Parliament expected to see lot of work
The shadow of the winter session, which saw the longest shutdown of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, is no longer looming large over the budget session given the signals by the government indicating formation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
Faced with a rash of scams, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal have given signals that the government was ready to go the extra mile on the JPC issue and a decision will be taken by Wednesday.
Before the formal announcement about the probe, the talk in opposition circles has turned to the nitty-gritty of the JPC at a time the government appeared to rule out widening its ambit to cover other scandals, a demand by the BJP.
After indications emerged that the UPA government may agree to formation of the JPC to probe the 2G scam, an issue which had derailed the entire winter session of Parliament, BJP has been talking of inclusion of the Commonwealth Games scandal and the Adarsh Housing scam also in its ambit.
Government managers are making it known that unlike any dispensation in the past, it was pursuing the probe into the scandals relentlessly with one of the former cabinet ministers cooling his heels in Tihar, high and mighty in the business world being questioned and a chief minister being shown the door.
"Wrongdoers will be punished," is the refrain of the ruling formation which is expected to utilise the presentation of the Union Budget 2011-12 on February 28 as an exercise to reach out to the common man, hit hard by the price rise.
While the Railway Budget 2011-12 will be presented on February 25, the Economic Survey will be tabled on the same day. The talk is that Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, being projected as the next West Bengal Chief Minister, will go the whole hog in the exercise to placate rail passengers by not tinkering with the fares.