BJP to support major financial reforms Bills, with conditions

Last Updated: Mon, Aug 20, 2012 19:22 hrs

Coming under pressure from industry bodies to support crucial financial reforms, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now ready to support the Union government in passing major Bills in Parliament — provided the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) accepts the recommendations of the standing committees where it has articulated the Opposition’s view.

BJP leaders say the Centre has not initiated any dialogue with opposition parties, especially BJP. If the government respects the views of opposition parties, they are ready to discuss all the contentious issues with the UPA.

There is a division within BJP and NDA on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, as some BJP leaders are supporting it. BJP’s ally, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), is also in favour of it, while Janata Dal (United) is against it.

The BJP leadership has already committed its support for the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill. and has also extended support to the controversial Land Acquisition Bill. BJP leaders have categorically said they would support the government if their views and those given by party's senior leaders through the standing committees are incorporated.

BJP leaders demanded state governments should have a say in the Land Acquisition Bill. They are also open to discussion on the Forward Contract Regulation Act amendment Bill, Companies Bill, Banking Regulation Amendment Bill, Insurance Bill and Direct Tax Code Bill, but are stressing on the recommendations given by the standing committee on finance, headed by former finance minister Yashwant Sinha.

Though the BJP leadership is ready to discuss the issues with the government, the government is facing trouble from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on PFRDA Bill, Land Acquisition Bill and Forward Contract Regulation amendment Bill. Banerjee's party, the Trinamool Congress is a constituent of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)

On the Companies Bill, the BJP leaders raised objections because the Union government had not agreed to the recommendations given by the standing committee and had introduced certain changes. When the Bill was introduced in Parliament, senior BJP leaders argued it was completely a new one and, hence, it should again be sent to standing committee on finance.

That the BJP is ready to discuss the differences on crucial legislation is itself a major departure from the past. Party sources attribute this to public criticism of the BJP's role in being a disruptionist in Parliament. It is also refining its own position in case if it is asked what would it do if it come to power.

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