Minister of state for parliamentary affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, says the Centre has received a positive response from regional parties, ensuring them of a smooth passage of various pending bills. Excerpts:
Agenda for the Session
We have around 12-13 working days in Parliament for government business, excluding weekends and Fridays when you have private members’ bills. We will try to make the best use out of it. The GST Bill is high on priority. The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill,2016, The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill,2016 and The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill,2013, are some other important ones.
Concerns about disruptions
The government expects the monsoon session to be successful, fruitful and constructive. The weather outside is lovely and we are sure that business inside Parliament will also be conducted in a pleasant atmosphere. We are ready for a debate on every issue that the Opposition wants to discuss. There should be no disruption.
Trouble with regional players
We don’t foresee that happening. Government leaders have reached out to their leaders, seeking support to the passage of bills and smooth conduct of Parliament. We have received a positive response. There is no reason to worry. The Arunachal Pradesh controversy should not have a bearing on Parliament. Why only regional parties, even the BJP and Congress have spoken in the past about the limits of the boundaries of judiciary and the executive.
Passage of the GST
The government is committed to this reform. This is a long-pending bill and we are confident that it will see the light of the day in this session. Most of the opposition parties are in agreement with the government. Even Congress’ opposition has softened. We don’t believe that the Congress is opposed to reforms and the economic progress of this country. Its stand so far created a negative perception about the Congress. We hope that they have realised that opposing GST won’t serve them any purpose.