• GST Bill: Government will again try to convince Opposition, says Venkaiah Naidu

    Stressing that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill is the need of the hour, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said the government will again try to convince the Opposition so as to ensure passage of the legislation in second part of the Budget session beginning April 25.

    “Yes, GST…we have almost completed discussion with majority of the parties. There are one or two issues and that also we will try to convince Opposition and we want to get it passed because GST is the need of the hour,” the Parliamentary Affairs Minister told reporters here.

    On Congress’ charge that the government has not approached the opposition for resolving issues concerning the crucial GST Bill, Naidu said, “We have been talking to Congress and we will be talking to them finally also before listing the Bill… I am optimistic (the GST bill will be passed during this session).”

    The second part of the Budget session of Parliament will commence on April 25 and continue till May 13, he said, adding “13 Bills will be taken up in Lok Sabha as per the schedule and we are also planning to take up even the GST also. We are in discussion with other parties (on GST).”

    The GST Bill, which seeks to replace a slew of central and state levies with a uniform rate, was passed by Lok Sabha in May and is pending ratification by Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority.

    Naidu said during this session, Parliament will be discussing mainly financial business comprising discussion and voting on demands of Ministries in Lok Sabha and discussion of selected ministries in Rajya Sabha.

    Appropriation Bills of Railways and General Budget and the Finance Bill will also be discussed, he added.

    Discussion for demands of grants for the Ministries of DoNER, HUPA, Skill Development, Social Justice, Civil Aviation and Tourism will be taken up in Lok Sabha while in Rajya Sabha, Ministries of Health and Family Welfare, HRD, Finance, MSEM and External Affairs (if time permits) will be taken for discussion, he said.

    “Budget is presented and referred to Standing Committees and the Standing Committees have completed their report and will report back to Parliament. On the basis of the Standing Committees report, Parliament will discuss the issues,” Naidu said.

    The minister said Parliament will also take up Bills to replace two Ordinances – The Uttarakhand Appropriation (Vote on Account) Ordinance, 2016 and the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Second Ordinance, 2016.

    “Both Ordinances were issued earlier and both have to be approved by Parliament,” he said.

    Rajya Sabha will take up Bills on Appropriation Act, Whistle Blowers Protection, Industries Regulation, Mines and Minerals, Child Labour Prohibition and Anti-Hijacking, he said. 

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