Keen to push the reforms agenda, top Congress managers on Tuesday asked party MPs to work toward the passage of key bills stalled in the parliamentary standing committee on finance. The committee is headed by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.
The Congress MPs, with the help of ally MPs, have been asked to see that the committee adopts and table the reports on these bills in Parliament, clearing the way for its passage in the House.In the Public Accounts Committee, the UPA MPs rejected chairman Murali Manohar Joshi's draft report on the 2G spectrum scam amidst high drama. The draft couldn't be adopted despite opposition pressure because of stiff resistance spearheaded by Congress MP K Sambasiva Rao.
On Tuesday, Rao was called along with MPs like KVP Ramachandra Rao, Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, Sathyanarayana Sarvey, M. Anjan Kumar Yadav-all members of the finance panel- for a strategy meeting with two top UPA ministers on the pending bills.
The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill and Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill were specifically discussed. While the last two bills are lying with the committee since February, the insurance bill is stalled since September 2009.
"The BJP and Left may like to stall these bills. We have to outsmart them. We have the majority in the committee. if the reports are tabled soon, the government will try to pass the pension and the banking bills in this session," said a senior Congress MP after the meeting.
"If political pressure is applied and the ruling coalition tries to pass reports by brute majority, then independent reviews by parliamentary panels will lose relevance," CPI leader and member of finance panel Gurudas Dasgupta said.
The party's initiative comes a day after industry leaders asked the central government to push reforms in the wake of a production slowdown and global uncertainties.