The government got moving and recommended the promulgation of ordinances for auction of coal blocks and increasing the foreign investment ceiling for insurance from 26% to 49%, seeking to get around the resistance to its reforms agenda from the opposition which stalled the functioning of Rajya Sabha and passage of key bills during the winter session.
Sources said while the government would try to get the bills passed in Parliament, it was prepared to convene a joint session if lack of numbers in Rajya Sabha proved an obstacle. The government will push for a joint session sometime in June if the opposition doesn't allow a discussion and clearance in Rajya Sabha during the Budget session that usually begins in late February and continues till early May with a recess of three weeks.
The Congress and the Left protested the move to rush in legislations through the ordinance route but government sources defended it saying the UPA had promulgated an ordinance thrice to give more powers to Sebi, the market regulator. Replying to a question as to what was the urgency to bring an ordinance a day after the winter session concluded, Jaitley said, “There has been too much delay . That is why there is urgency .“
Claiming that a “lot of good things“ had happened since the Narendra Modi government assumed office in May , Jaitley said while BJP won two states in October, it won a third in December and got its highest tally in another state (Jammu and Kashmir).“The obstructionists (opposition) could not open their account. The Janata Parivar also could not open their account,“ he said, noting that BJP would increase its presence in the upper House.
On a lighter vein and using business journalists' parlance, he said “there is a creeping acquisition in the form of change of membership in the upper House“, suggesting that BJP numbers in RS would go up with the victory in these states.