BJP's stalling of Parliament on Coalgate unreasonable: UPA

New Delhi: Top UPA leaders tonight dismissed as "unreasonable" BJP's stalling of Parliament on coal blocs allocation issue and its demand for resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and stood by the government's offer to discuss the subject in the House.

"The stand taken by BJP and its partners that they will not allow discussion of the subject nor will they allow Parliament to function is unreasonable. On that, all UPA partners are agreed," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after a meeting of UPA Coordination Committee.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Image courtesy PIB

At a time when FDI in retail as also FDI in aviation sector is being talked about, he noted there was "free, frank and cordial" exchange of views on a range of issues including those concerning polity, economics and relations with neighbours.

"We discussed the impasse in Parliament and unanimously agreed that the offer made by the Prime Minister that we are willing to discuss any subject in Parliament, including the CAG reports, must be reaffirmed and restated," Chidambaram said.

"Tomorrow, the Leader of the House will restate the position again that we are willing to discuss any subject on the floor of the House. This is a reasonable position...,"he said.

The meeting, the second since the UPA Coordination Committee was set up last month, was also attended by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee who was not present last time.

Banerjee, who is also West Bengal Chief Minister and is pressing for a financial package to the debt-strapped state, is expected to meet some central leaders tomorrow.

Banerjee also expressed her opposition to FDI in retail. Asked if he would meet her on the issue of FDI, Chidambaram said, "May be I'll try and fix some time for meeting her. "

Chidambaram said the next meeting of the Coordination Committee will be held in the second week of next month soon after the conclusion of the monsoon session of Parliament.

Asked what were the issues discussed at today's meet, he said, "All issues that are currently engaging the government, all issues that are likely to arise in the next month. These are issues concerning the the polity, concerning the economy and relations with neighbouring countries."

The finance minister said deliberations on a number of subjects, which are currently engaging the government's attention, were held.

The UPA coordination Committee also gave a green signal to the proposed amendments to Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to effectively combat money laundering and terror financing and declare such crimes as terrorist acts.

The proposed amendments will now be put before the Union Cabinet for its consideration and approval and once the Cabinet clears the home ministry's proposal, a bill incorporating all amendments would be tabled in Parliament.

Through the proposed amendment, the government intends to make UA(P)A more effective in preventing unlawful financial activities, money laundering, terror financing and circulation of Fake Indian Currency Notes.


Updated Date: Aug 22, 2012 22:50 PM

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