Disapproval resolution to test Government in Rajya Sabha.Why or Why Not the Justification?

My reflections are based on the views expressed by the Economic Times yesterday, which a friend of mine was kind enough to share.


From the news, the blurb for which is as under:

The government is up against an unexpected hurdle in the Rajya Sabha on the bill for scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. While the ordinance promulgated for extinguishing the notes was replaced by the Specified Bank Notes Bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the Opposition is set to exploit a procedural opening to derail the government’s efforts in the Rajya Sabha…..But the twist in the tale came at the Rajya Sabha Business Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday, where Congress MP T Subbarami Reddy sought time to move a resolution “seeking disapproval” of the ordinance itself. The BAC has accepted this after his party backed him along with other Opposition members. This is likely to be taken up together with government’s bill slated for Thursday….


Legally yes, this is a possibility. Practically no, for the costs incurred would be humungous. Passing bills or rather introducing them as money bills is a commonwealth practice, unlike how these are treated in the US, where revenue bills are equally influenced by representatives as well as the senate to a point of governmental shutdown due to non-passage of budgetary legislations. The whole of the commonwealth is lacking on this equality accorded to the upper house, whereas the only couple of checks to safeguard how the Raja Sabha isn’t relegated in legislative duties as far introducing a money bill is considered is firstly in the definition of money bill, which has 7 provisions, of which “only” any of those provisions would meet the criteria of a money bill; and secondly the speaker of the lower house needs to show extreme discretion in consultation with secretaries of both the houses before declaring the bill as money bill. The latter provision installs political neutrality in the speaker of the lower house, which incidentally fails in this scenario, but could also have passed if the secretaries were listened to. Although, the last part in the previous statement is a mere speculation to say the least. 

Apart from this parliamentary procedure, regaining legal tender for the old denominations is a costly affair, for exchange nodes would have evaporated by then barring the zonal offices of the RBI, which as it is would continue acting to accept these old denominations until 31st March. For such a legal tender to become valid for a month would turn banking system inside-out throwing restocking at branches out of gear. Though BAC has accepted this resolution, opposition numbers in the upper house are already heading towards a changing equation with the current opposition still maintaining an edge, but with the 5-states poll, BJP might head for a improvement in numbers rollover. Congress-backed resolution would undoubtedly face flak from the ruling dispensation in the upper house in the form of disruptions and once it is recess time, this resolution going through would find a harder patch to clear. All I could say is expect a tremendous amount of lobbying by the BJP to nullify oppositional gains, if any.  



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