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Parliament Updates: Lok Sabha passes Taxation, Companies Amendment bills; both Houses adjourned till tomorrow

Parliament LIVE Updates: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman responded to the Opposition's arguments on the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 in the Lok Sabha on Saturday.

FP Staff September 19, 2020 23:05:54 IST
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Parliament Updates: Lok Sabha passes Taxation, Companies Amendment bills; both Houses adjourned till tomorrow

Highlights

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Sept 19, 2020 - 22:39 (IST)

Lok Sabha LATEST Updates

Lok Sabha passes Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman responded to the Opposition's arguments on the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 in the Lok Sabha on Saturday.

She said, "This Bill will help companies doing their business easily, will help them in ease of leaving. It will also amend companies law to decriminalise various offences."

The House is adjourned till 3 pm on Sunday.

Sept 19, 2020 - 22:01 (IST)

Lok Sabha LATEST Updates

Lok Sabha takes up Companies Amendment Bill for discussion

BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi  said that the Companies Amendment Bill will be of benefit to investors.

"India’s ease of doing business ranking improved to 63 from 142, as per the report of World Bank. This is only possible because of the strong leadership of PM Modi.  And this bill will improve business environment in the country," she said.

Sept 19, 2020 - 21:17 (IST)

Lok Sabha LATEST Updates

Lok Sabha passes Taxation Amendment Bill

The Lok Sabha on Saturday passed the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020 on Saturday.

Sept 19, 2020 - 20:53 (IST)

Lok Sabha LATEST Updates

Nirmala Sitharaman provides comparison on PM CARES, PMNRF funds

The specifications of the PM CARES and PMNRF funds are "similar", Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in the Lok Sabha on Saturday. Stating that while the PM CARES fund is registered and the PMNRF is not, she addressed the Opposition's questions on the former.

Many MPs raised concerns over the audit of the PM CARES, because it is outside the ambit of the CAG. In reply, Sitharaman said that both the funds are being audited by a firm, SARC and Associates.

She said that neither funds are under the purview of the RTI Act. She added that that objectives of both the funds were "similar".

The finance minister also slammed the Opposition over Congress' president Sonia Gandhi's inclusion on the board of trustees of the PMNRF.

Sept 19, 2020 - 20:37 (IST)

Lok Sabha LATEST Updates

Nirmala Sitharaman slams Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury over 'chokra' remark about Anurag Thakur

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's remark on MoS Anurag Thakur in the Lok Sabha on Saturday. On Friday, Chowdhury had said he was "Himachal ka chokra" while raising slogans against his comments in the House.

On Saturday, Sitharaman said that the Opposition must not belittle Union minister Thakur. She also asked the Congress to answer the questions posed by Thakur about the funds set up by the party and erstwhile governments.

"You must answer the questions asked by the MoS regarding the use of money in the other funds. If you don't answer, you can't question," she said.

Sept 19, 2020 - 20:06 (IST)

Lok Sabha LATEST Updates

Nirmala Sitharaman begins reply in debate on Taxation Amendment Bill

Sept 19, 2020 - 19:56 (IST)

Lok Sabha LATEST Updates

'Will be forced to leave House,' says Congress

As Union minister Anurag Thakur targetted the Gandhi family by name in his speech on the PM CARES fund, Congress MPs said that if the Treasury benches name MPs who are not present in the House, while making allegations, the party's MPs "will be forced to leave the House".

While Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "The rules don’t allow such allegation without prior notice and when the member isn’t present to defend," another MP Gaurav Gogoi questioned the Centre over when the donation money taken from China will be returned.

Sept 19, 2020 - 19:35 (IST)

Lok Sabha LATEST Updates

Anurag Thakur targets Gandhis in Lok Sabha

MoS Anurag Thakur targetted the Gandhi family during the discussion on the Taxation Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on Saturday.

Claiming that "not a single rupee in PM CARES will be misused", he said, "What about the various trusts runs by a specific family? Who is doing their audit?"

He added that the PM CARES fund is a "public charitable trust and hence doesn’t need CAG audit".

"Public fund and government machinery was used to serve one family so far. They have trusts, funds and foundations under their name. They have systematically looted public funds. The funds were taken from people like Zakir Naik in 2011 and was returned only in 2015. Three lakh dollars were taken from China. Funds from PM relief fund were diverted to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation from where it was diverted to various foundation including to Christian missionaries," he adds.

Sept 19, 2020 - 19:20 (IST)

Lok Sabha LATEST Updates

PM CARES trustees are all ex-officio members, says Anurag Thakur

"The Trustees of the PM CARES Fund are all ex officio members, such as Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance," said Union Minister Anurag Thakur in the Lok Sabha on Saturday.

Sept 19, 2020 - 19:08 (IST)

Lok Sabha LATEST Updates

Monsoon Session of Parliament likely to be cut short, say reports

The Parliament's Monsoon Session which began on 13 September is likely to be curtailed and might be cut short next week in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports said.

Reports said that most members of the Lok Sabha's business advisory committee supported the early curtailment of the Session in a meeting on Saturday.

Originally, the session was set to end on 1 October. The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs will reportedly take the final decision.

