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Govt to push for finance bill, Opposition remains defiant

The Opposition , however, remained defiant, stating that the Centre was trying to shy away from holding a debate on important issues like the Panjab National Bank (PNB) fraud

india Updated: Mar 12, 2018 23:11 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Finance Bill,Parliament,NDA
New Delhi, India- Feb 01, 2018: A view of Parliament during the Parliament Budget 2018-19 session at Parliament House in New Delhi, India on Thursday, February 01, 2018. (Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

The government is likely to adopt an aggressive stance and push for the passage of the finance bill in Parliament if the ongoing logjam was not resolved soon, leaders familiar with the matter said.

The Opposition , however, remained defiant, stating that the Centre was trying to shy away from holding a debate on important issues like the Panjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.

The second half of the budget session has witnessed frequent disruptions, which has stalled parliamentary proceedings.

According to two Union ministers, the Opposition was being “unreasonable” in not letting the House function and hold the constitutional requirement of the passage of the budget.

“If the situation does not improve in few days, the government may have no option but to push for the passage of the finance bill without a debate on demands for grants of the selected ministries,” one of the two ministers quoted above said.

But an unrelenting Opposition blamed the government for the disruptions, saying that the onus of ensuring Parliament’s functioning was on the ruling side.

The Congress remained adamant on holding discussions on the PNB fraud and said there was no attempt on part of the government to reach out to the Opposition. The main opposition party said it was ready to cooperate in the Parliament provided the ruling side came up with an acceptable proposal.

“We are ready to cooperate provided our adjournment notice for a discussion on the banking fraud is accepted,” leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said.

The BJP has issued a three-line whip to its members to remain present in Parliament during the week. Party’s floor managers said the directive was aimed at ensuring total attendance of its MPs in case of voting on the finance bill.

The ruling side has the required numbers in the Lok Sabha to get the bill passed, but is short of a majority in the Rajya Sabha. “We tried to accommodate the Opposition by accepting the Congress’ demand to debate the banking irregularities before taking up the finance bill. Last week was a complete washout and we may be running short of time for the legislative agenda of the government,” another minister said.

But the Congress claimed that the government had failed in addressing the concerns of the southern parties, which have been disrupting the proceedings since the commencement of the second part of the budget session.

While the TDP and the YSR Congress Party have been demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh, the AIADMK and the DMK seek formation of the Cauvery water management board.

First Published: Mar 12, 2018 23:11 IST