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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Will parliament conduct its legislative business?

Will parliament conduct its legislative business?

With 71 bills in the pipeline and a host of pressing issues engaging the nation's attention, all eyes will be on the month-longmonsoon session of parliament that begins on Monday. 

The government has said it plans to introduce 34 key bills and take up 37 for passing, hoping the legislative business of parliament will not be disrupted like previous sessions on one flimsy pretext or another. 

Though the Lokpal bill is slated for introduction Wednesday, there is little chance of its being passed by the Aug 15 deadline set by GandhianAnna Hazare. This is because it would have to be referrred to a select committee to enable political parties across the spectrum state their views on the measure. On its part, the government has said it hopes this process would be completed in August itself so that the bill is passed before the parliament session ends September 8. 

However, Hazare's decision to go on another fast from Aug 16 may impact parliament's functioning. 

Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal has called upon all the parties to ensure a smooth session, butBharatiya Janata Party (BJP) deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha S.S. Ahluwalia has given enough signals of the storm ahead. 

He said the party would seek a discussion on price rise and corruption under clauses which entail voting. 

Jailed former communication minister A. Raja's attempt in a trial court to shift the blame in the spectrum allocation case to Prime MinisterManmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram can also lead to a sticky situation. 

With both the Congress and the BJP tained by major corruption charges, the exit of Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa will give the Congress enough fodder to counter the opposition offensive on corruption. 

Political analyst Baalji Sharma feels that the monsoon session will test the strength and unity of the UPA, which is trying to recover from the corruption scandals. 

"The focus will be particularly on Manmohan Singh, who arrives in the house with a new, reshuffled team of ministers," Sharma said. 

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj has said the BJP will raise the issue of internal security, especially the Mumbai blasts and the Maoist violence. 

The introduction of two other key bills - on land acquisition and food security - is still uncertain as the government is in the process of eliciting public response on their drafts. 

The passage of the women's reservation bill in the Lok Sabha is also uncertain as a consensus has not been reached on the landmark legislation, which was passed in March 2010 by the Rajya Sabha.

''Too many skeletons in Opposition cupboard'': PM

PTI | 06:07 PM,Jul 31,2011

New Delhi, Jul 31 (PTI) Confrontation appears imminent in the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning tomorrow with a combative Prime Minister Manmohan Singh telling the opposition bluntly of having "too many skeletons in its cupboard", a remark that raised the hackles of the BJP."We are not afraid of discussing issues of corruption.The opposition also has too many skeletons in its cupboard. We are not afraid of discussing any issue," Singh told reporters after an all party meeting convened by Speaker Meira Kumar on the eve of the Monsoon Session.Singh's remark came in response to a question whether the government was apprehensive of a tough session ahead in view of the Left and the Right making common cause on the issue of corruption and price rise.Virtually accepting Singh's challenge, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj dared the government declaring "let us see who attacks whom from tomorrow".She also accused Singh of starting a confrontation even before the start of the five-week long session."See he has started it. The government is free to bring out all the arrows in its quiver. Let us see who has more arrows in its quiver," she countered.With the BJP and the Left set to mount pressure on the 2G issue, Singh sought to take the sting out of Opposition attack, saying Parliament should not "pre-judge" it as the matter was before court."The matter is before court. It should be left to be decided by the court and Parliament should not pre-judge the issue," he said.The session is expected to be tumultuous with the Opposition raring to have a go at the government on a host of issues ranging from corruption and price rise to Telangana and terrorism. .


CURRENT AFFAIRS 
PARLIAMENT: MONSOON SESSION

Government on guard as Opposition armed with over a dozen issues

Scams, violence, inflation, corruption, black money, land acquisition, Mumbai blasts and Telangana on the top of the agenda

Iftikhar Gilani
New Delhi

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has convened a meeting of leaders of parties on Sunday at noon to prepare for a six-week Monsoon Session of Parliament from Monday that promises to be stormy with the Opposition armed with over a dozen issues.

She is also expected to take a decision on Sunday on the resignations by 13 MPs of Andhra Pradesh, including nine from the Congress and two each from TDP and Telangana Rashtra Samithi, in support of the demand for a separate Telangana state. Resignations of MPs and MLAs have already put the government on spot to decide the contentious issue expeditiously.

