Parliament updates | Lok Sabha passes four GST Amendment Bills

Harivansh in his new seat as Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.   | Photo Credit: Rajya Sabha TV

Harivansh, a Janata Dal (United) member, has been elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. He was the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate for the post. He was declared the winning candidate with 125 votes, while United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA’s) B K Hariprasad received 105 votes. 

Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha saw repeated adjournments as shouting of slogans drowned out members’ speeches.

Here are the live updates:

Lok Sabha | 8.30 p.m.

Lok Sabha adjourned for the day.

Lok Sabha | 7.00 p.m.

Lok Sabha extends for members to get to brief the House.

BJP member Nishikant Dubey demands that the reservation facility should be denied to tribals after conversion to other religion. He said that the population of Christians has increased in the North East, Odisha and Chhattisgarh because of conversion.

S.R. Vijayakumar (AIADMK) demands that the Centre should stop Karnataka from constructing a new dam on Cauvery river.

Rajesh Ranjan (expelled RJD member) raises the issue of inter-linking of rivers in Bihar to save the state from the disaster of flood and drought. He also says that construction of dams in certain parts of the state would help mitigate the risk of flood.

Md Salim (CPI-M) says that 36,000 farmers have committed suicide in past three years due to financial distress. He demands that the Government should waive farm loans and provide ₹5,000 pension to old farmers.

Hari Narayan Rajbhar (BJP) demands setting up of a Commission for farmers.

Santokh Singh Chaudhary (Congress) demands that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on sports goods should be reduced to 5%, saying several units in Jalandhar were facing closure because of high incidence of tax.

Lok Sabha | 6.45 p.m.

House passes The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

Zero Hour begins.

Matters of urgent public importance is being discussed by members.

Lok Sabha | 6.20 p.m.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad talks about the bill: "I'm very proud to say that all NRIs have reached abroad due to their hardwork. NRIs has earned millions, but yet, their passport is Indian. Proxy is not a dirty word in Company Law and many other places. All the concerns which has been raised by many members can be fixed with rules.

As of now migrant workers can register in their original place or in the new place. Postal ballot is only for armed forces. If teachers go to vote for election related work, they can use postal ballot. Migrant workers can remain in their constituency. But I'll look into the larger issues that have been raised for migrant workers. E-voting may not be completely secure. We need further technology to ensure e-voting is safe. While framing the rules, I want to ensure that these concerns are flagged into."

Lok Sabha | 6.00 p.m.

Odisha's BJD MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo says: "If there's a lady working outside of India, and she choses her husband to vote instead of her, and he votes to some other party against her choice, it is a violation. I oppose the bill."

Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai extends the House upto 7 p.m. for consideration and passing of the bill.

Andhra Pradesh TDP MP Jayadev Galla says: "Even I was an NRI and I couldn't vote for many years since I wasn't living here. With today's technology, why do we need a proxy? Many countries do e-voting. A vote can be cast on electronic basis. I welcome the gender neutral measure as well. I support this bill."

Punjab's SAD MP, Prem Singh Chandumajra says: "Punjab's 40% people have gone abroad. I feel this bill is good for the country."

Lok Sabha | 5.40 p.m.

Lok Sabha takes up consideration and passing of The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says: "My initial observation is that all migrant workers who have registered in the voters list, have the rights to get registered in the area where they're working. Those NRIs who will be allowed are those who have their names in the voters list. They will authorise the confirmed proxy to vote. This is good for the country."

Tamil Nadu AIADMK MP from Madurai, R. Gopalakrishnan says: "Election commission had made the physical presence of voters mandatory. Very few NRIs travelled to India to exercise their franchise. It is not practical and affordable at the time of elections. NRIs could vote online with biometric identifications."

BJP MP from Bihar, Rajeev Pratap Rudy: "Crores of people keep moving from one state to another. Even NRIs keep their Indian passports for many years."

AITC MP Dr. Sanghamita Mamtaz from West Bengal: "We can't be sure that the proxy voter would vote for the party that was in the NRI's choice. When they show crocodile tears for migrant workers, they won't be able to give a proper proxy. It is not foolproof. The govt should think before implementing this Bill."

Lok Sabha passes National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017.

Lok Sabha | 5.25 p.m.

Lok Sabha passes the following

1. Central Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018

2. The Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018

3. The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018

4. The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to states) Amendment Bill, 2018

Lok Sabha | 5.15 p.m.

Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal says, "Like Quit India movement, today can be 'Quit Inefficiency Day' or 'Quit Corruption Day' or 'Quit Harassment Day'.

When GST came to force, such a huge change was brought to India. For textile industry, GST council has made it much easier.

Lower tax rates will improve compliance and enhance revenue collection. Tax collection will not come down despite reduction in taxes. In the last one year, GST on about 400 goods and 68 services were reduced. We are empowering 125 crore people of India through Good and Simple Tax.

The capacity to slash the GST rates on more items would go up as GST revenues and the compliance rate increases and the economy formalises."

Rajya Sabha | 5.05 p.m.

Rajya Sabha discusses The Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

Uttar Pradesh SP MP Ravi Prakash Varma: "Homeopathic research, treatment and medicines must be given more importance by the govt compared to the regular medicine which has been becoming a big business here."

Andhra Pradesh's YSRCP MP V. Vijaysai Reddy sought to know if the government has taken action against the members allegedly involved in malpractices. "What was the need to reseek permission by the existing Homeopathic colleges? We often find acute shortage of Homeopathic doctors in hospitals. There is a requirement for recruitment of these doctors."

Replying to a short debate, Minister of State for Ayush Shripad Yesso Naik says, “Some malpractices by members of the council were taking place. However, there were no provisions in the law to remove them. An Ordinance was brought to take action against members involved in malpractices.”

Till the HCC was reconstituted, a Board of Governors was constituted by the Centre to exercise the powers of the Council. The Board met twice and the council held five meetings, he says.

The Minister also informed the House that as many as 223 homeopathy colleges have been inspected and 45 of them have applied for the recognition. A list of colleges for grant of recognition, has been sent to the government, he said.

The bill also states that homeopathy medical colleges set up or opened new courses before the ordinance was promulgated will have to take recognition from the central government within a year.

If these colleges fail to get such permission, then the medical qualifications granted to the students will not be recognised under the law.

RS passes National Sports University bill & Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, amid uproar by Congress members.

Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day after uproar by Congress members in the Well of the House.

Lok Sabha | 5.05 p.m.

Bihar's RJD MP Rajesh Ranjan (Pappu Yadav) says: "The value of moral education should be given importance to help abolish corruption."

Rajya Sabha | 4.45 p.m.

MoS (IC) Youth Affairs and Sports, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore says: "It is everyone's responsibility to take sports forward. Be it central govt or private sector. National sports development funding has helped so far and we won't let anyone go without funding."

"The proposed university would offer masters and bachelor degree in various fields including sports management and sports science. Besides the main campus in Manipur, regional centres of the university would also be established in other parts of the country and abroad as well. We want to establish a high standard institution.”

House passes The National Sports University Bill, 2018.

Lok Sabha | 4.30 p.m.

Lok Sabha discusses

  • Central Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018
  • The Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018
  • The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018
  • The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to states) Amendment Bill, 2018

Telangana TRS MP Konda Vishweshwar Reddy says, "Exempting sanitary napkins from GST was good. I need to state that in Telangana, soon we'll be giving free sanitary napkins to women. We are one of the contributing states. We are contributing not just for our growth but also for growth of the nation."

Rajya Sabha | 4.15 p.m.

The Upper House discusses The National Sports University Bill, 2018 as members continue to shout slogans.

West Bengal IND MP Ritabrata Banerjee says institutes should be able to develop entrepreneurial decisions. "In schools and colleges, many students in India have been reported to have been in extreme stress. Sports help in cooling them down."

Telangana TRS MP Prakash Banda and Andhra Pradesh YSRCP MP V. Vijaysai Reddy say they support the bill.

Lok Sabha | 4.15 p.m.

Give Andhra Pradesh the same benefits in the same manner as all states under special category, says TDP MP Jayadev Galla, of Guntur.

Rajya Sabha | 3.45 p.m.

Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot says that when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was asked if his government will be run in the ‘Manuwad’ way or the ‘Bhimwad’ way, he answered it will be in the ‘Bhimwad’ way.

Slogan shouting is on in the House.

Motion to consider the Bill is moved and passed. Clause by clause consideration begins now.

The Rajya Sabha passes The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018. This reverses the Supreme Court judgment of March 2018.

Anand Sharma says that a JPC should be constituted on the Rafale deal. Chair says, “We will see.” This leads to a din as slogans are shouted.

The slogans drown out the voice of Col. Rajyavardhan Singh rathore who rises to move The National Sports University Bill for consideration and passing.

