Parliament highlights: GST, Kashmir, Dalit atrocities discussed in Monsoon session

All the political parties assured Lok Speaker Sumitra Mahajan of extending their 'full support' in smooth functioning of Parliament in the Monsoon Session.

FP Politics August 10, 2016 14:55:08 IST
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Parliament highlights: GST, Kashmir, Dalit atrocities discussed in Monsoon session


14:53 (ist)

Swapan Dasgupta makes some note-worthy points on the Kashmir issue

"While we try to evolve a consensus on this issue, we should sometimes be brutally frank about what we are dealing with," Swapan Dasgupta, nominated MP, said in the Rajya Sabha.

"The problem we face in Kashmir today is somewhat different from the problems we have faced earlier," he said. "Three months ago, Kashmir was peaceful. We had a unique political experiment. It was an alliance between the Valley and Jammu, something which was unique and encouraging. And then something broke loose," he added.

"That was the death of Burhan Wani. The death of any Indian should be a source of anguish. But Burhan Wani never considered himself an Indian. And what do you say about a person who glamourises terrorism?" Dasgupta said.

"A lot of the people who have taken to the streets may be spontaneous. But there is also a large degree of pre-meditation in the protests," he said.

"We have been talking about development and healing hearts and unfortunately, we have come across a rather big emotional divide. At an earlier time, it was thought that Article 370 would facilitate the process of integration. But we may have actually hardened the emotional divide," he said.

"While I agree with Sitaram Yechury that we need a form of political approach, the form and time of that approach should be different," he said.

"Today, there is an attempt to create dual power in Kashmir," Dasgupta further said. "Let us remember that dialogue cannot be done if we are going to tie the hands of the executive."

"The threat we face today is not a mere question of autonomy. There is also an orchestrated terrorist threat in Kashmir," he said.

11:18 (ist)

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan initiates probe against AAP MLA Bhagwant Mann

Acting tough, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today said AAP MP Bhagwant Mann's videography of the Parliament House complex had put its security "in peril" and asked him not to attend the House till a decision is taken on the matter while setting up a nine-member panel to probe the issue.

The panel, chaired by BJP member Kirit Somaiya, has been asked to submit its report by August 3, while Mann has time till tomorrow morning to submit his explanation to the committee.

"The act of the member of audio-visual recording of the Parliament and posting it on the social media puts the security of Parliament in peril," the Speaker said, adding that several members had expressed concern over the issue on Friday last.

Addressing the Lok Sabha as soon as it reassembled after the weekend break, Mahajan said taking audio video footage of security zones in the parliament by Punjab's Sangrur MP Mann on July 21 and putting them on social networking site was improper. 

It put "security of the parliament in peril", Mahajan added. Mann has been asked to appear before the panel by 10.30 am tomorrow and make his submission.

Describing Parliament as "sanctum sanctorum" of democracy, Mahajan recalled that on 13 December, 2001, security personnel had sacrificed their lives protecting the parliament and after that entire security system was reviewed and overhauled.

Therefore, the "act of the member" has put the security of the Parliament in peril, she said. Mahajan said she had consulted leaders of all political parties and everyone supported her actions on this issue.

Mahajan has formed the nine member panel headed by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya which includes Anandrao Adsul (Shiv Sena), Meenakshi Lekhi, Satya Pal Singh (both BJP), B Mahtab (Biju Janata Dal), Ratna De Nag (Trinamool) and K. C. Venugopal (Congress) and other members.

The panel has also been asked to "suggest remedial measures" so that such episodes are not repeated.

The member is "advised not to attend the sittings of the House" until a decision is taken in the matter, Mahajan said. Mann was not present in the House.

As soon as the House assembled, she informed it about the action being taken on the issue which had led to the adjournment of Lok Sabha proceedings on July 22. "The inquiry committee shall inquire into the serious security implications and related aspects.... (and) suggest suitable remedial measures to avoid recurrence of such incidents in future and recommend appropriate action in the matter," the Speaker said.

On the fifth day of the Monsoon Session (Friday), Aam Aadmi Party MLA Bhagwant Mann's filmed a video entering Parliament by crossing several security layers, which eventually caused uproar in both the Houses. Mann, who posted it on social media, invited attack from MPs across party line, who termed his act as a security breach.

In the video, which went viral, Mann was seen showing entry gate through which MPs enter Parliament House and saying how strong is the security. "The car is registered with the Lok Sabha. It has a censor, which has the vehicle details. As soon as so you come near the gate, the censor identifies the car and announces the name and number of the car," Mann says in the video with him crossing several layers of the security.


