it on the issues of federalism, the move to ban cotton exports and price rise. The government is dependent on its allies, and partly on the opposition benches, if it has to get the crucial Lokpal bill passed in the Rajya Sabha.

The government had convened an all-party meeting March 23 to end the stalemate on the anti-graft Lokpal bill, but couldn’t break the ice amid a growing opposition clamour for changes in the government’s version of the legislation already passed by the Lok Sabha.

Among the other key bills pending in parliament are the legislations related to citizens’ grievances redressal, higher education and research and companies bill. Another key legislation to provide food security is with a parliamentary standing committee. —

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