Six pending government bills to be passed even if it means sitting late hours.
New Delhi : After weeks of confrontation on various issues, the opposition in the Rajya Sabha has agreed to pass six bills in the last week of the winter session, but consensus on the all important economic reform — Goods and Services Tax bill — still remains elusive.
The impasse between the two sides was resolved partially at an all party meeting held at the initiative of the Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari, and later minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: “There has been a very meaningful discussion in the meeting. A number of parties have expressed concern over Parliament not functioning. All of them decided that the House should function. It has been decided to pass the pending government bills even if it means sitting late hours.”
With this decision, it is expected that the Rajya Sabha would pass the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, the Appropriation Bills, the Anti Hijacking Bill, the Atomic Energy Amendment Bill, the Commercial Courts Ordinance Bill and the Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill during the next week.
Even as the government side claimed a breakthrough, leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad maintained that nothing new was discussed at this meeting apart from the decisions taken at the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC). “There is no decision on GST,” Azad said. During the meeting it was also decided that discussions on matters of public importance like price rise, impact of flood and drought on agriculture, intolerance and a discussion on the developments in Arunachal Pradesh will also be taken up during the last three days.
Arunachal issue rocks both houses
The political crisis in the sensitive border state of Arunachal Pradesh rocked both houses of Parliament, with Congress members staging a walkout during zero hour on the issue in the Lok Sabha, and forcing repeated adjournments in the Rajya Sabha. As soon as the Lower House began proceedings, Congress MPs raised the Arunachal issue and trooped into the well and shouted slogans against Governor J.P. Rajkhowa and demanding his recall. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Mallikarjun Kharge also trooped into the well later. In the Rajya Sabha, Congress members, amid pandemonium, forced repeated adjournments on the Arunachal issue. Members belonging to the AIADMK, TMC and the Left parties supported the Congress’ demand for the recall of the Governor.