Continuing price rise, corruption, black money, land acquisition, 13/7 Mumbai blasts, Telangana, rail accidents, black gold (coal) scam and Maoist violence are among the issues on the top of the Opposition's agenda. The main opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is gunning for dismissal and arrest of Home Minister P Chidambaram, citing what it claims as "revelations" made by arrested former Telecom Minister A Raja on Chidambaram's alleged role in the 2G scam. Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy went to the extent of alleging that Chidambaram got a cut of Rs 5,000 crores from Raja in the scam.

The BJP is targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well in the 2G scam while the Congress is geared up to assert that its removal of BS Yeddyurappa as the Karnataka chief minister will not be enough as even the BJP headquarters and national leaders have been beneficiary of the illegal iron ore mining scam.

WOMEN'S RESERVATION: The Speaker convened two meetings of floor leaders last month for a consensus on the Women's Reservation Bill but without success while Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has been vowing to get it passed during the Monsoon Session.

The Bill granting 33 per cent reservation to women in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies was passed by the Rajya Sabha on March 9 last year. Bansal also said the Lokpal Bill, cleared by the Cabinet on Thursday, will be the first official Bill to be introduced on August 3. It will be then referred to the Standing Committee to examine it and get feedback of the public and concerned people before it is brought back for passage, possibly during the winter session in November-December.

FLAGSHIP BILL: The government has readied its yet another flagship Food Security Bill, Communal Violence Bill and the Lokpal Bill to be introduced during the session and push for passage of three other key legislations of Women's Reservation Bill that was practically abandoned after it were passed by the Rajya Sabha last year, the Nuclear Liability Bill and the Direct Tax Code Bill to replace the Income Tax Act and the 115th Constitution Amendment Bill to usher in the new Goods and Service Tax (GST).

The Land Acquisition Bill was also in the government's priority list for introduction during the monsoon session, but Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh got it deferred to give him time to hold a month-long consultation with the state governments and also seek public opinion by mounting the draft on Internet. He sought time on the ground that it is going to be a landmark Bill that will for the first time bring land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement in a singled integrated law.

The UPA-II government had started its innings declaring eight important Bills in its 100-day agenda but only Right to Education (RTE) has won parliamentary approval. In the budget session agenda, the government had announced 34 Bills but only five could be passed besides the financial bills related to the Union Budget and the Railway Budget. A staggering number of 81 official Bills have piled up in Parliament and it is doubtful that 26 sittings planned in the monsoon session will be enough to reduce this backlog of the pending bills. The Government finds itself handicapped in pushing through these bills in earlier sessions because of most business hours lost in protests and adjournments.

THE 25-YEAR-OLD BILL: Among the pending bills is one of 1987 hanging for almost a quarter of century with change of ten governments and election of eight new Lok Sabhas. It seeks changes in the Medical Council of India.

Crucial among the pending Bills is the pension bill whose delay is most disturbing since the pension fund and its regulator are already in place but without statutory backing. For that matter, at least 10 key financial sector reform Bills are pending for Parliament's approval. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee expressed confidence while talking to a select group of reporters here last week that some of these bills "should be able to get through in the forthcoming session" thogh he was quick to add, "I cannot say how many."

Investors are keenly awaiting the fate of several financial sector legislations. The string of scandals in the past one year led to a policy paralysis and stalled legislative business as the government has been caught up fending off allegations of corruption.

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill brought in 2008 to hike FDI (foreign direct investment) in the insurance companies from 26 to 49 per cent is not yet cleared by the standing committee on finance as it is pressing the government to better withdraw it.

While the standing committee is yet to finalise its views on this Bill, it held its first meeting on Thursday to discuss the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill, 2011 and is understood to have asked the finance ministry some tough questions on its intentions regarding the pension sector. "Neither of the Bills will be ready for discussion in the Monsoon session as the committee is still working on them," a source revealed. However, the panel, is likely to finalise its report on the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011, which seeks to raise the ceiling on voting rights of shareholders of nationalised banks to 10 per cent. Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily is likely to push for passage of a new Companies Bill he had readied, the Bill promises that running a business in India will not be difficult any more.

BILLS FOR INTRODUCTION

1. The Lokpal Bill, 2011.

2.The National Food Security Bill, 2011.

3. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2011.

4.The Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2011

5.The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill, 2011

6.The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2011.

7.The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2011

8.The Agriculture Bio-Security Bill, 2011.

9.The Nuclear Regulatory Authority Bill, 2011

10.The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 2011.

11.The Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2011.

12.The Electronic Service Delivery Bill, 2011.

13.The Warehousing Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2011.

14.The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2011.

15.The Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2011.

