- Six years
on, Lokpal is a nonstarter
difference between private and government Bills in Parliament
- Sri Lanka’s new President
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, visited India in November, and Prime
Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, after a five-day tour, visited India.
- Joint India-Japan proposal
for the East Container Terminal at Colombo.
- Mahinda Rajapaksa has also
discussed extending the $400-million Line of Credit and India’s further
assistance for nationwide housing.
ON LOKPAL IS A NONSTARTER
- The massive public campaign
in 2011 demanding an independent anti-corruption ombudsman resulted in the
passage of the Lokpal law.
- The preambular statement of
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 notes that the law has been enacted to
ensure prompt and fair investigation and prosecution in cases of
corruption against public servants. The Lokpal was envisioned to be
- After more than five years,
the chairperson and members of the Lokpal were recently appointed.
- The government claimed that
since no one could be recognised as the Leader of the Opposition (LoP)
after the 2014 general election, the committee responsible for selecting
members of the Lokpal could not be constituted.
- In order to ensure
independent and credible action on allegations of corruption, the Lokpal
was empowered under the law to set up its own inquiry wing headed by a
Director of Inquiry and its own prosecution wing headed by a Director of
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRIVATE AND GOVERNMENT BILLS IN PARLIAMENT
- While a
government Bill can be introduced and discussed on any day, a private
member’s bill can only be introduced and discussed on Fridays.
- A private
member’s Bill is different from a government Bill and is piloted by an MP
who is not a minister
MPs may introduce private member’s Bill to draw the government’s attention
to what they might see as issues requiring legislative intervention.
admissibility of a private Bill is decided by the Chairman in the case of
the Rajya Sabha and the Speaker in the case of the Lok Sabha
- Before the
Bill can be listed for introduction, the Member must give at least a
month’s notice, for the House Secretariat to examine it for compliance
with constitutional provisions and rules on legislation
- As per PRS
Legislative, no private member’s Bill has been passed by Parliament since
1970. To date, Parliament has passed 14 such Bills, six of them in 1956.
SHUNNING FISCAL ADVENTURISM
- In the
run-up to the budget, there was enormous pressure on the finance minister
to launch a fiscal stimulus so as to pump-prime the economy
- There is
already considerable stimulus in the system.
- The finance
minister took a step towards transparency by admitting to off-balance
sheet borrowings of 0.8 per cent of GDP for both the current and next
fiscal year — acknowledging that the fiscal deficit would actually be
higher at 4.6 per cent and 4.3 per cent of GDP respectively
pressures will undermine the Reserve Bank of India’s struggle to revive
investment by bringing down long-term interest rates
- It could result in a sovereign ratings
downgrade and jeopardise efforts to attract foreign capital.
- Can also
stoke inflationary pressures
- As much as
the headline fiscal deficit numbers are a cause for concern, the
underlying quality of fiscal consolidation is a bigger concern
deficit is actually going up
- More than
two-thirds of what the government is borrowing is going to finance current
expenditures like salaries, pensions, interest payments and subsidies