MC Mary Kom, a nominated Member tries to speak on the Bill, but the slogan shouting is still loud.

Lok Sabha | 3 p.m.

Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress says that when Ministers say that in 60 years nothing is done, he has to refute such statements.

He begins speaking about B.R. Ambedkar, and the agitations to install his statue on Parliament grounds.

Shouts can be heard from the Treasury Benches.

Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress says GST is complicated and confusing.

Rajya Sabha | 2.43 p.m.

House reconvenes. TRS Member Keshav Rao says that Members have a right to speak anything subject to the House’s rules.

Chair says House has to support and pass the Bill unanimously.

Vijila Satyananth of the AIADMK speaks about honour killing and cow vigilantism.

Lok Sabha | 2 p.m.

House reconvenes and Finance Minister Piyush Goyal introduces the Bills to amend the GST (Compensation to States), the IGST and the CGST laws for consideration and passing.

Slogans can be heard throughout the Minister’s speech. Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai is in the Chair.

Rajya Sabha | 2 p.m.

House reconvenes.

Thaawar Chand Gehlot rises to introduce The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018 for consideration and passing.

Kumari Selja of the Congress says that every 15 minutes there is a crime against Dalits.

House is adjourned till 2.43 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 1 p.m.

House reconvenes. Papers are laid on the table.

House is adjourned again.

Rajya Sabha | 12.50 p.m.

Chair says Harivansh’s full name is Harivansh Narayan Singh, but was inspired by Jaiprakash Narayan and dropped his surname.

Mr. Harivansh rises to thank Members for electing him. He promises that he will fulfill his duties to the best of his abilities.

Chair invites Members for breakfast in honour of the Deputy Chairman. He then invites Mr. Harivansh to preside over the House.

House stands adjourned till 2 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 12.40 p.m.

Zero Hour is on in the House.

But slogans overtake the House. House is adjourned till 1 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 12 noon

Question Hour comes to a close. Speaker announces that Members can submit questions and answers in any of the recognised languages. But for five languages alone, she says that Members need to give 24 hours notice as interpreters need to be arranged. A Member says the House still doesn’t have interpreters for Bhojpuri.

Papers are laid on the table.

Rajya Sabha | 11.50 a.m.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his speech by congratulating Mr. Harivansh. He then goes on to list Mr. Harivansh’s accomplishments. He says that Mr. Harivansh, who was a journalist, has worked with many scions. 

Mr. Jaitley then says that Mr. Harivansh, whenever he spoke about anything, did complete research on the subject.

Rajya Sabha | 11.45 a.m.

Leader of the House Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar escort Mr. Harivansh to his seat next to Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Mr. Azad begins his speech by wishing Mr. Jaitley a speedy recovery. Mr. Jaitley is attending the House for the first time after his renal transplant. He also quips that the Chair and the Deputy Chairman should pay more attention to the left and the left-of-centre in the House, referring to the Opposition’s seats in the Rajya Sabha.

He congratulated Mr. Harivansh.

Rajya Sabha | 11 a.m.

In the Rajya Sabha, commitee reports and statements are being laid on the table.

Motions for the election of Deputy Chairman are taken up. Members nominate Harivansh of the JD(U) for the position. Vandana Chavan of the NCP, whose name was also doing the rounds as one of the possible candidates, seconds the motion to choose Mr. Harivansh.

The votes for and against Harivansh of the JD(U) for the position of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman.

The votes for and against Harivansh of the JD(U) for the position of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman.   | Photo Credit: Rajya Sabha TV


The motion is put to vote. 122 members vote for Mr. Harivansh, while 98 Members vote against his appointment. Two Members have abstained. With corrections, the ayes are up to 125, and the noes at 105. Mr. Harivansh is elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

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Lok Sabha | 11 a.m.

Question Hour is on in Lok Sabha.

A Member asks a question on the generation of solar power. Raj Kumar Singh, Minister for New and Renewable Energy says the government will achieve its targets comfortably. In the year 2017-18, we established 9,900 MW of solar power, he says.

But there is a constant din of slogans. House is adjourned till 11.25 a.m.

10.45 a.m.

After initial enthusiasm, the Opposition is now staring at imminent defeat with the Biju Janata Dal likely to help NDA nominee Mr. Singh sail through. The post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman has been lying vacant since the retirement of P.J. Kurien on July 1.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 10:12:12 PM |

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