Opposition objects to increasing use of
The Hindu Business
Line, May 13, 2015
have decided to approach President Pranab Mukherjee demanding
his intervention against the Centre?s strategy of ?increasing?
the number of Money Bills.
The Upper House?s
assent is not required for the passage of a Money Bill.
According to articles 108, 109, 110, 111 and 117 of the
Constitution, if the Rajya Sabha does not return a Money Bill
within the prescribed period of 14 days, the Bill is deemed to
have been passed.
The Government has
been changing the status of Bills to Money Bills to get them
passed. The Opposition has already taken up the issue with Rajya
Sabha Chairman, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, and argued that
attempts are being made to undermine the Upper House. The
Narendra Modi-led Government is in a minority in the Upper
Need for criteria
The Government has
been arguing that if there are questions over whether a Bill is
a Money Bill, the decision of the Lok Sabha Speaker will be
On Wednesday, a
meeting of the leaders of various parties in the Upper House
also discussed requesting the Speaker of the Lok Sabha to put in
place a criterion for whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not.
Confirming this, CPI
(M) General-Secretary Sitaram Yechury told BusinessLine that the
matter would not end in the Rajya Sabha, but would be brought to
the attention of the President and of the public.
?We will demand his
interference,? Yechury said.
Later, elders in the
Opposition, just ahead of taking the Black Money (Undisclosed
Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Bill, 2015,
which is also being brought as a Money Bill, urged the
Government to desist from this practice.
They demanded a
ruling from Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien, who said the matter is
with the Chairman.
The discussion in
the leaders? meeting was based on a letter submitted by senior
CPI(M) MP KN Balagopal saying that the Rajya Sabha was being
undermined by the Government by attempting to pass off any
legislation that deals or relates to finances as a Money Bill.
?The Finance Bill
returned by the Rajya Sabha last week carries certain amendments
to some independent Acts passed in earlier years. These Acts
would have been amended through an independent process other
than including them in the Finance Bill,? he argued in the
?The Upper House
should not be helpless. This House also has been constituted
under the Constitution of India, and has got its own independent
powers as the Council of States,? the letter said.
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