is mulling options like debating or rejecting the Taxation Laws
(Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, when the government moves to pass the legislation in the Rajya Sabha.
The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha
on Tuesday amid protests by the Opposition and was introduced in the Rajya Sabha
on Wednesday. Government sources said they had reached out to Opposition parties for a discussion in the Upper House this week.
However, the Opposition did not let Parliament function for the ninth consecutive day, demanding it condemn the 80-odd deaths due to faulty implementation of demonetisation and the killing of 25 soldiers in a terrorist attack on the Nagrota army
The government refrained from such a resolution, saying combing operations were on in the area.
The Opposition cannot do much against the Taxation Laws
Bill in the Rajya Sabha
because it is a money bill that will be deemed to be passed by after 14 days. This will still provide the government two working days, including weekends, before the winter session of Parliament ends on December 16.
A government strategist conceded that the Opposition could adopt this ploy to delay the government’s new scheme for declaration of black money. “But the clock is ticking, and it will be notified after 14 days,” he said.
sources said the party was examining the options of either rejecting the bill altogether to convey a “sense of the House” or moving amendments and seeking debate to criticise the government.
Sources said Congress
MP Rajeev Gowda had already moved an amendment against the Taxation Laws
Bill, asking the government to remove the clause that allows the tax collected from the 33% surcharge to go directly to the prime minister’s fund for the poor. The Congress
instead wants the money to be shared with states.
The Left parties and the Trinamool Congress
are also expected to move amendments to the bill as the Opposition has numerical advantage over the ruling National Democratic Alliance in the Rajya Sabha.
Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the Rajya Sabha
on Thursday, as he did last week, sources said the Opposition parties might approach President Pranab Mukherjee to petition him against the bill.
on Wednesday kept up the pressure on the government over banning Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, who led a walkout by Opposition parties in the Lok Sabha, accused Modi of favouring black money hoarders by starting a new scheme to turn their unaccounted money into legal tender by paying a 50 per cent tax. Union ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and Ravi Shankar Prasad hit back at him, saying Gandhi was politicising the deaths of soldiers.