Aug 12, 2016 - 12:23 (IST)

Lok Sabha adjourned sine die

Aug 12, 2016 - 12:17 (IST)

Resolution on Kashmir issue passed in the Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced that the resolutions proposed on the Kashmir issue has been passed. She said,"This house expresses serious concern over the violence in Kashmir Valley. Everyone here conveys loss of life caused by the deteriorating situation. The house is of the firm view that there cannot be a compromise on security."

She added, "This house earnestly appeals to all sections of society in India to work for the early restoration of normalcy and harmony. This is to restore confidence in people and youth in general. The resolution is adopted unanimously."

After GST this is the second resolution which has been adopted unanimously.

Aug 12, 2016 - 11:52 (IST)

Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die

Aug 12, 2016 - 11:41 (IST)

Shashi Tharoor raises the issue of failing start-ups in India

In the Question Hour in the Lok Sabha Congress leader Shashi Tharoor raised the issue of failing start-ups in India. He said, "The government has given tax incentives to the start-ups but everyone knows that they don't make any money in the first few years. Hence the tax incentives should be given to the angel investors."

Aug 12, 2016 - 11:19 (IST)

Rajya Sabha discusses low wages of the members of Parliament

Ram Gopal Yadav, SP, Uttar Pradesh raised the issue of the low wages of the members of Parliament. He said, "The pay of the MP's is only a fraction of ministers in Telangana Assembly or Delhi Legislative Assembly. We are asked to reduce our expenditure but we cannot do that when we have to entertain people of our constituency. The rising inflation also makes it difficult for us to  sustain ourselves."

Congress leader Anand Sharma said that the government should not be hypocritical. He said, "When administrators have high salary, MLAs have a good rise, why don't we get the same treatment?"

Aug 12, 2016 - 11:11 (IST)

Bills for Passing in the Parliament

On Friday, 12 August, 2016 the bills for consideration and passing in the Lok Sabha are Mental Health care Bill,2016 and Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016.

Bills for consideration and passing in the Rajya Sabha are Appropriation No.3 Bill, 2016, Employee's Compensation (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016. 

Aug 11, 2016 - 20:16 (IST)

Rajya Sabha stands adjourned for the day

Aug 11, 2016 - 20:13 (IST)

Following Rajnath Singh's reply, Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day

Aug 11, 2016 - 19:31 (IST)

Home Minister Rajnath Singh replies to the discussion on atrocities on Dalits in Lok Sabha:

"It is painful that even after 70 years of independence we are still discussing atrocities on Dalits. We cannot deny that there are people from several castes and religion. We should not politicise the atrocities on Dalits," Singh said.  

"We can make India world's best country if we consider humanity above all. There are many articles in our Indian constitution for Dalits. But there is a need for effective laws to act on these articles. Our government is working at socio-economic development of the Dalits." 

"This is rumour that after BJP came to power that the atrocities on Dalit have increased. Just ask yourselves if this is true. Show me the data records. I don't want to point fingers at any political party. But following figures would explain: In 2013, 39,346 cases were registered against atrocities, 40,300 and 35,564 were registered respectively," Singh said.

Our biggest challenge is to counter the twisted mentality of the perpetrators. What happened in Una was extremely condemnable. 

On PM Modi's silence, Singh said, "Has any PM spoken during all discussions in Parliament? When PM spoke on the atrocities, and gau rakshaks, I issued an advisory that strict action should be taken against such gau rakshaks. 

Dalit community has contributed a lot towards Indian heritage. When India was under the British Rule, no matter how atrocities were inflicted on them, still they stood by India. They never demanded a separate country. We in the government emphathise with the Dalits. 

Seva Bharati, an RSS organisation, is one of the organisations which has been majorly active at the grassroots for the upliftment of Dalits. 

It is pointless to blame the other government. Why did we celebrate Ambedkar's 125th anniversary with such genuinty? Respecting Ambedkar is like respecting India. 

We all should work together and committ ourselves in taking action in order to stop the atrocities on Dalit. Also, I would appeal all the state governments to take strictest action against anti-social elements who try to disrupt the harmony of secular fabric of the country. 

Aug 11, 2016 - 19:07 (IST)

Meanwhile Lok Sabha MPs discuss atrocities on Dalit

NK Premchandran, RSP MP from Kollam: The attrocities against the Dalits is politics. Educational, economical and social upliftment is the need of the poor. 

AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi:  No democracy in the world has prioritise animal life over human life. But the Indian democracy has. Why do gua rakshaks have come to power? The credit goes to the idealogy of ruling party. What right do so-called gau rakshaks have to look at what I eat? 

