File pic: President Pranab Mukherjee with PM Narendra Modi and other cabinet ministers
After confronting uncomfortable questions, even from the President, the government has decided not to take the ordinance route to push changes, at least till the Budget session of Parliament beginning next month.
Two ordinances that were cleared by the cabinet will not be pursued, sources have said. These will be taken up as bills in Parliament.
The government's decision comes days after it emerged that President Pranab Mukherjee had asked three union ministers to explain the urgency on the land acquisitions ordinance, which seeks to ease rules and kickstart stalled projects worth billions.
In its seven months in office, the government has used the ordinance, or emergency executive order, 10 times due to its lack of majority in the upper house of Parliament or Rajya Sabha, where the opposition Congress has most numbers.
An ordinance on mines and minerals was the last to be cleared, on Monday. It brings significant changes in who can mine in India and how, and will also make illegal mining an offence in which arrests can be made without a warrant.
Accusing the government of misusing its powers, the opposition says an ordinance is an emergency provision given by the Constitution that must be used sparingly.