Chidambaram doubtful about passage of key bills, PM hopes parties will set aside prejudices | india | Hindustan Times
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Chidambaram doubtful about passage of key bills, PM hopes parties will set aside prejudices

india Updated: Feb 05, 2014 13:45 IST
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Finance minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said it was doubtful if any key legislation, except for the Vote-on-Account, would be passed in the current session of Parliament which ends on February 21.

The session began today, but both Houses were disrupted owing to uproar over Telangana and Operation Bluestar in 1984, among other issues. Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day after the ruckus continued and Rajya Sabha will reconvene at 2pm.

"...I doubt whether it (Parliament) will pass any law. We have to go through the ritual of attending Parliament everyday and come back empty-handed," Chidambaram said, addressing students at a business conclave.

As many as 39 bills, including the Telangana bill and six anti-corruption legislations, are expected to be taken up during the second half of Parliament's Winter Session.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, however, hoped all sections would have the wisdom to set aside "prejudices" to ensure harmonious working of the session. He described the Telangan issue as vital, saying the government would present the bill aimed at creating the state despite rejection by the Andhra Pradesh assembly and MPs from Seemandhra.

The session, which is likely to see the passage of the interim Railway budget, will have 12 sittings between February 5 and 21. Crucial legislations such as Communal Violence Bill, Disability Bill, Women's Reservation Bill and other bills passed by one of the two Houses are also listed for passage.

Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath on Monday had appealed to all political parties not to disrupt the last session of the 15th Lok Sabha. But Sushma Swaraj, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and the leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, had dubbed the legislations lined up as Congress vice-president 'Rahul Gandhi's agenda' in the run-up to the 2014 general elections.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Chidambaram said the Finance Bill, Vote-on-Account and Appropriation Bill would be passed.

"...but if it is passed without debate or discussion, I won't be happy. I want it to pass with discussion and debate."

Responding to a query on cut in prices of CNG and PNG ahead of the general elections, Chidambaram said the government had not given any sops, but had only rationalised some prices.

He added when he lays down office, he would leave a more stable economy than what it was two years ago.

Stressing that India has the potential to grow at 8-9% for next 20-30 years owing to its demographic advantages and resources, he said anything that came in the way of growth must be opposed.

India's economic growth estimate for the fiscal 2012-13 has been revised downward to 4.5%, a decade-low, from earlier projection of 5%. In the current fiscal too, the Reserve Bank expects the GDP growth to be below 5%.

(With PTI and ANI inputs)