Parliament Highlights: Lok Sabha passes GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill amid Opposition uproar
The Opposition on Wednesday virtually paralysed the Lok Sabha proceedings demanding dismissal of Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde for his controversial comments on secularism and the Constitution while the government appeared to distance itself from his comments. The house witnessed repeated adjournments through the day.
A bill to extend the deadline of a law to protect slums and unauthorised colonies in the national capital till 2020 was passed by the Lok Sabha. The house also condemned Pakistan’s treatment of the mother and wife of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, after which External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she will make a statement on the issue on Thursday.
In the Rajya Sabha, the week-long impasse over PM Modi’s attack against his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat polls ended with the government making a climbdown saying the prime minister did not question Singh’s commitment to the nation. The Congress also reciprocated by disapproving Mani Shankar Aiyar’s criticism of the prime minister after which the House resumed normal business.
Here are the highlights:
6.16pm: Rajya Sabha passes The Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill, 2017. House is adjourned till 11am on December 28.
5.38pm: The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill, 2017 is passed. Lok Sabha adjourned till 11am on December 28.
5.37pm: Uproar in Lok Sabha as Opposition members raise slogans while Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks on the GST Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha.
5.20pm: In the Lok Sabha, Supriya Sule asks the govt to not tax sanitary napkins under GST.
4.55pm: Rajya Sabha passes the Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill. Most Opposition MP’s spoke against it. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha last week and allows bamboo cultivation on private land.
4.40pm: In the Rajya Sabha, Congress walks out after Jairam Ramesh says none of the Opposition’s points raised regarding the Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill have been addressed by Minister of Environment Harsh Vardhan.
4.25pm: Uproar in Lok Sabha as GST (Compensation to States) Bill discussion is taken up.
4.10pm: Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha is discussing the Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
4.00pm: Lok Sabha has been adjourned for 15 minutes, after which it will take up the Good and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill, 2017
3.45pm: Lok Sabha passes National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special provisions) Second Amendment Bill 2017.
3.24pm: Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress refuses to talk on the Delhi National Capital Territory of Delhi laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2017, in protest against Union minister Anantkumar Hegde’s comment on Indian Constitution.
2.57pm: Naresh Agrawal of the Samajwadi Party writes to Rajya Sabha chairman about Kulbhushan Jadhav, says the Indian government is not taking stern steps on the issue of ill-treatment meted out to Indian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails.
2.50pm: The Lok Sabha resumes after adjournment, discusses the National Capital Territory of Delhi laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
2.35pm: Ramesh says the bill is misleading and will serve as disadvantage to the tribals and northeastern states.
2.32pm: Congress member Jairam Ramesh accuses the minister of double standard, says the proposed amendment to the forest bill will take us to the old system and give power to the forest department.
2.23pm: Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 2.45pm amid opposition protest over controversial statement of Union minister Anantkumar Hegde.
2.18pm: Rajya Sabha discusses Statutory Resolution and Legislative Business (Bill for consideration and passing) The Forest (Amendment) Bill 2017.
2.13pm: In Lok Sabha, TRS demands time-bound assurance on bifurcation of high court in Telangana.
2.03pm: Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, thanks Jaitley’s clarification, says the Congress disassociates from any comments made by any member during elections that may have hurt PM’s dignity. Also, we don’t want any such thing to be said in future, Azad says.
12.20pm: Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge says the party condemns the way Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife were treated in Pakistan. “Kulbhushan Jadhav should be brought back to the country,” he says in the Lok Sabha.
12.15pm: Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 2pm.
12.13pm: We can’t expect anything better from Pakistan. The way Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife were treated was shameful, Congress leader Kapil Sibal outside the Parliament.
12.10pm: Rajya Sabha chairman adjourns the House till 2pm amid ruckus.
11.30am: “No discussion can take place in the absence of a notice,” Naidu says and adjourns the Upper House till 12noon as opposition members assemble in the Well of the House sloganeering against Union minister Hegde.
11.17am: Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 12 noon after uproar over Kulbhushan Jadhav row. Congress members raised the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments on his predecessor Manmohan Singh, and demanded an apology from him once again. While, members from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) demanded a separate high court for the newly carved state.
11.13am: Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad stands to speak on Union minister Hegde’s statement, says he has no right to be a minister if he doesn’t respect the Constitution.
11.08am: Rajya Sabha chairman Naidu says he will give the opposition members an opportunity to have their say if they allow the House to function.
11.05am: Rajya Sabha resumes with ruckus by Congress members who demand clarification by Union minister Anantkumar Hegdehad said he respects the Constitution but it will be changed in the days to come.
10.48am: Union parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar appeals to all opposition parties to help pass the bill on Triple Talaq in the Parliament unanimously. “PM Modi is new Santa for new India, bringing good news for new India,” says Ananth Kumar.
10.45am: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to give a statement in Rajya Sabha at 11am on Thursday and at 12noon in Lok Sabha on Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Indian naval officer who has been sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan.
9.57am: In Lok Sabha, Union housing minister Hardeep Singh Puri will push The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill while finance minster Arun Jailtey is expected to push the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill.
9.55am: Finance minister Arun Jaitley wants to move amendments to the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act to pump in more money in the body that gives credit to rural and agricultural sector.
9.54am: The government has listed a bill to declare the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy as an institution of national importance.
9.52am: The Centre will try to replace the ordinance with the bill for amending the Indian Forest Act, 1927, in Rajya Sabha to allow locals to cut and transport bamboo in non-forest areas.
*The bill, opposed by a section of the Opposition on the ground that it only benefits traders, is aimed to increase income of people in North East and other places of India.
9.45am: Congress gives adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over Union minister Anantkumar Hegde’s remarks about the constitution.
9.22am: The Congress has given suspension of business notice in Rajya Sabha under rule 267 over PM Modi’s statement against Former PM Manmohan Singh and others
8.30am: BJP issues whip for its Lok Sabha MPs to remain present in the house tomorrow and day after.
8.25am: BJP will hold its parliamentary party meeting at 9.30am on Thursday.
As carried in HT