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Parliament's monsoon session from July 18, GST tops agenda

New Delhi: With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on top of the government's agenda, Parliament's monsoon session will be held from July 18 to August 12, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu announced here on Wednesday.

M Venkaiah Naidu
M Venkaiah Naidu.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, attended among others by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

At the meeting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said if members raise issues concerning the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and matters concerning foreign trips of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others, she is willing to make a statement, Naidu informed.

"The session will begin from July 18... There will be 20 working days," Naidu told reporters.

"One important bill we would like to bring is on the GST," Naidu said, adding the pending legislation is "important" in the larger interest of the country particularly "in view of the volatile situation of the world's economy".

He also said in the given situation of the world economy, "India has a great opportunity and if we are able to get the GST passed, Indian economy will grow further".

"Keeping that in mind I appeal to all the political parties to cooperate in passing the bill. We have spent enough time on this," he said.

The government wants to pass the bill "by consensus".

"We are working in that direction and talking to all the parties," he said, adding the government otherwise has enough numbers on the GST.

Naidu said that there are 11 Bills pending in Lok Sabha and 45 Bills pending in Rajya Sabha.

He said that the Ministers have been asked to take necessary action in respect of the pending and new Bills to be introduced by the third of next month so as to ensure that about 20 to 25 Bills could be taken up for introduction, consideration and passing.

The 11 Bills pending in Lok Sabha include Factories (Amendment) Bill,2014, Electricity (Amendment) Bill,2014, Lok Pal and Lokayuktas and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Bill,2014, Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Bill,2015, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Amendment) Bill,2015, Consumer Protection Bill,2015, and Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill,2015.

Some of the 45 Bills pending in Rajya Sabha include Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 1987, Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill,2015, Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2016 and Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill,2016.

The CCPA meeting also decided that "all the ministers" should conduct internal meetings and discuss proposals, if any, from the respective departments to be brought in the form of legislation.

"We have told them that they have to be ready by July 3 because the rule says you have to give 15 days notice to the Lok Sabha Speaker or the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha," Naidu said.

Naidu said 45 bills are pending in the Rajya Sabha while 11 legislation are before the Lok Sabha.

"Some of them are referred to the Standing Committees. The committees have completed their studies, some of them have come back."

Naidu said as Parliamentary Affairs Minister he has asked all the ministers to "find out latest position vis-a-vis their respective bills" and prepare to give notice to the chairs on the concerned bills.

In addition to these, three Ordinances would need to be passed, he said.

These include the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, the Medical Council of India and the Dental Council of Indian ordinances.

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