Parliament LATEST Updates: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman responded to the Opposition's arguments on the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 in the Lok Sabha on Saturday.

She said, "This Bill will help companies doing their business easily, will help them in ease of leaving. It will also amend companies law to decriminalise various offences."

The House is adjourned till 3 pm on Sunday.

MoS Finance Anurag Thakur addressed arguments made by the Opposition MPs over the PM CARES fund in the Lok Sabha on Saturday.

"Why is there such distrust about PM cares fund? Is there any past experience which has caused it?

"The initial fund was given by PM Modi's mother and other ordinary people. This will be audited by the same group that audits the PM Relief fund. This will be dispensed by a committee and is not person specific. This is a registered trust," he said.

TMC MP Mahua Moitra added to the debate on the Taxation Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on Saturday, and slammed the Centre on multiple counts including the donations made by Chinese companies to the PM CARES fund.

She said that the bill is "deeply problematic because it further weakens the rights and resources available to states by taking away statutory promises made under the new GST regime. It also corners the public funds for PM CARES to the direct detriment of state relief funds."

She added, "Government allowed CSR to PM CARES, but disallowed to state relief fund, which is an unfair step. Also, 38 PSUs donated to PM CARES, but no audit has been done regarding it."

"Massive donations were done by Chinese companies to PM CARES — Xiaomi, TikTok, etc. Why is the government accepting donations from our enemy companies, the tainted money should be returned," she added.

The Lok Sabha has begun debate on the Taxation Amendment Bill moved by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The introduction of the bill caused lively discussion on the PM CARES fund, GST, and the state of the economy on Friday.

MoS Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar sought to introduce three bills in the Lok Sabha on Saturday: The Occupational Safety, Health And Working Conditions Code, 2020, The Industrial Relations Code, 2020, The Code On Social Security, 2020.

Giving relief to taxpayers following the COVID-19 outbreak, the government had through the ordinance extended the deadline for filing of income tax returns for 2018-19 fiscal till 30 September and linking biometric Aadhaar with PAN till 31 March, 2021.

All issues not included under Epidemic Act or National Disaster Management Act will be included in the Public Health Act, said the Union health minister.

Sitharaman told the Rajya Sabha that the suspension of Sections 7, 9 and 10 of IBC was aimed at preventing businesses from getting pushed into insolvency. "With this intention, Section 10A of the ordinance was brought in," said Sitharaman.

Congress Vivek Tankha said the enactment of 10A will be counterproductive as there is no certainty in how long the pandemic will continue.

Uproar in Rajya Sabha followed as Opposition demanded discussion on Agriculture Bills passed in Lok Sabha. Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said that Bills are to be taken next day, and the discussion can take place then.

On the sixth day of the Parliament's Monsoon session, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday will table the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill 2020 for consideration and passing.

The Bill will replace the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, which was promulgated on 5 June and prohibited the initiation of insolvency proceedings for defaults arising during the six months from 25 March 2020 (extendable upto one year).

The Ordinance came as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had created uncertainty and stress for businesses. It was also felt that during the coronavorus lockdown, it may be difficult to find an adequate number of resolution applicants to rescue the corporate debtor who may default in discharging their debt.

Among the ordinances to be discussed in the Upper House is Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance 2020. The Ordinance seeks amendments to the 125-years-old Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, that protects health workers in the country.

Earlier in April, the government had approved an ordinance that recognised any crime against health professionals as a "cognizable and non-bailable" offence. It means that offenders can be arrested without a warrant, and no bail would be granted.

Offenders can also be fined anywhere between Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh and will also have to serve a prison term between three months to five years, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had said in April.

The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020, is listed to be taken in consideration in the Lower House on Saturday.

The Bill seeks to replace the Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020, issued in March 2020.

Giving relief to taxpayers following the COVID-19 outbreak, the government had through the ordinance extended the deadline for filing of income tax returns for 2018-19 fiscal till 30 September and linking biometric Aadhaar with PAN till 31 March, 2021.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla called for introduction of the bill on Friday. However, since the minister was not present, the House then took up discussion on two farm sector related legislations.

Home Minister Amot Shah will move the Bill seeking to establish a National Forensic Sciences University as an institution of national importance by upgrading the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar, be taken into consideration.

Parliament proceedings on 18 September

On Friday, the Lower House witnessed first adjournment in the Monsoon Session over disruption when Treasury and Opposition members clashed over PM-CARES fund.

The proceedings in the Lower House were disrupted as the Opposition raised slogans against Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur for his allegation that the PM National Relief Fund (PMNRF) was set up "only for the benefit of the Gandhi family".

"The trust was set up during the tenure of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and was not even registered as a public trust but it got all relevant clearance, including FCRA," Thakur said, intervening during the introduction of the Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Bill.

"The PM Cares Fund is a constitutionally set up public charitable trust. PM National Relief Fund was set up only for the benefits of one family — the Nehru-Gandhi family," he said.

On the other hand Rajya Sabha passed four Bills in less than four hours. The Upper House too was adjourned for 30 minutes to mourn the death of Karnataka MP Ashok Gasti.

The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020; Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020; Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020; and Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020, were passed in the Upper House.

With inputs from PTI

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