Winter session of Parliament beginning tomorrow is expected to generate heat with government planning to push an ambitious economic agenda undeterred by resistance from a section of the Opposition. The much-delayed Insurance Bill seeking to allow more foreign capital is high on the government agenda so also the Goods and Service Tax Bill. The bills seeking to replace the coal ordinance and the one of textiles takeover will also have to be passed on priority. This is the second major session of the Narendra Modi government since it came to power some six months back and government managers have made it clear that the economic reforms agenda will be put on fast track. The session is taking place weeks after parties belonging to the erstwhile Janata 'Parivar' (family) came together on a common platform and have announced plans to have a joint strategy in both Houses of Parliament. The parties including--JD-U, RJD, JD-S, INLD and Samajwadi Party- have said that they would pool their resources in Parliament to be more effective.
Together, these parties account for barely 15 seats in the Lok Sabha, but have 25 seats in the Rajya Sabha, which, looking at the way numbers are balanced in the Upper House is far more significant. The Congress, which is the largest opposition group in the Lok Sabha has also made it known that it could have reservations if the government brings amendments to various bills, including the one on land laws which was passed during the UPA regime. A meeting of Secretaries of various Ministries and Departments with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier this week concluded that 39 bills may be ready for either introduction or consideration in the session being held from November 24 to December 23.