The government is expected to clash with the Opposition over demonetisation in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, when two bills linked to the controversial move will be tabled for approval.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to speak on demonetisation for the first time in the House during the debate on the President’s speech. His silence on the issue had resulted in a near-washout of Parliament’s winter session late last year.
The two legislations – the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill and the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Bill – were brought in through ordinances in the aftermath of the cash ban.
The first legislation allows employers to transfer the wages of employees to their bank accounts or issue cheques instead of cash salaries. Earlier laws gave employees the right to decide the form in which they receive their wages.
The second bill is meant to legally scrap notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations. The government had earlier taken an executive decision in this regard, spurring widespread protests and demands that the decision be reversed.
The Opposition parties protested against both the ordinances, stating that they were causing immense hardships to the people. Both Leftist and Congress-backed trade unions maintained that many parts of the country – especially villages – lacked cashless transaction facilities, and labourers would not be able to avail of essential goods and services unless they were paid in paper currency.
There is a possibility, especially in the Rajya Sabha, that the Opposition may force the government to send the two bills to House panels for review.