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Govt points to Ordinance route for crucial bills

Since Parliament is still in session, govt refrained from making any official statement on the issue

Kavita Chowdhury  |  New Delhi 

Narendra Modi

Senior ministers in the government said on Monday it might take the for the insurance and coal mines Bills as the Opposition, stronger in the Rajya Sabha, has been refusing to cooperate with the government in the winter session until it makes a statement on the religious issue. Since Parliament is still in session, the government refrained from making an official statement but the ministers said there were ample “precedents by the Congress governments in the past” of Bills being pushed through the The winter session concludes on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Modi is believed to have taken a stock-taking meeting on Monday and the Cabinet committee on Parliamentary affairs is likely to meet on Tuesday morning.

To the Opposition’s argument that the was a property of the House, a senior minister shot back, “It is the property of the people.” P D T Achary, former secretary-general of Lok Sabha, told Business Standard, “It is not illegal to promulgate an ordinance when a Bill is pending before the House or even before a committee of the House.” He cited the example of the Commission of Minority Educational Institutions Amendment Ordinance the Congress-led United Progress Alliance promulgated in 2006, when it was before the Rajya Sabha.

Ordinances are temporary laws issued by the president on the Union Cabinet’s advice when Parliament is not in session, allowing governments to take immediate legislative action. The ordinances cease to operate either if Parliament doesn’t approve these in six weeks of reassembly or disapproving resolutions are passed by both the Houses. However, these can also be repromulgated. Moreover, a session of Parliament must be held in six months of passing an ordinance.

The Opposition will only be making a concession for the Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Amendment Bill, 2014. Cleared by the Lok Sabha, the Bill that gives protection to unauthorised constructions in the capital needs to be passed by December 31. Given impending elections, the Opposition parties are likely to help this Bill get passed on Tuesday, making it the only business transacted in the Rajya Sabha in this session.

  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014
  • The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014
  • Textile Undertakings (Nationalisation) Laws (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2014
  • Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance, 2014
  • The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance 2010 4 times
  • The Readjustment of Representation of SC and ST in Parliamentary & Assembly Constituencies 2013 3 times
  • SEBI Amendment Ordinance 2013 2 times
  • Security Laws Amendment Ordinance 3 times

Meantime, political parties, including Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (United) and Rashtriya Janata Dal, that constituted the erstwhile Janata Parivar blamed the government for having failed to bring back black money. And not just the Rajya Sabha, even the saw disruptions over the religious issue. There is little hope of matters improving in the Rajya Sabha on the last day of the winter session.

First Published: Tue, December 23 2014. 00:57 IST