Govt exploring options for discussing Lokpal versions in Lok Sabha

Parliament is exploring effective ways and means to discuss the Jan Lokpal Bill, along with the government version of the Bill, Aruna Roy's Bill and the paper presented by Jaiprakash Narayan

New Delhi: The government is exploring options for holding discussion on different versions of the Lokpal Bill including Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal in the Lok Sabha tomorrow, reports PTI.

Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal is holding hectic consultations with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is also leader of the Lok Sabha.

Mr Bansal held the discussions soon after Mr Hazare reacted to Parliament's appeal to end his fast and demanded that it discuss from tomorrow three key issues on Jan Lokpal and create an agreement first.

He has warned that if the Parliament failed to do this, he will not end the fast.

Mr Bansal later also had a meeting with law minister Salman Khurshid apparently to work out the format for such a discussion. East Delhi MP Sandip Dikshit, who also been involved in negotiations with Team Anna, was also present at the meeting.

The meetings took place on a day when prime minister Manmohan Singh told the Lok Sabha that Parliament will find effective ways and means to discuss the Jan Lokpal Bill, along with the government version of the Bill, Aruna Roy's Bill and the paper presented by Jaiprakash Narayan. He also made an appeal to the Gandhian to end his fast.

The discussion could be a short duration affair under rule 193, which does not require voting.

Another option that is being considered is to bring a motion on the Lokpal issue under rule 184 which entails voting.

The wording of such a motion could ask for a discussion on Jan Lokpal and other bills like the one prepared by Aruna Roy so that these be sent to the Standing Committee for its consideration for making a strong Lokpal Bill, sources said.

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Economic growth could decline to 8% this fiscal: RBI

"Global uncertainties have increased. If global financial problems amplify and slows down global growth markedly, it would impart a downward bias to the growth projection," the RBI said in its annual report for 2010-11

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today said the country's economic growth could moderate to 8% during the current fiscal from 8.5% recorded a year ago due to unfavourable developments, reports PTI.

"On current reckoning, real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to moderate to around 8% in 2011-12 from 8.5% in 2010-11," the RBI said in its annual report for 2010-11.

Growth prospects for the year 2011-12 seem to be relatively subdued compared to the previous year due to a number of unfavourable developments, it said.

"Global uncertainties have increased. If global financial problems amplify and slows down global growth markedly, it would impart a downward bias to the growth projection," it said.

Besides, high food and non-food commodity price inflation pose risk to growth, the central bank said.

The global oil and commodity prices, even after some correction, remain high and could adversely impact growth.

Persistent inflationary pressures, rising input costs, rise in cost of capital due to monetary tightening and slow project execution are some of the factors that are weighing on growth, it said.

While the prospect for the farm sector looks encouraging with the normal south-west monsoon so far, industrial sector growth is likely to decelerate due to above mentioned factors, it added.

The growth of the services sector will be driven by the unfolding of the global and domestic economic situation, but is largely expected to keep its momentum.

It is expected that the robustness of the services sector, which accounts for more than 65% of GDP, would continue to support the growth process, it said.

From the demand side, it said moderation is expected as investment may remain soft in the near-term, while private consumption may decelerate.

In face of moderating demand, expenditure-switching from government consumption expenditures to public investments would help, the report said.

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