Both House of parliament logjam over sadhvi hate remarks ends; way paved for reforms agenda

New Delhi: The Modi government’s hopes of moving ahead with its reforms agenda during the winter session of Parliament were rekindled on Monday. The Select Committee on FDI in insurance adopted a draft report backing the bill, even as the week-long logjam in Parliament ended, paving way for resumption of legislative business.

Both House of parliament logjam over sadhvi hate remarks ends; way paved for reforms agenda

In the 15-member Rajya Sabha panel, 11 MPs, including those of Congress, BSP and AIADMK, supported raising the FDI cap from 26% to 49%. The committee recommended that the FDI will have a composite cap of 49% including FII and the ownership definition will be part of the legislation.

The Left and Trinamool Congress, which are opposed to the bill, have given dissent notes, sources said. The Committee was to submit its final report to the House by December 12. The Insurance Laws (amendment) bill had been hanging fire with the BJP stalling it when it was in Opposition and later the Congress trying to create hurdles for it when the Modi regime pushed for it. With the Opposition in majority in the Rajya Sabha, the government had agreed to its demand to refer the bill to a Select Committee.

The fate of legislations like the insurance bill looked uncertain when Rajya Sabha was paralysed over the past week over the remarks made by union minister Niranjan Jyoti. However, with the standoff ending, the government was already lining up bills to be taken up during the session.

The truce came at a meeting of leaders with Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari where it was decided that he will make a statement endorsing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words in the House.
Earlier, the Opposition tried to move a resolution, which was rejected.

“This House, while acknowledging the statement of Prime Minister, made in this House on the 4th of December, appeals to all members of the Parliament, ministers and leaders of all political parties to maintain civility at all costs in public discourse, for the successful functioning of Parliamentary democracy and to uphold our commitment to constitutional values,” Ansari said in the House later.

Both government and Opposition claimed victory in the war of wits over the issue. When the House met, deputy leader of Congress Anand Sharma insisted on moving a resolution, which was endorsed by eight other Opposition parties — CPM, CPI, TMC, SP, BSP, JD-U, DMK and NCP. “This House disapproves any statement made by any member of Parliament and any member of the Union Council of Ministers that is inflammatory, derogatory and violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution and the law of the land,” it said.

The government, however, rejected the proposal.

As business resumed in the Upper House, the government withdrew two bills– the Coal Mines (nationalisation) amendment bill and one on intellectual property rights.