Parliament expected to see lot of work in budget session

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 20 (PTI) With the issue of JPC into the2G spectrum scam resolved, the budget session of Parliamentbeginning tomorrow is expected to see a lot of work includingthe Budget, as against the washout of the winter session.

The shadow of the winter session, which saw the longestshutdown of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, is no longerlooming large over the budget session given the signals by thegovernment indicating formation of a Joint ParliamentaryCommittee.

Faced with a rash of scams, Prime Minister ManmohanSingh, Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee andParliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal have givensignals that the government was ready to go the extra mile onthe JPC issue and a decision will be taken by Wednesday.

Before the formal announcement about the probe, the talkin opposition circles has turned to the nitty-gritty of theJPC at a time the government appeared to rule out widening itsambit to cover other scandals, a demand by the BJP.

After indications emerged that the UPA government mayagree to formation of the JPC to probe the 2G scam, an issuewhich had derailed the entire winter session of Parliament,BJP has been talking of inclusion of the Commonwealth Gamesscandal and the Adarsh Housing scam also in its ambit.

Government managers are making it known that unlike anydispensation in the past, it was pursuing the probe into thescandals relentlessly with one of the former cabinet ministerscooling his heels in Tihar, high and mighty in the businessworld being questioned and a chief minister being shown thedoor.

"Wrongdoers will be punished," is the refrain of theruling formation which is expected to utilise the presentationof the Union Budget 2011-12 on February 28 as an exercise toreach out to the common man, hit hard by the price rise.

While the Railway Budget 2011-12 will be presented onFebruary 25, the Economic Survey will be tabled on the sameday. The talk is that Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, beingprojected as the next West Bengal Chief Minister, will go thewhole hog in the exercise to placate rail passengers by nottinkering with the fares. (More) PTI SPG MS VSC DEP

The session will start tomorrow with the address of President Pratibha Patil to the joint sitting of the Lok Sabhaand the Rajya Sabha. The session will conclude on April 21because of Assembly elections in five states in early May.

There will be a three-week recess from March 16 to April 4.

There have been issues galore for the opposition rangingfrom the S-Band deal being dubbed by them as a mega scam tothe controversy over the appointment of P J Thomas as CVC.

The failure of the naxalite strategy as seen from theabduction of a collector in Orissa, the situation in J and Kas also the new revelation as regards investigations into theSamjhauta blast and the Malegaon blast are also likely to beraised by parties like Samajwadi Party.

BJP as well as Left party members are expected to raisethe issues of price rise, black money and petrol prices. Theissue of Tiranga yatra is also likely to be raised by BJP.

As many as 32 bills including the controversial CommunalViolence Bill, Press and Registration of Books andPublications Bill and the Land Acquisition (Amendment) billwill be introduced during the session.

The Press and Registration of Books and Publicationsbill has been dubbed as ''draconian'' by the Indian NewspaperSociety, a body of newspaper owners, which alleged that themeasure has been brought without consulting it.

Trinamool Congress, which is a key component of UPA, hasreservations about the Land Acquisition (amendment) bill asland acquisition is a ticklish issue in Assembly poll-boundWest Bengal.

The bill seeks to amend the land acquisition Act whoseprovisions have sparked controversy. It is being brought alongwith the Rehabilitation and Resettlement bill.

The Equal Opportunity bill, being brought as per therecommendations of the Sachar Committee which went into theplight of Muslims, had been a subject of controversy with anumber of ministries objecting to its overriding mandate,after which the government limited its scope only tominorities.

The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition)Amendment Bill and the Protection of Children from SexualOffences Bill are among other measures being introduced.

Women''s Reservation Bill, officially known as theConstitution (108 Amendment) bill, is among the 31 bills beingbrought for consideration and passage during the two-monthsession. The bill which has already been passed in the RajyaSabha, seeks to provide one-third reservation to women in theLok Sabha and the state assemblies.

Among the economic bills, the government proposes tointroduce the Constitution Amendment Bill to pave the way forintroduction of the long-awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The other important economic legislations slated to betaken up by the government in Parliament include the Companies(Amendment) Bill 2009 and the Chartered Accountants(Amendment) Bill 2010.

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