Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Passing GST Bill top priority among all other bills in the session

Narada Desk | April 24, 2016 7:22 am Print
Arun Jaitley : Union Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley : Union Finance Minister

Arun Jaitley : Union Finance Minister

Important legislation, including the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, Enemy Property Bill, Railways Appropriation Bill and Afforestation Fund Bill, besides the ratification of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand, are on the agenda of the parliament session beginning on Monday. The session will conclude on till May 13.

“Financial business, including discussion on demands for grants of various ministries in Lok Sabha and working of some ministries in Rajya Sabha, consideration and passing of the Railways Appropriation Bill, 2016, and Finance Bill, 2016, constitutes the main agenda of this session,” a parliamentary ministry statement said .

The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has in the past hoped that the tricky GST bill would soon be passed and  be a reality soon. The Congress has been demanding some changes to the  said bill and hence is facing road block. The GST Bill, which needs the backing of the Congress to be approved, if passed, will bring about a uniform indirect tax regime in the country allowing free movement of goods while the bankruptcy code will make it easier for sick companies to either wind up their businesses or engineer a turnaround.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has batted strongly for the GSTR bill saying : “The Constitutional Amendment to introduce the Goods and Services Tax would create an enabling environment in terms of the legal regime required for introduction of the GST in this country. It creates India into one uniform market which effectively means that one-sixth of the global population, within the country will be one market, which will have a uniform rate of taxation for both goods and services.”. Jaitley said that the GST has many special features and advantages.

Other issues during the session include :  Apart from ratification of Presidential rule in Uttarakhand under Article 356 of the Constitution, two ordinances, that is, the Uttarakhand Appropriation (vote on account) Ordinance, 2016 and the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Second Ordinance, 2016 are also on the agenda,” the statement added.

The Lok Sabha may also take up the Sikh Gurudwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was passed by Rajya Sabha; the Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2014; the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2014; and the Lok Pal and Lok Ayuktas and other related laws (Amendment) Bill, 2014. The respective standing committees have submitted reports in the last three mentioned bills.

Other key bills lined up in the Lok Sabha are the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2015; the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015, and the Consumer Protection Bill, 2015, among others.

Legislative business likely to be taken up in Rajya Sabha include the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (passed by the Lok Sabha); the Appropriation Acts (Repeal) Bill, 2016 as passed by Lok Sabha; the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016 (passed by the Lok Sabha and referred to select committee of the house); and the Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (passed by Lok Sabha).

The other bills likely to be taken up include the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 1987; the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (passed by Lok Sabha and referred to the joint committee), among others.

During the last session of parliament between February 23 and March 16, both the houses had 16 sittings during which 11 bills were introduced in Lok Sabha and one in Rajya Sabha.

The lower house passed nine bills while the upper house cleared 11 bills. Ten bills were passed by both the houses including the Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2016, and the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016. (IANS)