Minister thanks parliamentarians for successful session

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New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) As the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were adjourned sine die on Friday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister H.N. Ananth Kumar said members were to be thanked for the smooth conduct of the session in both the houses of parliament after a long time.

“After a long spell, we had a parliament session that has been so good and smooth. The credit for this should go to all the members of both the houses,” Ananth Kumar told reporters here.

He said the productivity of the Lok Sabha stood at 109.42 per cent and of the Rajya Sabha 98.96 per cent.

The Lok Sabha was on Friday adjourned sine die, marking the conclusion of the monsoon session of parliament — which was the ninth session of the 16th Lok Sabha. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan described the session as “highly productive and fruitful”.

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The Rajya Sabha too was adjourned sine die by Chairman M. Hamid Ansari, who also called the session “highly productive”.

Earlier in the day, shortly after the houses were adjourned, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi tweeted: “I am happy that in the Monsoon Session, productivity in the Rajya Sabha was about 100 per cent and for the Lok Sabha it was about 111 per cent.”

“(The) Monsoon Session was ‘productive’. Thanks to all parties and members for their constructive support,” Naqvi said in a series of tweets.

Ananth Kumar said while the Lok Sabha passed 15 bills, the upper house approved 14 bills. Both the houses together gave their nod to 13 draft legislations.

He said the credit for the Rajya Sabha nod for the long-pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill goes to a long engagement with opposition Congress leaders by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other floor managers, including two of Ananth Kumar’s ministerial colleagues S.S. Ahluwalia and Naqvi.

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In the Rajya Sabha, he said while 205 members had voted in favour of the constitutional amendment bill on the GST, in the lower house about 450 members gave approval to the draft legislation, as passed by the upper house.

“There is already a good sign that Assam has ratified the GST Bill today (Friday). This augurs well as the good news has come from the eastern part of India,” Ananth Kumar said.

He said now the GST Council has to be formed and other processes completed to finally roll out the much-awaited uniform tax law, which the government is keen to roll out from April 1, 2017.

However, for this, at least 16 states need to ratify it.

Ananth Kumar also expressed satisfaction that both the houses also passed unanimous resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir situation and discussed important issues like price rise and atrocities on the Dalits in various parts of the country.

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“Dalit bhai ka raksha aur suraksha sarvapari hae (safety and security of Dalit brothers is the top priority of our government),” he said.

Incidentally, it was the first session of parliament after Ananth Kumar was made the new Parliamentary Affairs Minister in place of senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu, who has been given charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

On July 5, S.S. Ahluwalia was sworn in as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs along with Naqvi. Ananth Kumar was handed over the portfolio of Parliamentary Affairs the same evening.



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