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Ahead of Parliament's Winter Session, PM Modi says G20 a huge opportunity for India

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The government plans to introduce 16 Bills during 17 sittings in the Winter Session of the Parliament, which begins today

New Delhi, Dec 07: In his customary address ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday talked about the importance of India's presidency of the G20 grouping and said expectations from India have gone up. He explained that India hosting the G20 summit, which will be held next year, is not merely a diplomatic event but also a chance to showcase the country's capabilities before the world.

Speaking to the media, PM Modi said, "It's the first day of Winter Session. This is important because we met before on 15th August. 75 years of Independence completed on 15th Aug and we are going ahead in Azadi ka Amrit Kaal. We are meeting at a time when India has received the opportunity to preside over the G20. The manner in which India has made a space in global community, the manner in which expectations on India have risen and the manner in which India is increasing its participation on the global platform, and at a time like this, India receiving the G20 Presidency is a huge opportunity.''

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures addresses the media at Parliament complex on the first day of the Winter Session, in New Delhi

The prime minister said he had a cordial discussion with leaders of different parties recently at an all-party meeting on G20 and expressed hope that it will be reflected in Parliament as well.

Parliament Winter Session: Price rise, India-China standoff on Oppn's agenda; Govt plans to Introduce 16 BillsParliament Winter Session: Price rise, India-China standoff on Oppn's agenda; Govt plans to Introduce 16 Bills

He also hoped the Winter Session will be productive while urging party leaders and floor managers to ensure that new members, particularly the younger lawmakers, are given adequate opportunities to participate in discussions and deliberations. "... Hopefully, we'll hear voices from Parliament that will showcase India's resilience. In this session, efforts should be made to take India to greater heights and find new ways of taking India ahead," he said.

The Prime Minister urged all political parties to give first-time MPs a chance to participate in debates for their bright future and also for preparing the next generation in democracy.

16 new Bills on government agenda

The government plans to introduce 16 Bills during 17 sittings in the session, while the Congress will seek to corner the government over a host of issues, including the situation on the border with China.

A day after the session starts, votes for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly polls will be counted. The outcome is likely to have a bearing on the proceedings whichever way the verdict goes as parties may use the verdict to corner rivals.

Exit polls had on Monday predicted a big majority for the BJP in Gujarat and a dead heat in Himachal Pradesh where most pollsters gave an edge to the ruling party over the Congress.

The Winter Session is also likely to be the last session to be held in the existing Parliament House.

PM Modi to dedicate 3 national Ayush institutes to nation on Dec 11PM Modi to dedicate 3 national Ayush institutes to nation on Dec 11

Outlining the issues that the Congress will raise, party general secretary Jairam Ramesh had said last week that the party would raise matters relating to the economic situation in the country, "weakening" of constitutional institutions and reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS). "There is tension between India and China for the last 22 months and there has been no discussion in Parliament on the issue. The Congress would want that the issue be discussed in Parliament," he said, as reported by PTI.

The Congress leader had also said that if the government is ready for a discussion, the party would extend constructive support to it. "But our experience in the past has been that there is no discussion and the government wants their issues to be discussed only. But, this is not possible." "The Opposition must have its say and the government will have its way," he said, citing an old saying.

Congress likely to oppose 3 Bills

The Congress will also raise the issue of high inflation and price rise, falling value of the rupee, falling exports and high Goods and Services Tax rates.

Out of the 17 Bills that the government has listed for consideration in the session, the Congress said it is opposed to three Bills -- the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022, and the Forest Conservation Amendment Bill, 2022. "We want these Bills to be sent to standing committees. There is a need for more discussion on these Bills and the Congress cannot support them in their current form," he had said.

Rahul Gandhi is unlikely to attend the session in view of the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Among the 16 new Bills the government plans to introduce is one which seeks to increase accountability and reform electoral process in multi-state cooperative societies.

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