Modi hopes for productive winter session


Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a BJP rally in Borivali of Mumbai on Oct.12, 2014. (Photo: Sandeep Mahankal/IANS)Prime Minister Narendra Modi  expressed confidence that the winter session of parliament beginning  will be as productive as the budget session.

Addressing an all-party meeting convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minster M.Venkaiah Naidu here, he said his government will continue to talk to the opposition and other parties during the session.

Modi also his referred to his Independence Day speech in which he had sought to give credit for work done during the budget session to both the government and the opposition.

“Unitedly, all important issues can be taken forward,” he said. The meeting was attended by about 40 leaders from 26 parties. Trinamool Congress did not attend the meeting.

The winter session will continue till Dec 23 and will have 22 sittings.

Naidu told the meeting that the government will walk an extra mile to accommodate the concerns and suggestions of various parties to enable smooth functioning of two houses of parliament.

He made a specific reference to the need for early passing of Insurance Laws Amendment Bill that seeks to enhance FDI limit in insurance sector.

However, the bill is likely to face resistance.

Janata Dal-United leader K.C. Tyagi said after the meeting that the bill was being opposed by Samajwadi Party, Communist Party of India-Marxist, and the Trinamool apart from his own party.

“We have urged the Congress to take lead in opposing the bill,” Tyagi told IANS.

During the meeting, Naidu also said the government was keen to introduce Goods and Service Tax (GST) bill.

He gave details of 37 bills on the government’s agenda including the bills for introduction and those for consideration and passage. The bills relate to a series of issues including promotion of investments, improving ease of doing business, cooperatives, strengthening of regional rural banks, higher education, imposing stiffer penalties on hijackers, replacing coal ordinance and promoting ethical practices in bio-medical and health research on humans.

Urging members to cooperate in the passage of the bills, Naidu said parliament needs to send out “a right message through appropriate legislations” in the context of “enhanced global interest in economic development of the country”.

He said that the prime minister has always desired that parliament functions in a bipartisan spirit to enhance the public perception about parliamentary institutions.

Naidu later described the meeting as “very positive and meaningful”.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ramvilas Paswan also attended the meeting, apart from the two Ministers of State for Parliamentary Affairs – Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

Leaders from Congress, Biju Janata Dal, Bahujan Samaj Party, Nationalist Congress Party, DMK, CPI-M, Communist Party of India and Shiv Sena were among those who attended the meeting.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that his party will raise the issue of black money during the session. He said the party will also press for passage of women’s reservation bill.