As the monsoon session of Parliament began on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said all parties were in the mood to take good decisions.
The session is the Modi government’s best chance to give a decisive push to the GST bill, which aims to replace myriad local levies with a central indirect tax. The crucial tax reforms legislation has been pending before since 2008, and Modi’s renewed push has met with stiff opposition resistance over certain aspects of the tax proposal.
“I have faith in all political parties. Have spoken to them and it is clear everyone is in a mood to take good decisions,” he said outside Parliament before the session began.
Modi said all parties should work together to ensure that constructive discussions took place in Parliament, and added that discussion will give the country a direction.
“This session is taking place ahead of the 70th Independence Day Celebrations. In this session we wish to take the journey of these 70 years to greater heights, a new direction, and momentum by indulging in the best of discussions and take excellent decisions for the larger interest of the nation,” he said.
Lok Sabha adjourned
Modi introduced the newly inducted ministers the Lok Sabha. The Lower House was adjourned after his address on account of the death of Dalpat Singh Paraste, a Lok Sabha parliamentarian from Shahdol (Madhya Pradesh).
Ruckus in Rajya Sabha
The Upper House was adjourned for 10 minutes around noon following ruckus over BSP leader Mayawati naming a political party while talking about the exploitation of Dalits.
A day ago, Modi asked an all-party meeting to keep “national interest” in mind and not just who gets the credit.
The monsoon session will run till August 12 and have 20 working days, during which time the government hopes to get the bill cleared along with some legislative backlog, especially those pending in the Rajya Sabha where the Opposition is in a majority.
This time the government, which completed two years in office in May, looks well-poised to overcome legislative hurdles to its contentious reforms programme.
Last month’s elections for 58 seats did not change the composition of the Upper House significantly but did create enough manoeuvring space for NDA strategists to divide (the opposition) and rule.
Often steamrolled in the Lok Sabha by a numerically superior NDA, opposition parties, especially the Congress and the Left, have had so far their way in the Rajya Sabha where they have blocked several bills. The ruling coalition might be able turn the corner.
(With inputs from agencies)