New Delhi: Passage of the long-pending GST bill and a unanimous resolution on Kashmir were the highlights of the “highly productive” Monsoon session of Parliament which was adjourned sine die today after 20 sittings.
The session also witnessed an Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Bhagwant Mann being barred from attending the Lok Sabha after he filmed and uploaded a video of Parliament complex on social media, an episode which is being probed into by a Parliamentary Committee set up by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. Hailing the session as “highly productive”, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari said the House debated issues of “national concern”, including the situations arising out of inflation, Kashmir violence and attacks on Dalits.
Echoing similar feelings, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan noted that while the House lost over 6 hours and 33 minutes of time due to interruptions followed by forced adjournments, it sat late for over 18 hours to discuss various important issues. While 13 legislations were passed by the Lower House, the Upper House approved 14 laws.
Besides the GST Constitutional Amendment, the Bills which were passed include Benami Transactions (Prohibition) bill, Taxation laws (Amendment) bill, Factories (Amendment) bill, Employee’s Compensation (Amendment) Bill and the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) bill. The proceedings of monsoon session of both Houses of Parliament commenced on July 18. While the Rajya Sabha deliberated for more than 112 hours during the 20 sittings, the Lok Sabha sat for 121 hours. As many as 59 elected, re-elected and nominated members joined the Rajya Sabha.
Incidentally, the Monsoon session of Parliament last year was a stormy affair which had witnessed several disruptions over the Lalit Modi controversy and the Vyapam scam. The Lok Sabha Speaker said an inquiry committee has been constituted to go into various issues of uploading of footage of Parliament complex on social media by Bhagwant Mann. The Committee is seized of the matter, she added.
The Lower House also took up 4 discussions including on violence in Kashmir, price rise, sustainable development goals and atrocities against dalits. Ansari said the Rajya Sabha held an “animated debate” while considering and passing the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014, to pave the way for rollout of a new indirect tax regime, Goods and Service Tax (GST). “The incidents of violence in Kashmir Valley engaged the undivided attention of the House. The debates took ten hours of the House in two separate days,” Ansari said.
Both the Houses passed a unanimous resolution on prevailing situation in Kashmir Valley. It earnestly appealed to all sections of the society in Jammu and Kashmir, to work for the early restoration of normalcy and harmony and unanimously resolved to restore the confidence among the people in general and youth in particular. It also resolved there can be no compromise with the country’s unity, integrity and national security. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in both the Houses, which were adjourned sine die one after another. After Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die, Modi, Congress leader Manmohan Singh, and some other leaders went to the Chairman’s chamber to thank him for conducting House proceedings