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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Parliament Highlights: Bills to extend GST to J-K passed by Lok Sabha

Opposition raised the I-T raids conducted at Karnataka minister’s residence in Bengaluru in both the houses of the Parliament.

india Updated: Aug 02, 2017 18:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Members protest in the well of the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Members protest in the well of the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed legislation to extend the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to Jammu and Kashmir, making it part of the “one nation, one tax” regime.

The House passed the the Central Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir), Bill, 2017 and the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir), Bill, 2017 after a brief discussion in which members by and large welcomed the measures.

The two bills replace an order promulgated by the President

Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha saw multiple adjournments as the Opposition relentlessly protested the income tax raids at the official residence of Karnataka Power Minister DK Shivakumar and at a private resort near Bengaluru where 42 Congress lawmakers from Gujarat are staying. The raids began early Wednesday morning.

Read | Rajya Sabha sees adjournments, protests over I-T raids in Karnataka

Here are the highlights:

6:02 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned for the day.

5:42 pm: “Why should we trust the RBI as it has not even been able to count the money that was collected during demonetisation,” says Roy.

The Banking Regulation Amendment bill has provisions that allow central government to authorise the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue directions to banks for initiating proceedings in case of a default in loan repayment.

5:35 pm: “This bill is unnecessary,” says TMC memeber Saugata Roy.

5:31 pm: Gourav Gogoi says, “NITI Ayog suggests writing off bad loans as fine but for farmers, the same loan waiver is dubbed as populist move.”

4:56 pm: Congress member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary says, “India is over-legislated country, what’s the need to bring this banking ordinance?”

4:50 pm: Lok Sabha takes up discussion of The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The bill looks to tackle the issue of non-performing assets.

4:46 pm: Lok Sabha passes the Central Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir), Bill, 2017 and the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir), Bill, 2017 .

4:38 pm: The sanitary napkins made in India by self-help groups is taxed zero, those by medium-range manufacturer is 2 % and only those by big manufacturers is 12%. In the absence of GST, given the taxes on inputs and intermediate products, locally-made sanitary pads could lose the edge to Chinese imports, says Jaitley.

4:24 pm: “Those who are advocating for single tax slab have learnt it from some western nation where there are no BPL population. Single tax slab is an argument against the poor and only for the wealthy,” says Jaitley.

4: 16 pm: Finance minister Arun Jaitley says the argument against GST in J-K was given by separatist as it will lead to greater integration with India.

“The special status was never created for economic impediment of the state,” he says.

4:00 pm: Rumblings in Lok Sabha after Anurag Thakur mentions the word “pappu” during his speech.

“Will there be contempt of Pappu now,” asks Thakur.

3:56 pm: BJP MP Anurag Singh Thakur says, “The motto of GST as ‘one nation, one tax, one market’ will be incomplete without implementation of the system in Jammu and Kashmir.”

“When a country like Singapore took two years to implement a new tax system, India could due in a short span of time because the government was fully prepared.”

3: 25 pm: Jayadev Galla of TDP asks why there is 5% GST on red chillis and 0% on green. His constituency Guntur produces 20% of global supply of red chillies, he says. The reason given for the tax is the process of drying red chillies in the sun.

Same rate applied to raw and dried turmeric, which Galla says is not justified. He asks no tax be applied to non or naturally processed products.

3:15 pm: Satpathy asks, “Why is the government bringing back the horrible Inspector Raj that the congress had put in place?... It is killing small traders, small people and the average businessmen. They are also Indian citizens. Doesn’t the government have a responsibilty to them?”

3:12 pm: BJD’s Tathagata Satpathy says, “GST is not truly one nation, one tax as the government is propounding. Go back to your constituency and ask people how they feel.”

“Let us take Gujarat as model for GST... Traders have been on strike since July 1. Orders have declined in one month,” Satpathy points out.

“The Law Minister said in the morning said that ‘data is the new oil’. GST is another way for govt to collect more data. GSTN will be privy to all.” he avers.

3:00 pm: Discussion continues. AIADMK’s J Jayavardhan says fireworks industry will be affected by the 28% GST imposed on it and asks for reduction in tax rate.

He also asks for complete exemption for handlooms, sanitary napkins and textile dyes.

2:55 pm: As TMC’s Kalyan Banerjee speaks, Kharge raises objection saying Jaitley introduces the bill and goes away.

