Even as Finance Minister P. Chidambaram ruled out the possibility of referring the Banking Bill for the second time to the Standing Committee on Finance for further scrutiny, he expressed hope that the opposition BJP would cooperate in getting key economic reforms Bills passed in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.

“I have met and discussed all five economic reforms Bills with two leaders of opposition (Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley). I sincerely hope that the principal opposition party would cooperate. I have offered to meet them again,” the Finance Minister told reporters here. He said the BJP leaders understood the urgency for enactment of the reforms Bills.

Two bills — Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2011, and Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011 — have already been passed by the Lok Sabha. “I have got two passed in the Lok Sabha. One has gone to the Rajya Sabha,” he said.

The Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011, was taken up in the Lok Sabha on Monday, but no discussion could take place in view of protest by the opposition. The opposition parties, including BJP, demanded that the Bill be referred again to the Standing Committee on Finance. As per a clause inserted into the Bill, that paves way for Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue new banking licences, banks would be allowed to participate in commodity futures trading.

Keywords: Banking Bill

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