National

Congress to corner government on fuel price hike

A view of Parliament House in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

The Congress will be moving an adjournment motion demanding a debate on the rising fuel prices in both houses of Parliament, on the first day of the second part of the Budget session on Monday.

 

“The rising fuel prices are impacting every person. If the middle class is feeling the pinch because of the increase in their monthly transport budgets, the poor are also affected with the cascading effect of fuel price hike on essential commodities. The government needs to give a cogent explanation on why it has failed to control these prices for so long,” Lok Sabha chief whip of Congress Kodikunnil Suresh told The Hindu.

 

The Congress is also in touch with the allies to have a joint opposition effort on the issue. The Opposition benches, however, will be severely whittled down since the Assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pudducherry. Many TMC, DMK and Left MPs will be skipping the majority of the session.

 

The government has informally approached the opposition seeking to curtail the session within two weeks owing to the campaign for the assembly elections. The issue was discussed at a strategy meeting chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi. West Bengal state unit head Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary did propose that the Congress should agree to redirect the manpower to election bound states, but his advice was rejected.

“The State elections alone should not be the reason to curtail the Parliament. If we agree once, the government will use it as an excuse for all ensuing sessions," a senior Congress party member said.

 

The opposition parties are also likely to protest against the new IT rules that seeks to give greater control to the government on social media and regulate the Over The Top platforms. The farmers’ agitation, which has now completed 100-days, will once again be raised during the session, since the stalemate between the farmer’s groups and the government continues.

 

In the first part of the Budget session that started on January 29, nearly 20 opposition parties had boycotted the President’s address, in support of the demand of the protesting farmers for the repeal of the three farm laws. Lok Sabha failed to function for four consecutive days over the issue.

 

Focus of the government in the second part of the session is to get the various demands for grants for the year 2021-22 passed along with the Finance Bill which carries various tax proposals.

 

Besides these mandatory agendas, the government has listed various bills for passage in the session which concludes on April 8. Some of the bills listed by the government include the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill, Electricity (Amendment) Bill, Crypto currency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 2:32:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/second-part-of-parliaments-budget-session-from-monday/article34011369.ece

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