Congress raps government for 'bypassing' Rajya Sabha in Budget session


NEW DELHI : The Congress on Tuesday slammed the BJP-led NDA government for bypassing Rajya Sabha and getting many "imperfect bills" passed as Money Bills during the Budget session.


Addressing a press conference here, Congress senior leader and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said the country expected that at the end of the Budget session there would be clarity on the issues of national importance, "but there is no such clarity".

"Unfortunately, there is no such clarity. At the end of the session, we are no wiser than we were at the beginning of the session," he said.

He criticized the government for including non-financial and non-money matters into the Financial Bill.

"The Financial Bill was passed as a Money Bill...the sole purpose was to avoid scrutiny of these matters by the Rajya Sabha," he said.

"It was an assault on the Constitution of India and we hope that, sooner than later, the courts will pronounce upon the legality of such devices," Chidambaram added.

Talking about the GST Bills, the former Minister said they were "imperfect bills and no attempt was made to make them less imperfect".

"The Rajya Sabha could have improved the Bills, but that opportunity was denied when the government stubbornly turned down the demand that the Bills be introduced, debated and passed as non-Money Bills," he charged.

He, however, said that the Goods and Services Tax will be beneficial in the "long term".

The former Minister also criticized the government for state of the economy of the country, saying the 'economy is poor'.

"The actual rate of growth of the economy is moderate; and even that growth is jobless growth," he said.

He took potshots at the government's much-talked about exercise of demonetisation, saying "Undoubtedly, demonetisation is a great success as nobody takes or gives bribes any longer".

"It also curbed black money in the entire country except R.K. Nagar of Chennai," he said, criticising how cash was still being used to bribe voters.

On Pakistan sentencing Kulbhushan Jadhav to death, the Congress leader said "We condemn what happened in Pakistan."

He also assured of all support to the central government on the issue.

On the EVM controversy, Chidambaram said that a machine could be tampered with and therefore it's the duty of the Election commission to put these doubts to rest.

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