23 December, 2015

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Winter session of Parliament ends; GST Remains Pending

Winter session of Parliament ends; GST remains pending

The stormy Winter session of Parliament ended today, leaving the crucial economic reform bill GST pending and evoking some strong comments by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari who asked MPs to introspect and desist from "demeaning the stature" of the House.

The Session, which began on November 26, had 20 sittings in all and out of this, Rajya Sabha lost 47 hours due to disruptions caused almost every day by Congress which raised one issue after another.

The Lok Sabha performed a little better as it passed 13 bills and saw discussions over various issues like price rise, flood and drought situation, despite repeated uproar created by the opposition Congress over various issues.

The Rajya Sabha, which saw passage of nine bills, could not, however, clear the pending GST bill which provides for overhauling the direct tax structure of the country as Congress steadfastly maintained its opposition to it.

But the parties, except the Left, came together in the Upper House yesterday to pass the Juvenile Justice Bill under which the age of trying a juvenile as an adult in heinous crimes like rape was brought down from 18 years to 16 years.

The House virtually rushed to pass this pending bill against the backdrop of the public outrage over the release of a juvenile convict in the December 2012 gangrape-cum-murder after spending three years in a reform home.

The disruptions in both Houses were caused over issues like summons by a Delhi court to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case, atrocities on dalits, role of Arunachal Pradesh Governor and demand for resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in connection with alleged irregularities in DDCA.

The Rajya Sabha also saw uproar over Congress member Kumari Selja's remark about being asked about her caste at a temple in Gujarat, alleged anti-Dalit remarks of Minister V K Singh and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat's reported comments on Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Taking a serious view of the disruptions, the Rajya Sabha Chairman asked the MPs "to introspect on this state of affairs (and) desist from approaches and practices that demean the stature of the Rajya Sabha." .

PTI | 23.12.2015

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