Government ready with major reform measures: Finance Minister (Lead)

July 27th, 2011 - 6:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) The government is ready with “important reform measures” but legislative action was needed to implement them into law, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here Thursday.

He said the bills pending before parliament were in areas such as insurance, pension, banking, goods and services tax, while administrative action had been completed to table bills on food security and mining sector development and regulation.

He said in the backdrop of reports that as many as 81 bills were pending before parliament whose legislative business has been frequently stalled due to opposition floor protests and adjournments in its daily businesss.

“Already, in the last session of parliament, I have introduced a number of important reforms measures, which are to be implemented through the legislative route,” Mukherjee told a press conference at North Block, the finance ministry headquarters.

“We have also taken certain important administrative measures by finalising some important legislations,” he said, alluding that for these reform-oriented measures to take shape, the cooperation of the opposition was necessary.

“I do hope some of the recommendations will be available during the monsoon session of parliament and when we get these recommendations, it would be possible for us to get some of these bills passed,” he said.

“But I cannot tell exactly which bill — what would be the number. Because it depends on the availablity of recommendations from the standing committee.”

Mukherjee’s remarks come less than a month after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s comments, accusing the principal opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of playing politics in blocking some key legislations, particularly on a unified goods and services tax.

“The consensus that emerged until a few months ago on the goods and services tax — the BJP is clearly playing politics,” the prime minister had said rather candidly while interacting with a select few editors.

“We had helped the BJP pass the first insurance bill. All we want now is to increase the share of foreign direct investment to 49 percent. The bill is in parliament,” he said, adding: “I hope we can still persuade the opposition, other parties to pass the bill.”

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