BJP’s SS Ahluwalia says two cabinet ministers and concerned minister is present. Jaitley is Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, which is also functioning, Ahluwalia defends.

Members point out the Upper House has adjourned for the day.

Meanwhile, Jaitley returns to the Lok Sabha.

2:48 pm: Rajya Sabha reconvenes briefly. Pramod Tiwari and Anand Sharma cite rules on the I-T raids in Bengaluru.

As protests by MPs continue, Chair adjourns house till 11 am on August 3, Thursday.

2:42 pm: Tharoor says, “Jammu and Kashmir is a sensitive state... we need to do everything we can to protect its fragile economy. The economy is undermined by terrorism, it should not be undermined by the terrorism of the Finance Ministry.”

2:38 pm: In the Lok Sabha, Tharoor says Congress agrees and initiated the GST in principle, but disapproves of the current bill. “The bill was passed when the (state) Opposition was not in the House, which is a violation of financial autonomy and special status the state,” he says.

“Instead of one nation, one tax, we have one nation, three taxes and six slabs,” Tharoor says.

2:31 pm: Congress’ Pramod Tiwari raises I-T raids issue once again and says law and order is a state subject. Chair counters that income tax is a central subject.

Sibal asks how the bill could be moved. Chair responds saying shouting isn’t his monopoly. Sibal says he couldn’t hear and is asked by the Chair to go to the doctor and check his ears.

Ruckus continues. House adjourned for 10 minutes.

2:30 pm: Rajya Sabha reconvenes. Opposition MPs continue to protest in the well.

Chair asks MP Arjun Ram Meghwal to move the IIT bill, which he does on behalf of Jaitley.

2: 24 pm: “Given the sensitivity of the region, you should have been careful while introducing the GST here,” Chowdhruy says.

His praise for the security forces gets desk thumps from both sides of the aisle. He questions Jaitley’s claim that demonetisation stopped stone-pelting in Kashmir Valley.

“You must strive hard to allay the fears that the special status, the special fiscal system given to the people of the Valley is not taken away,” he says.

2:14 pm: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of Congress says, “Your government is frequently recourse of the ordinance rule.”

“This government has mastered the art of passing ordinances. Jaitley ji is oscillating from ordinance to ordinance.”

2:11 pm: Lok Sabha reconvenes. House takes up IGST & CGST (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bills ahead of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, which is listed first.

Jaitley hails as this as a move integrating the state with the rest of the Indian market.

2:10 pm: Congress MPs storm the well once again, raising slogans. House adjourned for 15 minutes.

2:05 pm: Rajya Sabha begins with a message from the Lok Sabha. The house was to discuss two money bills but a supplementary agenda was added to introduce IIIT Bill, 2017, which was passed in the Lok Sabha last week.

Opposition MPs object to this inclusion even as the Chair says permission has been given, waiving the rules.

1:50 pm: Gujarat Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil, who is in Bengaluru, spoke to the media after the I-

T raids and said, “Gunmen were roaming around inside the hotel as if our MLAs are criminals. This is politics at its worst.”

“We are not enjoying or partying here, if he had to then would have taken Rs 15 crores as offered by the BJP,” he added.

1:20 pm: Meanwhile, the Gujarat unit of Congress has moved the Supreme Court, challenging the Election Commission’s decision to introduce None of the Above (NOTA) option for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in the state.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, seeking an urgent hearing of the case, mentioned the petition before a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, who agreed to list the petition for hearing on Thursday.

The Gujarat Congress also sought a stay of the notification.

“We are surprised that EC took such an unconstitutional step. We’ll talk about it in Court tomorrow,” Sibal said.

Sibal also commented on the I-T raids saying, “They want no one on the opposition benches and want everyone with BJP. We won’t let this happen.”

1:02pm: Lok Sabha adjourned for lunch till 2pm.

1:00 pm: CPI(M)’s Sankar Prasad Datta questions large-scale privatisation of public sector and says the NITI Aayog has been hijacked by private agenda.

12:58 pm: Uproar in Lok Sabha.

12:55 pm: In the Lok Sabha, BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi reads out names of 14 people killed in Kerala. “Nobody knows these names but everyone recognises Pehlu Khan and Akhlaq.”

These people talk of intolerance but they don’t understand democracy or freedom of expression, Lekhi says.

Lekhi says, “God’s own country (Kerala) has become God-forsaken country because democratic principles are not practiced in the state.”