Sexual violence against Dalit women has increased. About eight lakh Dalits are dependent on selling skins, bones of dead cows, what will they do now?

PM made a strong statement: Shoot me, not the Dalits. But why he didn't include Muslims? Muslims can never be part of Hindu nationalism but they are a part of Indian nationalism.

Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia: When we are talking about Swachh Bharat, we should first clean our minds. Fringe elements have now turned into the Centre today. Why the Home Minister didn't visit Rohith Vemula? 

Dubbing passage of the GST Constitution Amendment Bill as historic, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that manufacturing taxes and VAT will come down with the new national sales tax but the same for services tax will be decided by states and Centre. The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will subsume over a dozen central and state levies including excise duty, service tax and VAT, is "perhaps the most important" tax reform, he said soon after Rajya Sabha overwhelmingly voted for the legislation.

"Today is a historic day for the reason that Rajya Sabha has passed the GST bill which have been held up for a very long time. All members present at the time of voting, voted in favour of the bill," Jaitley told reporters in Parliament House.

Thanking Congress and other opposition parties for supporting the legislation, he said proceedings in the Upper House demonstrated to the world that this is a great day for Indian democracy and Indian federalism. "In fact Indian democracy and Indian federalism are at there very best in as much as all national political parties and regional parties, state governments have come together to usher a major taxation reform.. The government wanted to build a larger consensus, which we succeeded in doing," he said.

Asked if the implementation of the GST would mean rise in cost of air travel, mobile bills and eating out because of incidence of service tax going up in the new regime, he said that tax rate would be decided by the GST Council, comprising of the Centre and the states.

"Manufacturing taxes will certainly will come down, VAT will come down. What level services taxes are to be kept is a discretion of GST Council. It will depend on what states along with Centre will decide," he later told Times Now. On Congress demand for not converting the supporting GST legislation as Money Bill, Finance Minister said he has not pre-decided on bringing the Bills as Money or Finance Bills.

"Once the GST is implemented, it will bring basic changes as far as the Indian tax structure is concerned, it will converge India into one unified market, with one unified tax in the country, it will improve the base of taxation, it will make evasion extremely difficult.

"The central and state governments have to work together to make this a great success. Overall, I think we had an excellent debate," he told reporters.

He said although every state government is on board in order to implement one of the most important taxation reform in India, the fact is that it has been passed unanimously all regional and national parties have actively supported it.

Congress hoped that subsequent legislations for its implementation like CGST and IGST bills would be brought in the Winter Session as financial and not money bills. Former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said he was only half satisfied with the Finance Minister's promise made in the Upper House in this regard.

"It's a half promise. Therefore, I am half satisfied," he told reporters after the passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill. Chidambaram said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has assured that he will hold discussions with the Congress party before bringing the bills. Senior Congress leader and former Law Minister Kapil Sibal cited the example of Aadhaar Bill to claim the new legislations could be converted into Money Bills to block voting.

"We have seen the Aadhar Bill was converted into a money bill and we were not given the right to vote on it. We have doubt that this GST bill will also be turned into a money bill whereby a discussion on it will take place in Rajya Sabha but members will not be allowed to vote on it. We are concerned over it," he said. "We hope that it will be a financial bill and there will be a discussion on it and we will be given the right to vote on it," he said.

Another Congress member Renuka Chowdhury said, "They have considered many of our aspects. Have to wait and see what happens in the winter session." NCP leader Praful Patel said it is very good that the Constitution amendment bill to bring GST was passed with general consensus.

"It is good for the country and states will also benefit, especially those which considered themselves as backward as they will get more revenue.

"We hope that the Bill to be brought by government in November will also be passed with general consensus. Finance Minister has given an assurance that whatever bill will be brought, it will be honoured," he said. Earlier in the day, Congress had made it clear to the government that firm assurances for keeping the GST rate capped at 18 per cent and bringing subsequent legislations needed for its rollout as financial bills alone could ensure its support to the long-pending Constitution Amendment bill.

"We also demanded an assurance that the CGST and IGST should not be moved as money bill. The Central GST and Integrated GST are bills which will apply on taxpayers, on common man. They must be debated and voted upon by both Houses of Parliament. We hope to get assurance from the Finance Minister. If these assurances are forthcoming, we will be able to support," Chidambaram told reporters.

The GST Bill will finally be taken up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha.

India Inc had said it is looking forward to introduction of the much-awaited Goods & Services Tax (GST), saying it would be a very significant step in the field of indirect tax reforms in India.

