With the second-generation reforms pegged as a crucial tool to boost economic growth, the second UPA is trying to remove various bottlenecks. It wants to pack the Parliament standing committee on finance with more UPA members, keeping out the anti-reforms brigade as far as possible.
Lok Sabha secretariat had recently asked parties to nominate members for different committees. But three opposition parties — CPM, BJD and CPI — have not been offered seat from the Lok Sabha in the finance panel.
The CPM may get one seat from the Rajya Sabha but the overall strength of this anti-reforms brigade is set to go down from four to just one.
The new standing committees will function from September 1.
These parties are perceived as major opponents of the reforms and one of the reasons why important reforms bills on pension, insurance and banking sectors are stuck in the panel.
The government’s appeal to the committee to present reports on these bills have only met with stiff resistance.
BJD had submitted a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker, Meira Kumar citing that from 1998 the party was always a part of the committee. CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta had personally met Speaker Meira Kumar to secure his seat.
The CPM too, met the Speaker and sought a place in the panel for its Lok Sabha members.
Earlier, the CPM lost the chairman’s post in the standing committee on railways after Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee became railway minister.
The BJP will nevertheless head the finance panel. Congress managers believe the main opposition party is not quite averse to the reforms agenda.