Stage set for a stormy Monsoon session


With the government set to introduce 17 new Bills, the Opposition plans to seek tough question about inflation, fuel price hike, Covid mismanagement, and the border issue with China, reports Asian Lite News

The stage is set for a stormy Monsoon session of the Parliament which will commence from tomorrow (July 19) and last till August 13.

The session comes amid Covid-19 pandemic affecting Parliament sessions since March 2020, forcing early closure of last year’s budget and monsoon sessions and this year’s budget session. The 2020 winter session was skipped altogether due to the public health crisis. The high rate of vaccination among the lawmakers and Parliament staff improves chances of a longer Parliament session and higher productivity. More than 40 bills and five ordinances are pending before Parliament.

Power-packed schedule

The government is set to introduce 17 new Bills in the session, which includes changes in the Insolvency and Bank­ruptcy Code (IBC) — replacing the Ordinance enabling prepackaged resolution schemes for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and allowing corporate debtors to propose a resolution plan for the stressed company.

Besides, the Centre will also introduce the Deposit Insurance Bill, increase insurance cover to Rs 5 lakh.

However, the much-awaited cryptocurrency Bill has been delayed and is not listed in the Lok Sabha Bulletin of the session.

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 (Crypto Bill), was earlier listed for the Budget Session but couldn’t be tabled as the session was truncated because of the second wave of Covid-19. How­ever, sources said the government is yet to finalise the contours of the Bill and is still evaluating the framework.

Of the 17 new bills lined up for the session are amendments in Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Act, the Electricity Act and the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, apart from others.

The new bills that the Centre listed for introduction, consideration and passing are The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Amendment Bill, 2021; The Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Cantonment Bill, 2021; The Indian Antarctica Bill, 2021; The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Indian Institute of Forest Management Bill, 2021; The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment)Bill, 2021; The Indian Marine Fisheries Bill, 2021; The Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021; The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021; and The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021.

Opposition draws the sword

Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has reconstituted the party’s parliament groups for both houses for effective functioning of the party. Putting all speculation to rest, Sonia Gandhi has let Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury stay as leader of the party in the Lok Sabha.

The Congress has decided to raise issues of inflation, fuel price hike, Covid mismanagement, and the border issue with China in the upcoming Monsoon session.

The party strategy group for Parliament, chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi, met on Wednesday evening and the party is of the view that it should raise the Rafale issue after the recent development in France, where a probe in alleged kickbacks has been initiated.

Coordination with other opposition parties has been entrusted to Rajya Sabha leader Mallikarjun Kharge as the party wants joint opposition strategy in the house to corner the government.

Congress leader P. Chidambaram, addressing the media had said on Tuesday: “Congress party will raise the issue of high inflation in the forthcoming session of Parliament and demand a full discussion on the subject as well as substantial relief for the people of India.”

Pawar politics

Ahead of monsoon session, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday and talked for about 50 minutes, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“Rajya Sabha MP Shri Sharad Pawar met PM Narendra Modi,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.

The meeting took pace amid reports over fissures in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government in Maharashtra. On July 13, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had said that he has always been against the Congress and the NCP politically.

The Congress party and Sharad Pawar’s NCP are part of the MVA and allies of Thackeray’s Shiv Sena.

Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar

“Politically, I have been against Congress and the NCP, but this does not mean that I will call their good work in the government wrong. Neither I nor Balasaheb Thackeray thought this,” Uddhav Thackeray said.

Further, it has been observed that Sena has been seen warming up to the BJP – its former alliance partner. Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that the BJP and Sena are “not enemies”, the two parties only have a difference of opinions.

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