All usual business was suspended in Rajya Sabha as discussion on the situation in the Kashmir valley was taken up.
Members raised their concerns about the reasons leading to youths’ involvement in such violence, and urged the government to reach out to all stakeholders while addressing the issue. Some members suggested that integration and dialogue with people from the Jammu and Ladakh regions were also important to find a solution to the situation in Kashmir. Demands for the ban of pellet guns and exercise of maximum of restraint were also made by several members during their speeches. The Upper House had also taken up discussion on Kashmir earlier in this session as well.
Lok Sabha introduced and passed the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill amends the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the Customs Tariff Act, 1975.
The Companies Act, 1956 allows companies to demerge (split) into multiple companies. As a result of the demerger, the income, expenses, and profits of the parent company are transferred to the resultant companies. The Income Tax Act, 1961 takes into account these transfers from the parent company for taxation of resultant companies. The Bill clarifies that these provisions will apply in case a public sector company demerges, and the resultant company is no longer a public sector company.
Currently, the customs duty on imports of granite and marble used for certain purposes is charged at 10%. The Bill proposes to increase this to 40%.
Lok Sabha also introduced and took up discussion on the Factories(Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill amends the Factories Act, 1948. The Act permits the state government to prescribe rules on a range of matters, including double employment, details of adult workers to be included in the factory’s register, conditions related to exemptions to certain workers, etc. The Bill gives such rule making powers to the central government as well.
The Act permits the state government to permit overtime work hours up to 50 hours for a quarter. The Bill raises this limit to 100 hours. Also, the Act enables the state government to permit adult workers to work overtime in a quarter up to 75 hours, if there is excessive work load. The Bill permits the central or state government to raise this limit to 115; and further extend this limit to 125 hours in public interest.
Both houses were sitting at the time of sending this report.