Govt hopes for extension of Budget session

Govt hopes for extension of Budget session

The Modi government has lined up a heavy legislative agenda for the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament which is expected to be extended by a week. (PTI Photo)

The Modi government has lined up a heavy legislative agenda for the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament which is expected to be extended by a week.

As many as 17 bills, including controversial legislation such as amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), are lined up for consideration and passing by the government in the Lok Sabha, which is yet to take up discussion on issues flagged by the Opposition.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal presented a list of 17 bills to the Lok Sabha that the government plans to get the approval of during the Budget Session.

The Budget Session of Parliament began on June 17 and was scheduled to conclude on July 26. However, since the next session of Parliament will be held in November, the government mooted a proposal to extend the ongoing session by a week till August 2 to push through the legislative business.

Congress has already conveyed its opposition to the extension of the session and the NDA floor managers were working overtime to get other parties on board.

Besides the UAPA amendments, the government also plans to get Parliament approval for its ambitious plans to merge 44 labour laws under four broad categories — wages, social security, industrial safety and welfare, and industrial relations.

Accordingly, it has listed The Code on Wages Bill and The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill for introduction, consideration and passing during the ongoing Budget Session.

At least two bills to replace Ordinances — the triple talaq bill, the Companies (Amendment) Bill — are still pending for approval in the Lok Sabha.

The government also plan to get a nod for the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill that seeks to impose stringent penalties for violation of traffic rules and impose a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh on ride-hailing firms for violation of licencing conditions.

The Opposition is against the “bulldozing” of the legislative agenda without close scrutiny by Parliamentary Standing Committees, which are yet to be set up after the election of a new Lok Sabha.

Opposition leaders had raised their concerns in the Rajya Sabha last week. Parliament sources said the committees were expected to be notified before the end of the Budget Session, indicating that the bills, in the interim, will have to be passed after a discussion on the floor of the respective Houses.

According to an analysis by PRS Legislative, the productivity of the Lok Sabha was at 130%, while that of the Rajya Sabha was 98%.