New Delhi: Almost done with financial business in the budget session of parliament, the government is now trying to finalise legislative business, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not want the session to be curtailed, sources said yesterday.
Government sources said Modi has asked his ministers to list down important bills for the remaining part of the session, which ends August 14.
The Lok Sabha passed the general budget on Friday. Financial business is primarily concerned with the lower house, and the Rajya Sabha has to just return the finance bill.
This brings to a close the main business for the session - called the budget session — leaving the government in a fix as it does not want to prematurely adjourn the nearly six-week-long session, its second.
The first session of parliament for the Modi government was June 4-11. “The prime minister is keen to take up legislative agenda for the session, as the finance bill is now passed,” said a source from the government.
“The government is looking at bills that can be taken up,” the source added.
A quarter of people in the government earlier said they were considering curtailing the parliament session once the financial business is done.
According to PRS Legislative Research, when the 15th Lok Sabha finished its term, 128 bills remained pending in parliament. Of these, 68 bills pending in the Lok Sabha lapsed with its dissolution. Nearly 60 bills are pending with the Rajya Sabha, but sources said the government wants to re-examine these before taking them up.
The parliamentary affairs ministry had announced a tentative list of 21 bills to be discussed and passed during the ongoing budget session. However, almost no new bills have been cleared by the cabinet yet.
When the issue of lack of legislative business was raised in the Rajya Sabha by Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi Thursday, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prakash Javadekar said the government had enough business and its “hands are full”.
In this session, besides the finance bills, the government has so far passed a bill to amend the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act, and a bill to transfer land from Telangana to Andhra Pradesh.
The TRAI Act amendment bill was taken up and passed primarily to facilitate former TRAI chairman Nripendra Mishra’s appointment as the principal secretary to Prime Minister Modi.