Finance Minister Arun Jaitley gains Opposition support for Insurance, GST Bills

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The governments floor managers, led by finance minister Arun Jaitley, have reached out to Opposition parties for securing their support for passing bills to replace various ordinances, issued by the government recently, in the budget session of Parliament that begins on February 23.

According to top government sources, Jaitley, who is also Leader of the Rajya Sabha, has been busy wooing various political parties, and has been promised support for the insurance ordinance and the GST Bill in the Upper House, where it lacks the numbers "The Opposition, including the Congress, has assured support for the GST Bill, and the ordinance on FDI in Insurance, which anyway went through the select committee earlier," said a senior minister in the government.

Jaitley attended the Mamata Banerjee organised business summit in Kolkata and met AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa to shore up support, at least for these two legislations. Congress leaders, too, are believed to have told government emissaries that they will not oppose the two bills.

But government sources conceded that it would be difficult to secure support for the mining and land acquisition bills. The Biju Janata Dal is opposing the first one, and Congress the second, with even former minister Jairam Ramesh holding a public meeting at Bhatta Parsaul in Western Uttar Pradesh to protest against it. "The tricky party would be the mines bill and the amendments to the Land Acquisition Relief and Rehabilitation Act, 2013," said the minister.

Government managers are working the back channels with the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and even to a certain extent with the Left. "We managed to clear our first ordinance (on the appointment of Nripendra Mishra as principal secretary to the PM), in the first session of the new Lok Sabha with the support of the Opposition," said a government source, implying that cooperation between the government and the opposition cannot be ruled out.

 BJP MP Sakshi Maharajs remarks glorifying Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, had put paid to the Winter Session of Parliament last month. "He has been served a notice (by the BJP) now. So, that that shouldnt be an issue," said the minister quoted earlier.

 The session will start with an address by President Pranab Mukherjee to both Houses of Parliament on February 23. The Railway Budget will be presented on February 26, the Economic Survey on February 27 and the Budget on February 28.

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Source/Author: Economic Times




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