Monsoon session begins tomorrow

Monsoon session begins tomorrow - Sakshi Post

A heavy agenda including the ordinance on the Food Security Bill awaits the Monsoon session of Parliament beginning tomorrow amid expectations that the short sitting will be more businesslike and smooth as compared to the din and dust in the last few sessions.

However, the decision on separate Telangana could cast a a shadow on the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in the first few days with members from Andhra Pradesh agitated over the move likely to create uproar.

Several members from the Seemandhra region belonging to Congress and TDP have tendered their resignations in protest against the decision, but they have not been accepted and Congress leadership is attempting to persuade its MPs and ministers not to take extreme action.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already sought Opposition's cooperation in the passage of the legislative business including the most important ordinance on food security bill. Promising to discuss all issues raised by the Opposition, Singh has hoped that the session which will conclude on August 30 will be very constructive and productive. There has not been any assurance from the Opposition.

Only yesterday, Finance Minister P Chidambaram reached out to BJP for support to key reform bills on opening up the insurance and pension sector, but failed to get assurance. Chidambaram had a discussion with BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Yashwant Sinha on the financial bills that have been listed for consideration during the session.

The BJP leaders agreed to support routine and necessary financial business but indicated that the party will continue to oppose further opening of the insurance and pension sectors to foreign direct investment (FDI). Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, has demanded a debate on the current economic situation in the backdrop of the declining rupee, rising prices and slowing GDP growth.

As many as some 40 bills have been listed for consideration and passage in the session, which will have only 12 working days and government has expressed readiness to extend the session if need be.

Several notices have been given for discussion on various issues ranging from Chinese incursions, infiltration from across the border, mid-day meal tragedy in Bihar and Tamil Nadu fishermen issue. Government has already agreed for a discussion on the flash floods in Uttarakhand, which led to a massive tragedy in the hilly state as also a debate on economic situation. Besides the insurance and pension bills, the economic agenda for the monsoon session includes the Companies Bill, Direct Taxes Code Bill and changes in the SEBI law.

During the session, the Opposition is expected to raise the issue of government further easing FDI norms in various sectors and press for detailed debates on the matter. The government earlier this week decided to raise FDI caps in sectors such as telecom (from 74 per cent 100 per cent), power exchanges, petroleum and natural gas sector and courier services, besides easing sourcing and investment norms for multi-brand retailing. Government managers have already expressed their readiness to discuss any issue which may agitate the opposition. We are not shying away from discussing any issue, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Rajiv Shukla said.

As demands for new states rose in various regions including the demand for Gorkhaland in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress has demanded that the Home Minister issue a statement that no other state would be created.


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