Opposition makes unsuccessful bid to defer banking bill


A united Opposition today tried to stall a government move in the Lok Sabha to take up for consideration a bill to amend laws to allow banks to participate in futures trading contending that the changes were not vetted by a Parliamentary panel.

As Finance Minister P Chidambaram made a request to the presiding officer in the Lok Sabha to take up the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, members of the BJP, Left parties and Trinamool Congress demanded deferment of the move.

Amid uproar, the Lok Sabha was adjourned twice first for about 30 minutes and then for the day.

Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M) and Yashwant Sinha (BJP) and Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) objected to government incorporating fresh amendments, which were beyond the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance, to the Bill.

Girija Vyas, who was in the chair, turned down the objections citing past precedent and called Anurag Thakur (BJP) to initiate the discussion. However, amid an uproar the proceedings were adjourned for the day just before 5 p.m.

Earlier, BJP, Left parties and TMC insisted that the Bill for consideration had been changed even after the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance and it needed to be scrutinised by the panel again.

"The minister has made a proposal to suspend the rule to bring certain amendments. You may kindly take the sense of the House in this regard," Acharia said when Chidambaram sought to move that the Bill be taken up for consideration.

Sinha said through the new amendments, which have not been vetted by the Standing Committee, the government wanted banks to invest in speculative trading.

"What will be the condition of the banks if they invest in speculative trade or commodity futures," Sinha argued.

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