16.The Indian Stamp (Amendment) Bill, 2011

17.The National Commission for Human Resources for Health Bill, 2011

18.The Customs Law (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2011

19.The Boarder Security Force (Amendment) Bill, 2011

20.The National Academic Depository (Amendment) Bill, 2011.

21.The National Council for Higher Education and Research Bill, 2011

22.The Universities for Innovation Bill, 2011

23.The Press and Registration of Books and Publications Bill, 2010

24.The Inter State Migrant Workmen [Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service] (Amendment) Bill, 2011.

25.The Administrator's General (Amendment) Bill, 2011

26.The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011.

27.The Emigration Management Bill, 2011

28.The Damodar Valley Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2011

29.The Passengers Security Bill, 2011

30.The Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development Bill, 2011

31.The National Sports Development Bill, 2011

32.Bill relating to Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement.

BILLS FOR INTRODUCTION, CONSIDERATION AND PASSING

1. The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2011 – To replace an Ordinance

2.The Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing, Kancheepuram Bill, 2011– To replace an Ordinance

BILLS FOR CONSIDERATION AND PASSING

1. The Seeds Bill, 2004.

2.The Constitution (One Hundred and Eleventh Amendment) Bill, 2009.

3. The Pesticides Management Bill, 2008.

4.The Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

5. The Chartered Accountants (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

6.The Cost and Works Accountants (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

7. The National Commission for Heritage Sites Bill, 2009.

8.The State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks Laws) Amendment Bill, 2009.

9. The Coinage Bill, 2011, as passed by Lok Sabha

10.The Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Pudducherry (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

11. The Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Bill, 2009.

12.The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Bill, 2010.

13. The New Delhi Municipal Council (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

14.The Orissa (Alteration of Name) Bill, 2011 (as returned by Rajya Sabha with amendments)

15. The Constitution (One Hundred Thirteenth Amendment) Bill, 2011 (as returned by Rajya Sabha with amendments)

16.The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Amendment Bill, 2010.

17. The Educational Tribunals Bill, 2010.(as passed by Lok Sabha)

18.The Institute of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2011. (as passed by Lok Sabha)

19. The Architects (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

20.The National Institute of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2010

21.The Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

22.The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

23. The National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

24.The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Amendment Bill, 2010.

25. The Constitution (One Hundred and Fourteenth Amendment) Bill, 2010.

26.The Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2010. (as passed by Rajya Sabha)

27.The Commercial Division of High Courts Bill, 2009. (as passed by Lok Sabha)

28.The Constitution (One Hundred and Tenth Amendment) Bill, 2009.

29. The Constitution (One Hundred and Twelfth Amendment) Bill, 2009.

30.The Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition of Right to User in Land) Amendment Bill, 2010.

31. The Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Amendment Bill, 2008.

32.The Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research Bill, 2010.

33. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2010.

34.The Chemical Weapons Convention (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

35. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2007.

Financial Business

1.Discussion and Voting on First Supplementary Demands for Grants (General) for the year 2011-2012.

2.Discussion and Voting on Supplementary Demands for Grants (Railways) for 2011-12.

Iftikhar Gilani is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.com. 
iftikhar@tehelka.com

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main50.asp?filename=Ws300711Government.asp

Full coverage

Will parliament conduct its legislative business?

Economic Times - ‎5 hours ago‎
NEW DELHI: With 71 bills in the pipeline and a host of pressing issues engaging the nation's attention, all eyes will be on the month-longmonsoon session of parliament that begins on Monday. The government has said it plans to introduce 34 key bills ...

Opp ready to give Govt a stormy monsoon session

Indian Express - ‎10 hours ago‎
New Delhi: The Monsoon session of Parliament beginning tomorrow is expected to be stormy with the Opposition raring to have a go at the government on a host of issues ranging from corruption and price rise to Telangana and terrorism. ...

Cong apprehends tough monsoon session ahead

IBNLive.com - ‎21 hours ago‎
PTI | 10:07 PM,Jul 30,2011 New Delhi, July 30 (PTI) With issues like corruption and price rise expected to take the centre stage, Congress apprehends a difficult Monsoon session of Parliament beginning on Monday. A senior party leader, who declined to ...

Govt. to introduce Lokpal Bill in first week of Monsoon session

The Hindu - ‎Jul 30, 2011‎
The Lokpal Bill would be introduced in the first week of the Monsoon session of Parliament, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla said on Saturday. "The government will introduce the Lokpal Bill passed by the Cabinet in the ...

