‘Deferred’ — Excessive use of this word is something that India cannot afford at this stage. Amid economic turmoil, reforms are desperately needed to signal the government’s resolve to fix the current situation.
But in yet another postponement on Thursday, the cabinet deferred the pension reform bill which proposed to open the sector to foreign investors, after key ally Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal and Trinamool party chief, opposed it.
With 19 members in the Lok Sabha, parliament’s lower house, Banerjee’s party has acted like a roadblock for the UPA coalition for months. Maybe the government needs to seriously start thinking about replacing her in the coalition, or limp along as a lame duck administration until the next election.
From the pension bill, fuel price hikes, land acquisition proposals, to bills which proposed increasing foreign investments in multi-brand retail and aviation, she has opposed all of them. Her reason for each is generally the same — it’s against ‘people’s interest’.
So why is Banerjee a part of the government? If she is against most of the government’s initiatives, she should withdraw her support in protest.