President Pranab Mukherjee sends senior ministers into huddle

Mail Today Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: January 21, 2015  | 12:58 IST
President Pranab Mukherjee
President Pranab Mukherjee (Photo: Reuters)

A day after President Pranab Mukherjee criticised the 'Ordinance route', nine members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's council of ministers went into a huddle on Tuesday to explore a way for legislative action on the eight Ordinances in the Budget Session of Parliament, beginning in February.

As per rules, an Ordinance has to be converted into legislation within 42 days of commencement of Parliament session else it lapses. An Ordinance can be repromulgated only thrice.

The meeting, convened by parliamentary affairs minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and attended by home minister Rajnath Singh, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and six other ministers, deliberated the implications for some sectors like coal if the Ordinances are not followed up by passage of Bills.

The two-hour meeting discussed issues involving procedures to be followed for replacing Ordinances with Bills and the preparation required for the Budget Session.

The government has to take into account the fact that some of these Bills may not be cleared in the Rajya Sabha, where the Bharatiya Janata Party does not have a majority.

Naidu said that he discussed with his ministerial colleagues the procedures to be followed in bringing Bills to replace the ordinances on insurance, coal, mines, land acquisition and citizenship amendment. Defending the ordinances, Naidu said that they were promulgated to create a favourable climate for investment and boost the economy.

The government has issued, at least, eight ordinances, including one on raising the foreign direct investment limit in the insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent and e-auctioning of coal mines.

The government has been considering calling a Joint Session of both Houses of Parliament, which will enable it to push through a bunch of Bills. However, the President was critical of this move although he blamed the opposi-tion parties as well for the impasse.

The deliberations were held a day ahead of the meeting of Cabinet Committee of Parliamentary Affairs, which will decide on the schedule for the Budget session.

The meeting was also attended by coal minister Piyush Goel, rural development minister Rao Birendra Singh, law minister Sadananda Gowda, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, steel and mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar and minister of state for surface transport Radha Krishnan.

ACTION PLAN

>> Senior ministers discuss how to ensure that the Ordinances issued recently are followed up with legislative action in the Budget Session.

>> The government has issued, at least, eight Ordinances, including one on raising the FDI limit in the insurance sector from 26% to 49% and e-auctioning of coal mines.

>> The meeting significantly took place a day after President Pranab Mukherjee voiced his objection to the 'Ordinance route' used by the government and cautioned it.

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