The government has circulated official amendments to the GST bill to drop 1 percent additional tax and include a definite provision in the statute for compensating states for revenue loss for 5 years as it gears up to discuss the long-pending bill in Rajya Sabha.

The eleventh day of Parliament's Monsoon Session on Monday began with AIADMK Rajya Sabha member Sasikala Pushpa's statement where she said that she was facing a "life threat" and was being "compelled to resign".

Parliament highlights GST Kashmir Dalit atrocities discussed in Monsoon session

Representational image. Reuters

Sasikala, who hit the headlines for slapping DMK leader Tiruchi Siva at the airport on Saturday, said: "I am receiving an unconditional apology from Tiruchi Siva. Something was spoken against my party leader and I behaved like that."

The parliamentary proceedings over the day saw the passage of the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2016, that provide for putting the NEET in place for admission to medical and dental courses across the country from next year; and National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Rajya Sabha.

The Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws Amendment Bill 2016 was moved in the Lok Sabha for consideration and passing.

Key proceedings/issues discussed in Lok Sabha:

• Supplementary demands over additional spending

The government sought parliament's nod for additional spending of Rs 1.03 lakh crore, though the cash outgo will only be Rs 20,948.26 crore.

Presenting the Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sought parliament's approval for a transfer of Rs 5,000 crore towards National Employment Guarantee Fund and Rs 1,000 crore for providing funds to Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves for Sovereign Strategic Crude Oil Reserve at Vizag, Mangalore, and Pudur.

• Bill for speedier recovery of bad loans passed

The Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws Amendment Bill 2016 was moved in the Lok Sabha for consideration and passing.

Piloted by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the bill seeks to amend four laws — the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002; the Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993; the Indian Stamp Act, 1899; and the Depositories Act, 1996.

• Special status: TDP MPs protest in Parliament

Unhappy over the Centre's stand on special status to Andhra Pradesh, TDP, a partner in NDA government, staged protests both inside and outside Parliament. Seeking immediate announcement for special status, the MPs of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) tried to disrupt the proceedings in the Lower House.

Holding placards and raising slogans in support of their demands, the TDP members in the Lok Sabha began the protest as soon as the house met for the day. They rushed to the speaker's podium, demanding that the government fulfill its commitments under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan repeatedly appealed to members to return to their seats but they continued the protest. The Speaker conducted the proceedings amid the uproar before adjourning the proceedings till 2 pm.

• Attack on Dalits and Muslims

Opposition members expressed concern over growing attacks on Dalits and minorities and called for stern action against cow vigilante groups which have been targeting them.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay underlined the need for action against those targeting the Dalits and Muslims to uphold secularism and communal harmony.

Key proceedings/issues discussed in Rajya Sabha:

• GST Bill listed for Wednesday

The government has listed the GST bill for discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, hoping it will be passed through consensus, but the opposition Congress said that consultation is still on over the issue and an agreement is not yet finalised.

In view of the development, the BJP has issued whip for all its Rajya Sabha members to be present in the house for the next three days.

"The GST bill is listed for Wednesday. We hope it will be passed through consensus," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.

• Bills to put in place NEET passed

The Rajya Sabha passed by voice vote the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2016, that provide for putting the NEET in place for admission to medical and dental courses across the country from next year.

The bills provide for a Constitutional status to the 'National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and seek to amend the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and the Dentists Act, 1948.

Responding to a debate on the bills in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda said the whole exercise was aimed to stop multiplicity of examinations, to bring transparency to curb corruption and to stop exploitation of students.

• Uproar over Manohar Parrikar's comments on Aamir Khan

Rajya Sabha witnessed a brief uproar by opposition members over alleged remarks by Manohar Parrikar against actor Aamir Khan even as the Defence Minister denied having said what was been quoted to him.

During the Zero Hour, Derek O'Brien (TMC) raised the issue of "dangerous" rise in religious fundamentalism in the country, saying the government, ministers and people associated with the ruling party were "shooting their mouths off every day".

"The Prime Minister needs to come and say these are in fact mistakes, this is not thinking of the government. Prime Minister come here and assure us that we can live in the India we know — Unity in Diversity".

As soon as he finished his Zero Hour mention, Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad quoted a report which said 'Parrikar takes a swipe at actor Aamir; those who speak like this must be taught a lesson'.

"So may I ask him (Parrikar who was sitting in the House) what lesson he is going to teach us...The entire nation should be told what type of action and lesson he is going to teach the minorities of this conuntry," Azad said.

To this, Parrikar said: "I would only say one thing. Let the members see the video...and make up their mind". However, this did not pacify the agitated opposition.

Updated Date:

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