After President’s objection, government discusses Ordinance issue

A day after President Pranab Mukherjee voiced his objection to the 'Ordinance route', senior ministers today went into a huddle to discuss how the recent Ordinances can be replaced by legislative action in the Budget session of Parliament starting next month.

The meeting convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and six others deliberated upon the implications that some sectors like coal will have if the Ordinances are not followed up by passage of bills in Parliament.

The government has issued at least 8 Ordinances including one on raising the FDI limit in the insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent and e-auctioning of coal mines.

The meeting significantly took place a day after the President voiced his objection to the 'Ordinance route' used by the government and cautioned it against it.

The two-hour meeting discussed issues involving procedures to be followed for replacing Ordinances with Bills and the preparatory measures in the coming session in Parliament likely to begin in the third week of February.

It took note of the possible implications in the event of some of these Ordinances not backed up by Bills in Parliament.

For example, there will be a problem in auctioning of the coal mines if the Coal Ordinance is not replaced by the Bill.

Naidu said he discussed with his ministerial colleagues the procedures to be followed in bringing Bills to replace Ordinances like Insurance, Coal, Mines, Land Acquisition and Citizenship Amendment.

Defending the Ordinances, he said these were promulgated to create a favourable climate for investment and recover from the sluggish economy.

The deliberations were held a day ahead of the meeting of Cabinet Committee of Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) to decide on schedule for the Budget session.

The meeting was also attended by Coal Minister Piyush Goel, Rural Development Minister Rao Birendra Singh, Law Minister Sadananda Gowda, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and MOS for Surface Transport Radha Krishnan.

As per the rules, an Ordinance has to be converted into legislation within 42 days of commencement of Parliament session else it lapses. An Ordinance can be repromulgated only three times.

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