In monsoon session, all eyes on Lokpal Bill

Indian Express - ‎Jul 29, 2011‎
The government will introduce the Lokpal Bill in the Lok Sabha during the first week of the Monsoon Session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced on Friday. Bansal said the session was scheduled to begin on August 1 and he was ...

Govt lines up pending, new bills for Monsoon session

Times of India - ‎Jul 29, 2011‎
NEW DELHI: Political strife between the government and the Opposition and curtailed Parliament sessions are taking a heavy toll on UPA-II's legislative agenda, with 29 of 35 pending bills slated for the Monsoon session dating to 2010 or earlier even as ...

Lokpal Bill to lead a series of legislations in monsoon session

Livemint - Ruhi Tewari - ‎Jul 29, 2011‎
The anti-graft Lokpal Bill will lead a series of legislations that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government plans to introduce in the monsoon session of Parliament that starts Monday and runs for about a month. ...

Lok Pal Bill to be tabled next week

Business Standard - ‎Jul 29, 2011‎
The Lok Pal Bill will be introduced in the Lok Sabha by August 3 and it will be the government's endeavour to ensure its early passage in the month-long monsoon session itself, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters on Friday. ...

Ready to discuss all issues in session says PK Bansal

Moneycontrol.com - ‎Jul 29, 2011‎
Despite an impressive 32 new bills slated to be introduced in the upcoming monsoon session of parliament beginning August 1, the fact remains that crucial economic reforms including PFRDA bill and the GST constitutional amendment bill among others are ...

Crucial education bills to be tabled during monsoon session

IBNLive.com - ‎Jul 29, 2011‎
PTI | 09:07 PM,Jul 29,2011 New Delhi, July 29 (PTI) Three crucial bills on higher education, including one seeking to create an overarching regulatory body are set to be introduced in the Monsoon session of Parliament beginning Monday. on August 1. ...

Timeline of articles

Timeline of articles
Number of sources covering this story
Will parliament conduct its legislative business?
‎5 hours ago‎ - Economic Times
Govt lines up pending, new bills for Monsoon session
‎Jul 29, 2011‎ - Times of India

Full coverage

New Delhi Food law likely to be delayed

Hindustan Times - ‎Jul 29, 2011‎
Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has said he fully supports the proposed food security legislation, but without the right strategies, it could cook up a food fiasco in the long-term. Pawar's concerns — his ministry is responsible for ensuring farm ...

Sharad Pawar differs on Food Security Bill

NDTV.com - ‎Jul 29, 2011‎
New Delhi: NDTV has accessed a letter written by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh voicing his objections to some provisions in the Food Security Bill. In his letter, Mr Pawar has asked for direct cash transfer to ...

Food Security Bill likely to be tabled in December: Thomas

The Hindu - ‎Jul 28, 2011‎
The proposed National Food Security Bill aimed at providing foodgrains at subsidised price to the poor is likely to be introduced in Parliament by December this year, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Food KV Thomas said on Thursday. ...

Posted On Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 03:36:16 AM

Mumbai Mirror - Ajit Ranade - ‎Jul 29, 2011‎
In the coming monsoon session of Parliament, the government is expected to table a major bill, called the Food Security Bill. This is essentially an enactment of the Right to Food. During the UPA's first innings from 2004 to 2009, two landmark bills ...

Food Bill in Parliament by December; implementation next year, says Thomas

fnbnews.com - ‎Jul 28, 2011‎
The proposed National Food Security Bill for providing subsidised food grains to the poor is likely to be introduced in Parliament by December 2011, minister of state for consumer affairs and food KV Thomas said on Thursday. ...

Food Bill may be tabled in Parliament in December

Firstpost - ‎Jul 28, 2011‎
Chennai: The proposed National Food Security Bill is likely to be introduced in Parliament by December this year, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Food KV Thomas said today. The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) had approved the draft ...

AgriMin fails to stop Food Bill in tracks

Daily Pioneer - Seema Sindhu - ‎Jul 27, 2011‎
The Government is pushing ahead with the National Food Security Bill despite concerns raised by the Agriculture Ministry, which has cautioned that implementation of the Bill would alter crop pattern and require huge additional resources to increase ...

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Pranab to meet corporate bigwigs tomorrow

Hindu Business Line - ‎1 hour ago‎
The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee will meet top honchos of Corporate India on Monday to discuss policy steps that may be required to give a boost and a sense of direction to the faltering economy. Sluggish industrial growth and interest rate ...

