Amid the bickering over Aircel-Maxis deal and cartoon row, key reform bills face an uncertain future in this budget session, which has another seven working days left.
Even as finance minister Pranab Mukherjee emphasised in his meeting with US investors in Washington last month that the UPA government will push its reforms agenda, the pension fund bill and the Insurance act (amendment) bill are unlikely to be passed during this session.
While the banking laws amendment bill, aimed to remove the voting cap of shareholders, is likely to be passed, the government will try to push the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha. After talks with the Left and BJP, parliamentary affairs minister V Narayanasamy held discussions with the SP and BSP on Sunday.
The government is ready to drop the lokayukta reference, bring all government-funded NGOs under the purview and change rules for setting up/ removal of lokpals. "Even if it is passed in Rajya Sabha, there may not be enough time to pass the amended bill in Lok Sabha, where the original bill was passed," parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said.
The opposition has also raised objections on passing the judicial accountability bill in Rajya Sabha-where it enjoys a majority. The government now plans to pass four or five non-controversial other bills to beef up its record for this session.
With no assurance from the opposition on these key bills, Bansal said on Monday that the parliament session is unlikely to be extended.