The budget session of Parliament, which begins on Monday, will see the Opposition attempting to corner the government on its handling of price rise and internal security.
The Left parties are opposed to the move to introduce the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, while the Bharatiya Janata Party has flagged talks with Pakistan talks as an issue of concern, which it wants to be discussed on Thursday, day of the talks itself. Both sides have also given indications of taking up the revised fertilizer policy, which they feel will be detrimental to farmers’ interests.
On price rise, the government has indicated its willingness to concede the Opposition demand for discussing it on Tuesday, ahead of the discussion on the motion of thanks to the President’s Address. A final decision will be taken at a leaders’ meeting on Monday.
“We are prepared to discuss any issue. If they [the Opposition] are very particular on the price rise discussion, we may consider it,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said.
However, the Opposition has warned that if the government does not yield to its demand, it will move an adjournment motion. While the Left parties took the decision on Saturday, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) arrived at the same strategy at its meeting on Sunday evening.
Besides price rise, the Opposition will also try to corner the government on its handling of terrorism and violence following the Pune blast, the Telangana agitation and the continued killing of security personnel by Maoists.
On the BJP’s specific demand for a discussion on the day of India-Pakistan talks itself, the government maintained that all issues cannot get precedence over the motion of thanks.
The Opposition need not insist on separate discussions on all issues because the motion of thanks provided ample opportunity to air views on every subject of governance, sources in the government said.
In all, 36 Bills are listed for introduction. The Left parties will oppose the move to introduce the Nuclear Liability Bill, an essential precondition for entry of companies of the United States in the civil nuclear sector.
NDA seeks clarification
The NDA also wants the government to clarify whether the Bill was being piloted under the U.S.’ pressure. The government is most keen to have this passed as quickly as possible in order not to deny U.S. nuclear power companies an opportunity to enter India.
Divided into two halves, the first part of the budget session will see the President’s address, the railway and general budgets besides presentation of the Economic Survey and the Finance Commission’s report. It will be followed by a general discussion on both the budgets.
The government plans to make a suo motu statement on Australia and acquaint Parliament with the India-Pakistan talks.