Names of tax defaulters to be made public

IBNLive.com - ‎1 hour ago‎
PTI | 06:07 PM,Jul 31,2011 The committee will consider proposing a reward scheme for informants who supply information about such tax defaulters and which results into collection of the outstanding demands.The other point in the terms of reference is ...

Inflation too high, needs to be brought down to 5-5.5%: Pranab

IBNLive.com - ‎8 hours ago‎
PTI | 11:07 AM,Jul 31,2011 New Delhi, July 31 (PTI) Describing the present level of inflation as "too high and not acceptable", Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said efforts have to be made to bring it down to 5-5.5 per cent. ...

FM, leaders to meet tomorrow on steps to rejuvenate economy

Hindustan Times - ‎9 hours ago‎
PTI Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will meet leaders of Indian industry, including Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani and Sunil Bharti Mittal, on Monday as the government tries to tackle a sluggish economy amid spiralling inflation and high ...

CM slams Pranab over special package remarks

Indian Express - ‎12 hours ago‎
The first cracks in the ruling alliance here became visible when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Centre and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee of perpetuating the Left rule in the state for last 34 years. Mamata made this comment in ...

Ministers' discretionary powers to be cut: Pranab Mukherjee

Economic Times - ‎17 hours ago‎
NEW DELHI: A wide range of discretionary powers enjoyed by ministers in theUnion government are being abolished, finance ministerPranab Mukherjee said on Saturday. Mukherjee, who chaired a Group of Ministers on dealing with corruption, said that the ...

Ministers' discretionary powers face axe in war on graft: Pranab

Times of India - ‎17 hours ago‎
PTI | Jul 31, 2011, 03.03AM IST NEW DELHI: In a radical blueprint to tackle corruption, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee disclosed on Saturday that a wide range of discretionary powers enjoyed by ministers at the Centre are being abolished. ...

Details of black money flowing in: Pranab

The Hindu - ‎20 hours ago‎
Details of assets and payments received by Indian citizens in several countries have "started flowing in" and are being investigated, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Saturday. Information about wealth stashed away in Swiss banks by Indians ...

Timeline of articles

Timeline of articles
Number of sources covering this story
Pranab to meet corporate bigwigs tomorrow
‎1 hour ago‎ - Hindu Business Line
Abolishing discretionary powers of Ministers can curb corruption: Pranab
‎Jul 30, 2011‎ - The Hindu

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Parliament should not pre-judge 2G issue: PM Manmohan Singh
 Ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament, Prime MinisterManmohan Singh today sought to take the sting out of Opposition attack on the2G issue, saying Parliament should not "pre-judge" it as the matter is before courts. 

"The matter is before courts. It should be left to be decided by the court and Parliament should not pre-judge the issue," Singh told reporters on the sidelines of an all-party meeting convened by Speaker Meira Kumar. 

TheBJP has been gunning for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and home ministerP Chidambaram in the wake of former telecom minister A Raja's allegations against them in the 2G case. 

Opposition parties like theAIADMK have also demanded an explanation from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister as alsoCongress PresidentSonia Gandhi on Raja's charges in2G spectrum scam of "Himalayan proportions". 

On Anna Hazarae' threat to go on a fast from August 16 in protest against a "weak"Lokpal Bill, Singh said the Lokpal Bill's fate will be decided by Parliament. 

"As you know, we are ready with the Lokpal Bill. Lokpal Bill's fate will be decided by Parliament. In a democracy, Parliament is a sovereign body, it should be allowed to function and discharge its duty," he said. 

On Telangana MPs and MLAs resigning over the statehood demand, Singh hoped that the government would overcome the issue.

Monsoon session of Parliament: What lies ahead

Last updated on: July 29, 2011 08:11 IST
The monsoon session is another opportunity for Parliament
     Next
M R Madhavan 

There has been much criticism of politicians and Parliament by some activists. It is for parliamentarians to regain their moral legitimacy by carefully considering the legislative proposals and passing them. The next few weeks are an opportunity to do just that, says M R Madhavan.

The monsoon session of Parliament is scheduled to be held from August 1 to September 8. Parliament passed just five bills in the last two sessions.

Currently, 81 bills are pending with the two houses. In addition, some key bills such as the Lokpal Bill and the amendment to the land acquisition law are expected to be introduced this session. In this article, we focus on a few important bills related to corruption, taxation, and higher education.

