Parliament met for the twenty forth sitting of this Session today. The Constitution Amendment (GST) Bill,2014 was taken up for consideration in Lok Sabha. Before the discussion began, several members pointed out that adequate time to move amendments to the Bill was not given. They asked that the discussion on the Bill be taken up later.
Members also opposed the discussion on the Bill sighting Rule 220 of the Rules of Procedure. They argued that motions to introduce a Bill may only be admitted before the House begins the allotted financial business for the day. Some members also pointed out that as per Rule 88, the President’s recommendation is required for amendments related to taxation. Members of the opposition benches pressed that the Bill be sent to a Standing Committee for detailed scrutiny. However, the Speaker ruled that the Bill need not be sent to the Standing Committee and would be taken up later after initial remarks by the Minister of Finance.
In Rajya Sabha, the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 piloted by Mr. Tiruchi Siva was the first Private Member Bill to be passed since 1970. The last Private Members’ Bill passed by Parliament was ‘The Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Bill, 1968’ that became an Act on 9th August, 1970.Till date, Parliament has passed 14 Private Members’ Bills. Six of these were passed in 1956 alone.
The discussion on Demands for Grants for the Ministry o Human Resource Development was briefly taken up and will be completed next week. Till now the Demands for Grants of two other Ministries i.e. Drinking Water and Sanitation, and Chemicals and Fertilizer have been passed. The Ministries of Environment and Forests & Climate Change, Home Affairs remain to be discussed. All discussions will need to be finished by March 28, as demands for grants as decided will be guillotined and passed that day.