Even as the logjam in Parliament over ‘coalgate’ and the JPC shows no sign of resolution, government managers moved ahead with two key social-sector bills — food security and land acquisition.
The government has listed the food bill for discussion and passing on May 3 and the land bill for May 8. While the steps are seen more as the UPA’s attempt to showcase its commitment towards its pending legislative agenda, the proposed schedule also indicates that the government is in no mood to adjourn the current session.But the government is yet to list two other big-ticket bills on economic reforms — the pension fund (PFRDA) bill and the insurance act amendment bill. These two much-touted and long-awaited bills aim to expand scope of FDI. Congress sources said that amid the full-scale war between the opposition and the government, there is slim chance of any consensus on these crucial financial reform initiatives.
But the government’s insistence on letting the House run its full course — despite opposition’s disruption — is a calculated move to turn the heat on the opposition. “We can send the message to the voters that we wanted to bring important bills but the opposition didn’t allow us,” a senior minister said.
The discussion on demand for grants on coal, new and renewable energy, agriculture and textiles ministry are slated between April 29 and 30, along with the passage of the railways appropriation bill.
Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath met LK Advani on Friday to seek the opposition’s support but the meeting failed to yield desired results.