12:52 pm: Meanwhile, the Karnataka chief minister has reacted to the I-T raids. According to ANI, Siddaramaiah said, “Order to meet political conspiracies, I-T department has been used. This is not fair in politics. CRPF was used during I-T raids instead of seeking police cooperation.”

12:5o pm: Prahlad Joshi of BJP talks about political murders in Kerala that he claims are “encouraged by the present (state) government.”

Joshi says, “Congress should be ashamed. Two of their members have been killed. They are fighting there and hobnobbing here.”

12:40 pm: BJP MP says the raid is against corruption and black money. “The Gujarat MLAs are having fun in the resort while the state suffers through floods. Why have the MLAs gone to hide in such an expensive resort?” he asks.

12:32pm: Several members of the House in the well shouting slogans.

12:25 pm: Gujarat Congress in-charge Ashok Gehlot tells ANI, “They want to murder democracy. Our MLAs are being threatened, money was offered and raids are being conducted.”

12:18 pm: Opposition MPs raise slogans in the Lok Sabha. Uproar in both the houses of the Parliament. Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm.

12:13 pm: Arun Jaitley responds, “I-T officers searched the minister and his associates. Search is on at 39 locations. When a search is conducted, it is protocol to take the statement of the person. He was at the resort and tearing up papers and documents. We recovered those papers as well.”

“Don’t link the raid with Gujarat election, but with economic offence,” he says.

12:10 pm: Congress’ Mallikarju Kharge also raises this morning’s I-T raids in the Lok Sabha. “Tax officers being used to scare and intimidate,” Kharge says.

12:07 pm:

12:04 pm: Rajya Sabha moves to Question Hour. Congress’ Kapil Sibal brings up issue of Gujarat MLAs once again. MPs shout slogans in the well of the House. RS adjourned for 10 minutes.

12:02 pm: Question Hour ends in Lok Sabha.

12:00 pm: Mahendra Singh of Congress asks for proper implementation of 7th Pay Commission and OROP.

11:55 am: CPI(M)’s Somaprasad speaks about Indian Athletic Federation exclusion of gold medal-winning athlete PU Chithra from World Athletics Championship. Chair agrees the issue must be looked into.

11:50 am: Rajani Patil of Congress raises the case of the 10 year old rape victim whose plea for abortion was denied by the government last week. Patil asks the government to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act drafted in 2014.

Ambika Soni of Congress asks if the government is planning to set up a medical board as recommended by the Supreme Court so that such cases don’t have to go through several courts before reaching the apex court.

Government says it is looking into it.

11:45 pm: CPI’s D Raja says Kamarajar Port being privatised to benefit business house that is close to the government.

11:42 am: Congress’ Husain Dalwai raises EPW incident and the sacking of Paranjoy Guha Thakurta over article on Adani published in the journal. Dalwai says similar pressure was put on journalists Sidharth Varadarajan, P Sainath. He says the government tried to suppress NDTV Hindi as well.

11:40 am: Rajya Sabha resumes with Zero Hour.

11:28 am: Rajya Sabha adjourned for 10 minutes as MPs continue to shout slogans even as the Chair requests the House be allowed to function.

11:20 am: MPs shout slogans and storm the well of the house. Chair tries to move on with Zero Hour.

11:15 am: “Conduct raids on residences of those people from your party (BJP) who are offering Rs 15 crores,” Ghulam Nabi Azad says to Jaitley.

11:13 am: Anand Sharma of Congress calls the timing of the raid ‘suspect’ and says, “There is a trend now of abusing state power and agencies of the state. The timing is important and significant. This minister was coordinating the safety of the MLAs.”

Arun Jaitley responds saying the resort was not searched, but the minister was searched and he happened to be at the resort.

Jaitley says, “There was no search in the resort, no tax officer is at the resort. Thirty-nine locations were searched.”

Uproar in the house.

11:10 am: In Rajya Sabha, Congress raises issue of IT raids in Bengaluru at Karnataka Power Minister DK Shivakumar’s residence and at a private resort where 42 Congress lawmakers from Gujarat are staying.

11:05 am: Question Hour in Lok Sabha. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the House.

11:00 am

Legislative business for the two Houses of Parliament today:

In the Lok Sabha

Bills for consideration and passing:

The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Central Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill, 2017
The Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill, 2017
The Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Amendment Bill, 2017

In the Rajya Sabha

Bills for consideration and passing:

The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013

First Published: Aug 02, 2017 11:03 IST

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