New Delhi, Jul 5 UNI | 18 days ago

The Narendra Modi government is set to face Opposition heat over rise in prices of essential commodities, Railway fares and freight charges and cooking gas, among various issues, during the first Budget session of the new Lok Sabha, starting on Monday.

Though the House of the People this time has a weakened Opposition as regard the numbers, the leaders of various political parties had during their speeches on the day of election of the new Speaker made it clear that the Government would have to be responsive to their views and they would put up a fierce fight if their voices were not heard.

The Railway budget will be presented on July 8, the Economic Survey the next day and the General Budget on July 10.

The situation in Iraq and the impact of the weak monsoon on agriculture, are also some of the issues that are set to get substantial space during the session.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had called for an all party meeting today ahead of the session at which the Opposition members made a strong pitch for a discussion on the spiralling prices in both Houses of Parliament.

The session will have 28 sittings and 168 working hours, Ms Mahajan said. This time the demands for grants for various ministries will be passed by both Houses by July 31 after discussion in Parliament instead of the committees of the various ministries which were yet to be constituted, she said. The session will draw to a close on August 14. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after the meeting that Government would make a statement in both Houses on the condition of Indians in strife-torn Iraq.

He said the government was ready for a discussion on any matter and appealed to the Opposition to extend their full cooperation for smooth conduct of the House business and for maintaining the decorum and dignity of the supreme legislature of the country.

No decision has yet been taken on the issue of the Leader of the Opposition, as the main Opposition Congress could not get the required 10 per cent seats to claim that position, though the party is learnt to be making a strong pitch for getting the status.

(Posted on 05-07-2014)