New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) The government was willing to discuss all issues in parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Thursday as he sought the cooperation of all parties for the smooth functioning of the winter session.
Expressing the hope that members of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha would "come together and address the issues and challenges that we face as a nation", Manmohan Singh said: "We are ready to discuss all issues on the floor of the both houses."
Addressing reporters outside parliament ahead of the beginning of the winter session, he appealed for smooth functioning of parliament and said: "We all have an obligation, both in opposition as well as in the government to work together to enable our parliamentary democracy of which we are genuinely proud to grapple with the formidable challenges faced by our country."
"Our country faces many problem on the economic front arising out of the consequences of global economic slow down. We need to create new jobs on a large scale to provide gainful employment to our youth," he said.
There was, he added, the need "to increase investments in infrastructure and social service like health and education to accelerate the tempo of social economic growth".
"Our government is committed to these thoughts for success requires cohesive collective action on the part of all segments of our politics. I invite all political parties to join hands in this vital national endeavour," he added.
The winter session ends Dec 20. With a shorter time−frame of 16 working days and a heavy agenda of 35 bills −− 25 listed for consideration and passing and 10 for introduction −− the government hopes it would be able to pass important bills, especially those related to economic reforms.
The opposition parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left, plan to corner the government by pressing for a debate and a vote on allowing 51 percent foreign equity in multi−brand retail.