M R Madhavan heads research at PRS Legislative Research, New Delhi

Please click NEXT to read further...


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The monsoon session is another opportunity for Parliament

Parliament to decide on Lokpal Bill: Manmohan Singh

NewsX - ‎2 hours ago‎
The PM says the Lokpal Bill will be decided upon by Parliament. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said this just ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament.

Keeping PM under Lokpal ambit not advisable: PM

Hindustan Times - ‎3 hours ago‎
PTI Bringing the office of Prime Minister under the ambit of lokpal would "not be advisable", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Sunday. Singh, who had earlier stated that he was not against the office of the Prime Minister being brought under the ...

CPI says it will bring amendment in Lokpal BIll

Economic Times - ‎3 hours ago‎
SRINAGAR: TheCommunist Party of India (CPI) today said it will bring an amendment in Parliament on inclusion of Prime Minister under the ambitLokpal Bill. "We will move an amendment in Parliament to include the Prime Minister in theLokpal Bill," ...

Allow the Parliament to function properly: PM

IBNLive.com - ‎5 hours ago‎
New Delhi: A day before the monsoon session of parliament is scheduled to start, a war of words broke out between the Opposition and the government. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed hope that the Opposition will allow Parliament to function, ...

Parliament should not pre-judge 2G issue: PM Manmohan Singh

Economic Times - ‎5 hours ago‎
NEW DELHI: Ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament, Prime MinisterManmohan Singh today sought to take the sting out of Opposition attack on the2G issue, saying Parliament should not "pre-judge" it as the matter is before courts. ...

Time not right for PM to visit Pakistan, feels govt

Hindustan Times - ‎20 hours ago‎
Two invitations in less than six months for Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan, but senior leaders in the Congress and government are of the view that the time is just not ripe for a prime ministerial visit. Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani ...

Oppn has skeletons in cupboard: PM

indiablooms - ‎4 hours ago‎
New Delhi, July 31 (IBNS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who on Sunday met President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil and held an all party meeting ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament from Monday, said the Opposition has skeletons in their cupboards as ...

Manmohan Singh Moves Into Quick Policy Decision Mode

Daijiworld.com - ‎5 hours ago‎
New Delhi, Jul 31 (IANS): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, working virtually round the clock with the minimum of sleep, has followed up the reshuffle of his cabinet with crucial policy decisions in the past few days to revamp the image of the ...


Lokpal Bill: Union Cabinet approves draft with PM, judiciary & lower bureaucracy out of ambit

NEW DELHI: TheUnion Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft of the Lokpal Bill, which keeps the Prime Minister,judiciary and lower bureaucracy out of the ambit of the corruption ombudsman and differing significantly from the version of the bill floated by civil society activists led by Anna Hazare. The Lokpal Bill, an effort to rein in the pervasive corruption in public life, was first floated in the late 60s, but failed to become law despite successive attempts. 

The United Progressive Alliance government was forced to move swiftly after public sentiment rallied behind a campaign started by activist Anna Hazare, who went on a fast-unto-death demanding the implementation of the bill. 

The government's announcement of the provisions of the Bill drew immediate rebuke from the leaders of Hazare's movement and the activist himself said he was not satisfied with the draft bill and would resume his fast unto death. This has set the stage for yet another political impasse for the government hobbled by a parade of corruption charges and an opposition that is raring to go on an all-out attack on the issue of corruption. 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in favour of bringing his office under the purview of the new institution, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said, adding that the Cabinet decided otherwise due to apprehension that such a proposal could potentially have adverse effects on the stability of a government. The PM, however, will come under the purview of Lokpal after he demits office. 

TheLokpal Bill will be introduced in Parliament within the first two days of the Monsoon session beginning on August 1. The judiciary will be covered by the judicial accountability bill, which is also being introduced in this session of Parliament. The government will also introduce a separate whistleblower protection bill. 

Lokpal will have the authority to investigate any Union minister or officials of group A or above without any external sanction. The Lokpal will consist of a chairman and eight members, of which half will be judicial members. The Lok Ayuktas in the states does not come under the purview of this bill as the Centre cannot intervene in the powers of the state, Law Minister Salman Khurshid said. 

While the Chairperson would be a sitting or retired Chief Justice of India, the members would include former or sitting judges of Supreme Court or Chief Justices of the High Court, Khurshid, who was present with Soni said. Persons with "impeccable integrity", with 25 years of experience in administration who has dealt with corruption and vigilance, would also form part of the Lokpal, he said. 

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