New Delhi: The Monsoon Session of Parliament is likely to be extended by a day sources said on Thursday. The Cabinet Committe on Parliamentary Affairs is expected to meet today to decide on the extension of the session.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath had on Wednesday indicated that the session may be extended further as key bills remain pending. "If the need be we can extend the monsoon session of Parliament. Key legislations are pending, we hope the parties will cooperate," Kamal Nath had said.
The RTI Amendment Bill, aimed at keeping political parties out of RTI ambit, is likely to be discussed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
The RTI (Amendment) Bill 2013 was introduced on August 12 in the Lower House by Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions V Narayanasamy. The Union Cabinet had cleared the proposal to amend the Act to give immunity to political parties and negate a Central Information Commission order to this effect. Many RTI activists have opposed the proposed amendments.
The Cabinet's decision had come nearly two months after the Central Information Commission's order of bringing six national political parties, Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI-M, CPI and BSP, under the RTI Act.
The government has proposed an amendment in Section 2 of the Act, which defines public authority, to shield the political parties. The proposed amendments, if accepted by Parliament, will make it clear that the definition of public authority shall not include any political party registered under the Representation of the People Act, officials said.
The CIC had in its order on June 3 held that the six national parties have been substantially funded indirectly by the Central government and were required to appoint public information officers as they have the character of a public authority under the RTI Act. The order had evoked sharp reactions from political parties, especially the Congress which has been credited with bringing in the transparency law. Many RTI activists have opposed the proposed amendments.
The Judges Appointment Bill is likely to be taken up by the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The Land Bill was passed by Parliament and The Pensions Bill, which will allow 49 per cent FDI in pension and insurance sector, was passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also appealed to the BJP to end Parliament stand-off over missing coalgate files, there are crucial bills that are pending in the remaining two days of this session, which was extended till September 6.