With decks looking clear for the rest of Parliament's monsoon session, UPA floor managers have prioritised the government's legislative agenda with food bill at the top.
The monsoon session is widely seen as the last effective chance of the UPA to pass key bills before the next general elections. In what is clearly reflective of the government's target, Lok Sabha's list of legislative business has placed the land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement bill right after the food security bill.
While sustaining the momentum on the social sector welfare schemes, the UPA is also keen to push a few more financial sector reforms through the legislative route. The amendments to the Sebi Act and the long-pending pension fund (PFRDA) bill are pitched as the top issues for the session and the list of business indicates that the government wishes to take these two issues soon after the passage of the two landmark social bills.
Ironically, no key anti-corruption bills, including the much-touted Lokpal bill is on the UPA's radar. Six key bills related to measures to tackle various forms of graft, are pending before the two houses. But with limited time available, the UPA's political managers clearly want to showcase their pro-people social initiatives and put the economy back in order before other issues.
But talks are going on within the ruling quarters to extend the session for a few days. Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar has said that she is unhappy over the lack of work during the session: "We have so much before us, so many bills, legislative business, so many discussions under 193 calling attention; we have not been able to take it up, and I am very disturbed and upset about it," she said last week.