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Budget session of Parliament important as people look at it with lot of hopes

New Delhi: Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi has stressed on the importance of the Budget sesson of Parliament beginning February 23, 2015 saying that the people of the country look at the session with lot of hopes and expectations. He addressed the leaders of various parties in both the Houses of Parliament at a meeting convened by the Government for mutual consultations on the Budget session today. Prime Minister said that it is the collective responsibility of all parties and leaders to enable the people fulfill their hopes and aspirations through proper functioning of both the Houses of Parliament. Shri Modi assured the leaders that all the issues and concerned raised by them will be discussed in an appropriate manner keeping in view their importance and priority. He expressed the hope that there would be a collective effort during the Budget session in the interest of the common man. Prime Minister has attended the leaders’ meeting for over an hour and later had lunch along with all the leades. In his opening remarks, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs gave detailes of the 44-item agenda of the Government for the Budget session including financial, legislative and non-legislative business. He said that of the six Ordinances to be converted into Acts of Parliament by April 5, 2015, there has been a broad consensus on five of them relating to Citizenship for Overseas Indians, Introduction of e-rikshaws, allocation of coal blocks and non-coal mines through open bidding. On the Insurance Ordinance, he said that further to the suggestion of opposition parties, a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha has been set up and the same had submitted its report which amounts to a broad view of the House and there is no reason for two  views in the matter. Shri Venkaiah Naidu said that the Government is willing to address concerns if any, on the Land Acquistion Ordinance. He noted : “Several state governments cutting across partyline have expressed difficulties in land acquisiton for development projects under the Act of 2013 and sought modifications. Subsequently, the central government sought to facilitate land acquistion for notified puposes like infrastructure and affordable housing projects etc., in an easy manner without compromising on the remuneration to be paid to farmers and rehabilitation measures to be taken up for displaced persons. The Government is ready to address apprehensions, if any in this regard’. Shri Naidu further said at the all party meet : “I would like to assure you all that the government is always willing to sit with opposition to resolve any differences on any issue. I don’t think there is any issue that can’t be resolved if approached with open mind. What is required is the spirit of mutual cooperation in the true spirit of Parliamentary democracy. Let us collectively strive to build a conducive environment for effective functioning of Parliament during the Budget session’. Over thirty leaders from both the Houses of Parliament expressed their views with most of them highlighting the need for smooth functioning of Parliament to enable discussion on all issues of concern both for the Government and the Opposition. Several leaders have welcomed Prime Minister’s recent statement on religious freedom and right to promote one’s religion and his call for respecting all religions. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Shri Mallikarjuna Kharge said, “Parliamentary democracy is all about deciding on issues through discusssion. Different parties will convey their views on Ordinances and other issues whenever taken up’. Leader of Nationalist Congress Party Shri Sharad Pawar said, “Budget session is important and we need to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament.” BJD leader Shri Bhartruhari Mahtab noted :”There has been undue focus on the Ordinaces in the media in general while it should have been on the Budget and economic issues. We need to focus on budget issues. We want both the Houses to function smoothly and decide on major issues. Efforts shall be made to move forward on important issues throgh rapproachment’. Leaders of different parties from Tamil Nadu suggested that during the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister to Sri Lanka, a conducive atmosphere may be created for protecting the rights of Tamil fishermen and Tamils in Sri Lanka. People’s representatives from Andhra Pradesh sought necessary action for fulfilling the assurances given to the state in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act including the Special Status and Special Package for the state. TRS leaders also spoke of the need for doing the needful for the state of Telangana. Leaders from North-East suggested that they be given sufficient time in both the Houses putting aside the principle of time allocation based on numerical strength. Issues suggested for discussion during the ensuing Budget session  by leaders of different parties include: agrarian crisis, safety and security of women, espionage issue, communal harmony, free academic environment, passing on the benefit of declining international oil prices to public, Swine flu outbreak, Election reforms, price rise, natual calamities, development of North-East, reservation for women in legislatures etc. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu later said that the all pary meet concluded on a very positive note and thanked the leaders for their views and suggestions.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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