Centre reaches out to Opposition ahead of budget session

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 22, 2015 14:59 IST

On the eve of the Budget session of Parliament, government on Sunday reached out to the opposition for cooperation saying it is willing to discuss resolution of any issue to ensure a productive session.

Parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu met Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Delhi this morning in an apparent attempt to seek cooperation of the largest opposition party which the government will require particularly in the Rajya Sabha for conversion of Ordinances into Acts.

He described the meeting as "good".

Later, he hosted a meeting of leaders of all parties in both Houses of Parliament and emphasised the need for a spirit of mutual cooperation during the Budget session beginning on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also joined the meeting.

"The government is always willing to sit with opposition to resolve differences on any issue... A spirit of mutual cooperation is required to ensure productive budget session," he said.

Referring to the controversy over Land Acquisition Ordinance, he said the issue needs to be addressed "sincerely" without politicisation.

"We are aware that land acquisition is an emotive issue as it concerns farmers. We need to address this issue sincerely without undue politicisation," Modi said.

His comments came as Congress prepared to launch an agitation over the issue with its vice-president Rahul Gandhi slated to lead a demonstration in Delhi.

"I don't think there is any issue that cannot be resolved "I don't think there is any issue that cannot be resolved with an open mind," the parliamentary affairs minister said.

On land issue, he said state governments, cutting across political spectrum, have expressed difficulties in acquiring land under the provisions of the Act of 2013.

"Based on such feedback, the government only wants to facilitate timely acquisition of land and that too for the purposes of infrastructure, affordable housing etc," Naidu said while justifying the Ordinance brought on the issue to amend the Act passed during the UPA rule.

"All of you will appreciate that there has been no change in the remuneration to be paid to farmers or the rehabilitation measures to be undertaken for the displaced people," he said.

He said opposition parties have the "legitimate right" to raise their concerns in the matter and the government has the responsibility of addressing their concerns.

"Parliament is the right forum to address such differences between the opposition and the government and to find a way forward... Let us understand each other so that the broader objective of infrastructure and economic development of the country is ensured while protecting the interests of the farmers," said Naidu, who also holds the portfolio of Urban Development.

The opposition parties, however, seemed to be unimpressed.

Vowing to oppose the move to amend the Land Act, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said "it will be a fight to the finish".

INLD leader Dushyant Chautala said the amendment bill should be sent to the Standing Committee for closer scrutiny.

Naidu had called the meeting to discuss with leaders of various parties the financial, legislative and other business to be taken up in both the Houses of the Parliament during the ensuing Budget session, an official release said.

The session is expected to be a stormy affair with the Modi dispensation facing the tough task to ensure passage of six bills replacing Ordinances in the face of stiff opposition in the Upper House.

The six bills on Ordinances have to be passed in the first half of the session which ends on March 20.

The NDA government is especially under pressure to legislate the Ordinances on insurance and the coal sectors so that the new systems could be put in place for attracting FDI in insurance and for auctioning of coal blocks.

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