Government hopeful of debate, business in three days of winter session

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley urged the opposition to help in the normal functioning of Parliament. 

Published: 13th December 2016 08:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th December 2016 08:59 PM   |  A+A-


File photo | PTI


NEW DELHI: With only three days left for the winter session of Parliament to end, the government on Tuesday said it hopes for the normal functioning of the two houses and a debate on demonetisation.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley urged the opposition to help in the normal functioning of Parliament. 

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government is keen on holding the demonetisation debate as well as passage of key bills.

"Bills should get passed; but we also want Parliament to function smoothly so that a proper debate on demonetisation can be held," Naqvi told IANS.

"We hope the debate can take place in these three days," the minister said.

Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have been witnessing ruckus and repeated disruption over demonetisation and other issues like presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the debate, since the beginning of the winter session on November 16.

In the Rajya Sabha, the opposition wants Modi's presence during the debate while in the Lok Sabha they have sought a debate under the rule entailing voting.

On Tuesday, the Congress said they will also raise the issue of alleged involvement of Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju in a scam relating to an Arunachal Pradesh hydroelectricity project being executed by the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited.

"We will not only raise the issue in Parliament, but also question Modi on his promise of transparency and honesty, both inside and outside Parliament," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

Naqvi, however, said the Congress has just been shifting the goalposts.

"The Congress is looking for a new reason every day. As far as the charge against Rijiju is concerned, it is a non-issue. They are making a mountain out of a molehill," Naqvi told IANS.

"Let us see how the opposition parties behave tomorrow (Wednesday) in Parliament. We still have hope," the minister added.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: "I urge my friends in the Congress, and the entire opposition, (that) we are ready to debate this issue in Parliament. Rise above slogans and look at the positive advantages that these changes in system (demonetisation) are going to bring to the economy as a whole in the long-run." 

The Lok Sabha has so far only passed the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, and Supplementary Demands for Grants, both of which were passed by voice vote amid a din. 

The Rajya Sabha has not passed any bill so far in this session, which is scheduled to end on December 16.

Among the bills pending are the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2016, to facilitate levy of tax on supply of goods or services; the Integrated GST Bill, 2016, to levy tax on inter-state supply of goods or services; and the GST (Compensation for Loss of Revenue) Bill, 2016, to facilitates payment of compensation to states for any loss of revenue arising under the GST regime.


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