Legislative agenda ready, but will politics play spoilsport?

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Published: November 24, 2014 1:29:00 AM

Parliament’s Winter session starting today presents an opportunity for the Modi government...

Parliament’s Winter session starting today presents an opportunity for the Modi government to undertake legislative action for much-needed economic reforms, although the ruling alliance’s inadequate strength in the Rajya Sabha could be a roadblock if the Opposition pursues an obstructionist agenda. The NDA in the Rajya Sabha has only 55 members (including Shiv Sena), and it will take a while before its recent electoral gains reflect fully in its strength in the Upper House.

Among likely Bills for passage is n Coal Mines Special Provision Bill, 2014, that needs to replace a recent Ordinance that outlined how captive coal blocks that were cancelled by the SC would be re-allocated, and paved the way for introduction of commercial coal mining in the private sector

Also to be tabled/pressed for passage
* Insurance (Laws) Amendment Bill that seeks to raise the limit of foreign holding in insurance companies to 49% from the current 26%
* Goods and Services Tax (Constitutional Amendment) Bill that proposes to give concurrent powers to both the Centre and states to tax transactions
* Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which envisages key labour reforms is unlikely to be passed in the winter session as the House panel report on the Bill tabled in the Budget session is still awaited
* It is unclear if proposed relaxations in the Land Acquisition Act will be carried out this session, as the government hasn’t come out with specific suggestions yet

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