Source: News Bharati English17 Jul 2016 16:23:09

New Delhi, July 17: A day before the Monsoon Session of Parliament begins, the government called for an all-party meeting on Sunday which was held by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar. The meeting sought the support of opposition parties in the passage of pending legislations during the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning Monday. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also convened an all-party meeting on Sunday to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament.

45 leaders from 30 parties attended today’s meeting including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, Ministers of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and S.S. Ahluwalia.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged all the political parties to keep national interests above any other considerations. Speaking today at a meeting of Leaders of various parties convened by the Government ahead of the Monsoon session, he said that ‘‘we represent both the people and parties and there is a need to keep national interests above anything else”.

Prime Minister thanked all the political parties saying ‘’various parties have given statements on Kashmir events which benefitted the country. This has sent a right message and I thank all the parties for the same”. Shri Modi said that important Bills including the GST Bill are to be taken up during the Monsoon session beginning tomorrow and expressed the hope that there would be meaningful discussions and outcomes during the session. Referring to introduction of GST, the Prime Minister noted that the issue was not about which government would get the credit for introduction of GST but what was important is the passage of the Bill.

After the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said, "We had a very fruitful discussion. All parties assured full cooperation. Congress assured they will support bills on the basis of merit. We have proposed 16 legislative businesses. All parties are holding discussions regarding GST bill, we want consensus to be developed on that."  He said the Congress Party assured support to legislative proposals based on merits. The Minister said that the Congress Party assured support to legislative proposals based on merits.

The Minister also stated that the Government assured the leaders of an open-minded approach and would facilitate discussion on issues raised by various parties during today’s meeting and further said that the Government was hopeful of a productive session. 

Informing that the Government sought the cooperation of all parties for the passage of GST Bill, Ananth Kumar made it clear that all parties would be consulted in this regard. He said that the Government’s legislative agenda includes 16 Bills to be taken up during the session beginning tomorrow including three Bills to replace Ordinances.

Legislative agenda proposed by the Government for the Monsoon session include:

I. Bills for introduction, consideration and passing

1. The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 (To replace an ordinance)

2. The Dentists (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 (To replace an ordinance)

II. Bills for consideration and Passing

(A) Bills pending in the Lok Sabha

(i) The Indian Trust (Amendment) Bill, 205 (agreeing to amendments made by the Rajya Sabha)

(ii) The Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous

Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016 ( after report is presented by the joint committee)

(B) Bills pending in the Rajya Sabha

(i) The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015

(ii) The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2016

(iii) The Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016

(iv) The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-second Amendment) Bill, 2014

(v) The Enemy Property (Amendment & Validation) Bill, 2016
(all the above Bills already passed by Lok Sabha)

(vi) The Child labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012

(vii) The Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2015

III. Bills for Introduction

(i) The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016

(ii) The Institute of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2016

(iii) The National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2016; and

(iv) The Use and regulation of DNA-based technology in Civil and Criminal Proceedings, Identification of Missing Persons and Human Remains Bill, 2016

IV. Financial Business

1. Discussion and Voting on Supplementary Demands for Grants (General) for 2015-16.              

The session will have 20 working days and will conclude on August 12. A total of 25 bills including crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill are expected to come up for passing and consideration during the session. The government has reached out to the main opposition party for the passage of the GST Bill, while the Congress is also fine-tuning its strategy on the legislation.

"Majority of states in favour of GST bill. No political party has taken an open stand against it. I'm sure it will be passed," Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, adding, “The GST bill should be passed by consensus than majority. If it's approved by consensus, it will be good for the nation."

Ahead of the session, top Congress leaders met party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Saturday and chalked out strategy on crucial issues, including the GST Bill. Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad and other senior party leaders including Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia attended the meeting.  Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar had a meeting with Azad and Anand Sharma where the two ministers discussed all points to bring Congress on board on GST Bill.