Inflation, quota to dominate remainder of budget session

April 14th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Inflation, price rise and quota for backward class students are likely to dominate the concluding part of the budget session beginning Tuesday. The Supreme Court’s endorsement of 27 percent quota for other backward classes (OBC) students in higher educational institutions is expected to be discussed in both houses of parliament.

Parties like the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) and the Janata Dal (United) want a clarification on the ‘creamy layer’ which is to be excluded from the category of backward class students eligible for quota.

The parties want the government to redefine “creamy layer” but human resource development (HRD) minister Arjun Singh maintains that the issue is closed and the government is not planning to seek a review of the Supreme Court judgement.

Arjun Singh is planning to introduce a bill to introduce quota for backward classes, dalits and tribal students in private institutions of higher education.

On price rise, the government will face the combined onslaught of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Left parties and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners who are uneasy with the increasing prices of essential commodities.

“Price-rise will dominate this session,” said Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) parliamentarian Roopchand Pal.

“We have sought a discussion on inflation and price rise on the opening day,” he added.

“Our party will focus on inflation and food security,” said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar

The budget session, ending May 9, will also pass the finance bill.

The Left parties and the Samajwadi Party have announced they will launch agitations against inflation Wednesday - a day after the budget session is reconvened.

The CPI-M wants the government to ban futures trading and strengthen the public distribution system.

“We have asked the government for a discussion on price-rise. Linked to price-rise is the issue of the public distribution system (PDS),” said Pal.

The BJP and the Left are going to raise discussions on the Rs 600 billion loan waiver scheme announced by union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

“We believe that small and marginal farmers who take loans from local moneylenders are not benefiting from the scheme,” said Pal. “Our party will raise questions on the loan waiver scheme,” said Javadekar.

The Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations are also expected to come up for discussion.

The Left is opposing the commission’s proposal to upgrade the skills of Class D employees. “How can a 52-year-old man go for skill upgradation? It virtually means taking his job away from him,” said Pal.

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