Happy Parliament functioning smoothly, Benami bill likely next week: Ananth Kumar

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New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar on Thursday expressed happiness that both houses of parliament are transacting their business smoothly in the ongoing Monsoon Session as a number of bills have been passed.

In the first three days of the session, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have already passed two bills each.

He also said the amended Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015, that was approved by the Union cabinet on Wednesday, may be listed for passage next week.

“This amended bill (on Benami Transaction) is one step forward in eradicating black money. It will tighten noose around wrongdoers and give more powers to the revenue department to identify and take actions against those who have banami properties,” Ananth Kumar told reporters here.

“This bill again shows the right earnest of the Modi government in fighting the black money issue,” he said.

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The Union cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its approval for introducing amendments to the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015, with the aim of strengthening the legislation in terms of legal and administrative procedure so as to overcome the practical difficulties which may arise in the implementation of its provisions, said officials.

Similarly, Ananth Kumar said The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016 approved by the Cabinet seeks to empower transgenders and ensure that a mechanism will be evolved for their social, economic and educational empowerment.

This bill is also likely to come up in parliament next week.

Expressing happiness that both the houses are transacting their business smoothly in the ongoing monsoon session, he said most issues are being discussed in detail and the bills are passed by both houses of Parliament.

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In fact, according to Ananth Kumar, the Lok Sabha on Tuesday (July 19) almost created a “history” when it passed The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill and The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, which seek to amend the Indian Medical Council Act,1956 and the Dentists Act, 1948 to replace the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) ordinances.

“This is for the first time two ordinances are replaced by bills on one day and Lok Sabha passed both the bills. This is a sort of record I have not seen in last 20 years,” he said.

Floor managers among treasury bench are delighted about the “smooth” functioning of both the houses during the ongoing monsoon session of parliament that began on July 18.

The treasury bench also sees there is a “breakthrough” with Congress in the Rajya Sabha with regard to the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Bill, with BJP sources saying the Congress may not press for an amendment moved by its Jairam Ramesh.

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The Rajya Sabha on the first day of the session, July 18 passed The Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016, as passed by the Lok Sabha earlier, and The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012.

On the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill pending before Rajya Sabha, Ananth Kumar said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and others from the government are reaching out to opposition parties and there is forward movement on the same as everyone is favouring its passage.

Both the houses also saw unanimity when it came to discussion on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.



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