Government is engaging with various parties to ensure the passage of GST Bill during the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar said today.
He said there is "widespread" demand for early introduction of the GST bill in Rajya Sabha, where it is pending for a long time, and government will make "best possible" efforts to make this key tax reform legislation sees the light of the day.
"There is a widespread demand for early introduction of GST from almost all the political parties, state governments, trade and industrial bodies and even general public. Government is engaged in talks with political parties to ensure passage of the Bill during the current Monsoon session.
"The government on its part would make the best possible effort to ensure that this long pending legislation sees the light of the day during this session. I appeal to all parties to sense the mood of the nation and cooperate in this regard," he said.
Kumar said the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of Rajya Sabha has already allocated five hours for discussing this Bill and termed it as an important development.
The Minister said bills relating to afforestation fund, prevention of corruption, benami transactions and whistle blowers protection are on the agenda during the second week of the session.
After a productive first week of the Monsoon session that saw passage of five bills out of 16 proposed by the government, he said five bills have been lined up for consideration and passage in the coming week.
These include the Benami Transactions (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2015 and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Lok Sabha and the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015 in Rajya Sabha.
Kumar said other bills on the agenda of Rajya Sabha during the second week beginning July 25 include the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015, the Indian Medical Council Bill, 2016, the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research Bill, 2016, all already passed by Lok Sabha.
Other Bills proposed to be taken up in Lok Sabha include the Institution of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016 and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012.
He said the first two of these Bills would go to Rajya Sabha after being passed by the Lower House while the Child Labour Bill has been passed by the Upper House last week.
The Minister said Lok Sabha is likely to take up a Calling Attention Motion moved by Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) on the 'Undertaking of a barrage project over river Mahanadi by Chattisgarh Government there by severely impacting flow of water into Hirakud dam in Odisha', during the coming week.
The government also proposed for consideration in both the Houses a resolution seeking to approve the recommendation of the Railway Convention Committee to revise rate of dividend payable by Railways to general revenues and other related ancillary matters as contained in the Committee's report of December, 2015, he said.
During the first week of this Monsoon session, Lok Sabha cleared four Bills during the five sittings - the Indian Medical Council Bill, 2016, the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research Bill (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
He said these were among the six Bills introduced in the House last week. Besides, the lower house also considered and accepted an amendment to the Indian Trustees (Amendment) Bill, 2015 as passed by the Upper House in earlier session.
During the last week Rajya Sabha passed two Bills viz., the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016, earlier passed by the Lok Sabha and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Bill, 2012.
While both the Houses discussed the Kashmir events during last week, Rajya Sabha in addition took up the incidents of attacks on Dalits and a Calling Attention Motion on floods in the country, with specific reference to Odisha.