Narendra Modi govt’s reforms bills in trouble as Opposition vows to stall Parliament

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New Delhi | Published: November 24, 2014 9:39:36 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's key reforms legislations, like the bills on insurance...

The opposition is likely to create hurdles in the passage of key legislations in the Upper House, including the labour reform bill. PTIThe opposition is likely to create hurdles in the passage of key legislations in the Upper House, including the labour reform bill. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s key reforms legislations, like the bills on insurance, GST and labour, are in for trouble as opposition parties were today trying to join forces to create hurdles in Parliament, which will have its first working day tomorrow.

Opposition parties like Trinamool Congress and JD-U are also seeking to corner the government on the issue of black money as they gave notice for suspension of Question Hour in Rajya Sabha tomorrow to discuss this issue.

The opposition is likely to create hurdles in the passage of key legislations in the Upper House, including the labour reform bill, that has been listed for consideration and passage tomorrow.

The Winter session started today but no work was transacted as both Houses were adjourned after paying tributes to sitting members who have passed away recently.

Keeping government on tenterhooks, Congress said there is “no blank cheque” on support to Insurance Bill and Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill as “devil lies in the details”.

Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said GST is “entirely a Congress baby” and in principle it has “no reason to jettison” it. However, it is “subject to nitty gritty” as his party is not aware whether the bill is brought in the same form as was done by the UPA, he added.

About the Insurance Bill that provides for raising FDI cap to 49 per cent from 26 per cent, Singhvi remained non-committal, saying “it is dangerous to speak in abstract”.

To a specific question on whether the Congress will accept the recommendations of the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha which is examining the Insurance Bill, he said, “Parliamentary panel reports are not binding on Parliament, either the ruling party or the Opposition. Parliament is supreme.”

JD(U) and Trinamool are also opposing and trying to forge unity on the issue.

JD-U leader K C Tyagi said his party is against the Insurance Bill and has certain reservations on some provisions of the labour reform bills.

He said efforts are on to put up a united opposition in the Upper House on certain key issues and talks are on between various parties including the Left in this regard.

Trinamool Congress is also strongly opposed to the Insurance Bill.

BSP chief Mayawati, on the other hand, hinted that her party may not “unnecessarily” oppose the bill to hike FDI cap in insurance sector in Rajya Sabha.

The Insurance Bill is currently with the Select Committee of Parliament. Two BJP members — J P Nadda and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi — are out of the Committee since they have become ministers and their vacancies are to be filled tomorrow.

The motion to nominate replacements to them in the committee is expected to face rough weather in the wake of protests by Trinamool Congress, JD-U and others opposing the hike in FDI in insurance sector.

In a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of Rajya Sabha, government today expressed its keenness to get the labour reform bills passed in the Upper House during the week.

JD-U member K C Tyagi and Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien gave the notice to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari for suspension of Question Hour tomorrow to discuss black money issue. Some others are likely to follow.

“Black money was one of the key poll planks in the Lok Sabha elections on which BJP won, but the government has done nothing on this count in the last few months since it came to power. We want a threadbare discussion on this. I have given a notice on behalf of JD-U for a discussion on the issue after suspension of Question Hour tomorrow,” Tyagi said.

The government has listed the Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by certain Establishments) Amendment Bill, 2011, and the Apprentices (Amendment) Bill, 2014 for consideration and passage in the Upper House.

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