Rajya Sabha session ends without passing Lokpal Bill

The Bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday after failed moves in 43 years, appeared jinxed when it seemed that the government was not able to muster a simple majority required for its passage. The Bill had seen eight attempts earlier since 1968

New Delhi: The Lokpal Bill yet again failed to get Parliament’s nod when Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die last night abruptly amid high drama and opposition accusing the government of running away from a vote because it was in a minority, reports PTI.

The Trinamool Congress, a UPA constituent which had moved a slew of amendments and gave the government torrid time when it vowed to vote against the bill, called the adjournment an “orchestrated chaos”, almost echoing the opposition view that it was “choreographed drama”.

The Bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday after failed moves in 43 years, appeared jinxed throughout the day when it seemed that the government was not able to muster a simple majority required for its passage. The Bill seemed jinxed as there have been eight attempts earlier since 1968.

The problems of the ruling coalition, which has 93 members in a 243-member House, grew after one of its constituents Trinamool Congress (6) and outside supporters BSP (18), SP (6) and RJD (4) made it clear that they will vote against the Bill.

Trinamool Congress and parties like BJP and Left parties had moved amendments for deletion of Part III of the Bill related to appointment of Lokayukta in states. The BJP and the Left also wanted the CBI to be part of Lokpal.

On a day marked by conspiracy theories in the corridors of Parliament, the government tried to persuade the allies and outside supporters to avoid a vote which looked it was sure to lose.

And when the time for voting came, parliamentary affairs minister PK Bansal suddenly came up with a request to the chair for time to consider 187 amendments moved by the MPs.

Smelling a rat in the government strategy, leader of opposition Arun Jaitley said the government was running away from the House because it was in a “hopeless minority”.

“A government which did not have the numbers in the House has consciously first choreographed a debate so that it cannot not be concluded before the 12 O’ clock,” he said.

Mr Jaitley told Mr Bansal that they will sit the whole night to transact the Bill. He said the government has “no right to continue in office even for a minute”.

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Not a single issue hit the primary markets in November: SEBI

The lull in the primary market activity is because of private equities and foreign institutional investors (FIIs) not brining in fresh funds due to slowdown in the US as well as Eurozone nations facing debt crisis, experts said

Mumbai: Reflecting the damp market mood, India Inc kept off public offers and rights issues in November, as not even a single issue hit the market for the second consecutive month, reports PTI.

“November 2011, like last month (October), did not see any public or rights issue made in the primary market,” according to the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) latest ‘Capital Market Review’.

The lull in the primary market activity is because of private equities and foreign institutional investors (FIIs) not brining in fresh funds due to slowdown in the US as well as Eurozone nations facing debt crisis, experts said.

Various companies went in for IPOs and public issues in August and September, but their scrips were trading below the offer price. In October, companies turned cautious.

“The cumulative amount mobilised for the financial year 2011-12 so far stands at Rs16,437.6 crore through 47 issues, as against Rs48,923.3 crore through 60 issues during the corresponding period in 2010-11,” SEBI said.

It said that no company went for Qualified Institutional Placement (QIPs) in November. In October, only one QIP had taken place which raised Rs40 crore.

Preferential allotments, however, continued to be made.

There were 21 preferential allotments in November which raised Rs169 crore, SEBI said.

In comparison, 18 such allotments were made in October which raised a total of Rs417 crore.

The stock market witnessed a lot of volatility in November and the BSE benchmark Sensex fell 8% during the month. It has fallen nearly 24% this year, eroding around Rs20 lakh crore from investor wealth.

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Govt plans to borrow additional Rs40,000 crore in FY11-12

If approved, it would be the second additional borrowing than that originally announced in the Budget 2011-12. As per the revised target, gross market borrowing for the current fiscal is pegged at Rs4.7 lakh crore

New Delhi: The government is looking at borrowing around Rs40,000 crore more to make up for the shortfall in revenue receipts and poor disinvestment realisation in the current fiscal, reports PTI.

“The government might borrow Rs30,000-Rs40,000 crore to plug a shortfall in receipts in current fiscal year,” a senior finance ministry official told PTI.

If approved, it would be the second additional borrowing than that originally announced in the Budget 2011-12. As per the revised target, gross market borrowing for the current fiscal is pegged at Rs4.7 lakh crore.

Earlier this week, a top finance ministry official had admitted that the government is finding it difficult to meet direct tax target due to industrial slowdown and may go in for larger market borrowings.

“There has to be extra (market) borrowing to bridge (the revenue) deficit. If the deficit increases then the government will have to borrow,” the official had said without revealing how much more the government may borrow.

The government is looking to mop up Rs5.32 lakh crore from direct taxes, from corporate and personal income taxes.

The net direct tax collection has been Rs2.35 lakh crore during the first eight months of this fiscal.

In September, the government had announced an additional market borrowing of Rs52,800 crore on top of Rs4.17 lakh crore planned in the Budget.

Besides, slowdown in the economic activities due to domestic and global factors, the government’s subsidy bill on petroleum and fertilisers is likely to increase further.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said recently that the subsidy bill in 2011-12 is likely to go up by a whopping Rs1 lakh crore on account of higher outlays towards fertiliser, food and oil.

In the Budget, the government had earmarked Rs1.34 lakh crore towards major subsidies—fertiliser, food and oil.

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