Monsoon Session: Govt hopes for passage of contentious Bills

UPA crisis managers in touch with Oppn,allies; wary of Mulayam reservations on food Bill

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi | Published: July 30, 2013 3:05 am

With less than a year left for the 15th Lok Sabha to complete its term,the UPA government’s managers are working overtime to ensure that the Monsoon Session of Parliament,which begins August 5,is among the most productive of the current House. Back-channel talks with leaders of opposition parties and important allies,who are not too enthused with some of the proposed legislations,are on.

The government hopes to see the passage of at least some of the contentious but important legislations. The government’s crisis managers are lear-nt to be in touch with leaders of the BJP to work out details.

Sources told The Indian Express that top-most in the list of Bills that the government wishes to get passed is the Bill to turn the National Food Security Ordinance,2012,into the Food Security Act. The government had promulgated the National Food Security Ordinance last month to provide for subsidised foodgrains to around 70 per cent of the country’s population every month.

Even though the BJP and many parties are on-board and are not likely to oppose the passage of the Bill,the government doesn’t want to take any chance,especially in view of some amendments being proposed to the ordinance as also the opposition voiced by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Failure to get the ordinance passed in Parliament could leave the government red-faced. Apart from the Food Security Ordinance,the government also has to get Parliament’s nod for the Securities Law Amendment Ordinance,2013,which empowers the Securities and Exchange Board of India to regulate Ponzi chit fund schemes and the Readjustment of Representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Ordinance,2013 — which allows the Election Commission to reserve or de-reserve constituencies meant for SCs and STs without waiting for delimitation.

The government also seeks Parliament nod to the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance,2013,which paved the way for an elected body to replace the government-appointed Board of Governors to head the medical regulator and,lastly,the SEBI Amendment Ordinance 2013,which sitting or retired judges of a high court with a minimum seven years service as a judge of high court to be appointed to the post of Presiding Officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal.

Under the Constitution,an ordinance promulgated by the President has to be passed by both Houses within six weeks of Parliament’s first sitting. While the government has the power to re-promulgated an ordinance again after the Session ends,this is a course which no government would like to take,especially with elections scheduled to be held in less than a year.

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