In what has been a very busy session so far, both Houses of Parliament passed many Bills this week — the GST Bill, the Finance Bill and the Mental Healthcare Bill to name a few. Last week also witnessed many stormy discussions in both Houses, many continuing well up to late in the day.
After rallying over details of the GST Bill, the Lok Sabha finally passed the landmark Bill on March 30, 2017.
6.00 p.m.: Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha adjourned till 11 a.m. April 6.
Discussions on GST and SDG to continue tomorrow.
5.30 p.m.: Rajya Sabha
Jairam Ramesh: The one clause in the Bill which has caused worry is the anti-profit bill. Clause 171(1) uses the word ‘shall’. Clause 171(2) uses the word ‘may’.
No economist has been able to come up with the formula of what determines unjust enrichment. Prices can fall or increase, but if taxes fall, your prices shall fall. In practical tax administration terms, this is one more point of harrasment. A modern, liberal, open-minded FM has given his support. I could not believe that a man who called Vodafone as tax terrorism would introduce a section 132 in the Finance Bill.
5.30 p.m.: Lok Sabha
CPI(M) Tripura MP Jitendra Chaudhury: China’s cultivable land is less than India even if its land area is more than India. The budget for the agriculture, education those are not enhancing. In 2014, the corporate medias own a lot of wealth. Many states are advanced in terms of education and health. Unless these aspects can be taken care of, nothing can be achieved.
NCP MP from Maharashtra, Supriya Sule: I must compliment the minister. Maharashtra had a bad incident where an orthopedic doctor couldn’t help a patient, the doctor was hurt, even though the patient’s condition was not his specialisation, it is unfair and then doctors went on strike. Doctors are the people who will take us to the SDG that we speak of. India is changing. We have many good doctors. But technology has taken over. So the bills are so scary that an average Indian cannot afford. What we need is a universal healthcare.
5.00 p.m.: Rajya Sabha
BJP MP from Maharashtra, Ajay Sancheti: For example, if someone buys a vehicle in a state, if it costs Rs.110 in one state and Rs.105 in another, he will get it from the other state. With GST, that person will have to pay only one tax.
INC MP from Karnataka, Jairam Ramesh: We have reached a stage where we are going to pass this bill. Now the finishing touches are being given by Mr. Jaitley. He deserves one cheer. I congratulate Mr. Jaitley for being in power but there has been a long history of GST. Need clarity on how govt will compensate local bodies.
5.00 p.m.: Lok Sabha
INC MP from Assam, Gourav Gogoi: We must focus on the quality of the healthcare. Prescribing antibiotics to a person with headache leads to certain resistance over a period of time. I urge the Ministry of Health to look into the issue of superbugs. Even a common cold can become fatal. Is the govt serious?
BJP MP from Haryana, Rattan Lal Kataria: Tuberculosis is a matter of concern. Today, we see many diabetes patients. HIV/AIDS patients should be monitored. Tobacco usage should also be checked.
4.30 p.m.: Lok Sabha
Members votes on legislation; clause by clause consideration of the bill. Amendments moved by Prof Saugata Roy, Mamtaz Sanghamitra, Adhir Ranjan Choudhury.
LS passes The Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill, 2017.
Discussion on Sustainable Development Goals begins.
Shiv Sena MP from Maharashtra, Bhavana Gawali: There is a need for mobile units for health issues in villages.
Bihar BJP MP Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal: If we cannot provide clean water or food to our people, we cannot develop. National Health Policy has to help in this. I suggest that blood group should be added to drivers’ licence.
4.30 p.m.: Rajya Sabha
DMK MP from Tamil Nadu, T.K.S. Elangovan: In certain areas, taxes should not be there. Portable drinking water and bricks used for construction, must be exempt from tax. If govt is considering of removing cess, it should seek the opinion of trade unions. There are cess for specific purpose; we have a library cess in Tamil Nadu. I support the bill.
Madhya Pradesh INC MP Digvijaya Singh: Businessmen have to file tax returns many times. Do we have infrastructure to make it online? Small and medium businessmen will be impacted if we don’t regulate this.
4.00 p.m.: Lok Sabha
MoS (Independent Charge) Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman: The Footwear Design course fees that is going to be taken from students is fully self-financed. When I say “self financed” I don’t mean the capital expenditure in building it. It only means the fees for running. The cost of the course has never deterred students from coming in. The last of the members who spoke, wanted it in Kozhikode.
The students irrespective of certificate or degrees have been placed very well.
This country has given legitimate leather for this industry. I want to underscore the point that the existing seven centres in the campuses, that the male female ratio is almost the same. Women students have been given enough attention.
As regards to reservation, 100% existing laws on reservation of laws will be implemented in the FDDI. The Footwear Design and Development Institute will be an institute of national importance.
Opposition MPs disrupt Minister’s reply.