National

Opposition agrees to clear six Bills as GST is out of way

Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari along with Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress, K.C.Tyagi of JDU and D.Raja of CPI arriving for All Party meeting called by him to discuss logjam in the Upper House on Friday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena  

After almost a whole Winter Session where disruption seemed to be the norm, and barely any business was conducted, things got real in the Rajya Sabha on Friday. The government formally relinquished any hope of clearing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, 2014, in favour of clearing Bills where the government and the Opposition were on the same page.

Leaders of all parties in the Rajya Sabha agreed to let business run when Parliament reconvenes on Monday.

There was agreement on passing at least six Bills, including the SC ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, the Appropriation Bills, the Anti-Hijacking Bill, the Atomic Energy Amendment Bill, the Commercial Courts Ordinance Bill and the Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill by December 23 when the current session comes to an end.

The government also conceded a substantive motion to be heard against the role of Governors in various States, once Parliament reconvenes on Monday.

At an all-party meeting called on Friday by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, the chairperson of the Upper House, the leaders agreed to clear the Bills. But, on a day when the juvenile accused in the Nirbhaya case was let go, they decided that there was not enough consensus among all parties to clear the Juvenile Justice Bill. The Bill sought to lower the age limit for being considered a minor in criminal cases to 16 years from the present 18 years.





The Whistleblower Protection Bill, 2011, will also be sent to a select committee. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Bill is still under consideration.

The government also conceded a substantive motion to be heard against the role of Governors in various States, once Parliament reconvenes on Monday.

The all-party meeting was called after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Mr. Ansari on Thursday afternoon, after yet another disruption in the House.

Big obstacle

The government sources confirmed that once the government had decided that the GST Bill was too big an obstacle, and was being used as an excuse to stall the House, there would be a change of tack and efforts would be made to clear some other Bills, where agreement existed.

“We will try and make up for lost time by working late in the last three days of the session, and clear the Bills on which there is broad agreement between parties,” said Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Leaders at the meeting said the GST Bill would require more time, Mr. Naqvi added.


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 5:42:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/opposition-agrees-to-clear-six-bills-as-gst-is-out-of-way/article8005390.ece

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