Parliament's winter session to start on November 26
The winter session of Parliament is to begin on November 26 with the government focusing on the GST bill. The opposition is expected to target the government on issues of intolerance, love jihad and ghar wapsi. The government may also face ire over Union Minister V K Singh's dog comment on the killing of two young children from a Dalit family in Haryana.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan wrote a letter to all MPs asking them to behave decently in the coming winter session. She said that a sober behavior was expected from every Member of Parliament in the temple of democracy, i.e. Lok Sabha. She added that it was important to make sure that the prestige and uprightness of Parliament remained intact.
The government is planning to introduce the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) bill in the winter session of Parliament. The objective is to allow IIMs to grant degrees instead of Post-Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM). The human resources development ministry had held several rounds of meeting with IIMs on the issue. The bill would empower the government to set rules for IIMs.
Ahead of the winter session of the Parliament, the centre convened an all party meeting in order to reach out to the opposition parties to ensure smooth business in both Houses. PM Modi urged the opposition to let the session function constructively which would be in interest of the nation. He said that GST would help to fulfil people's expectations from the government.
In an interview to CNBC, Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha said that the government was working with the opposition to arrive at a consensus on GST. He said that the government would try to ensure that the GST rate keeps India competitive. He also said that GST was on top of their economic agenda and hoped to get it passed in winter-session.
The history of GST dates back to the year 2000 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was PM. An announcement was made regarding it by the Finance Minister Chidambaram in 2006-07 and since then it has not been able to get approval in both houses.
Speaking at an Assocham event in New Delhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government was willing to discuss possibility of changes in GST with the Congress-led opposition. He said that the earlier suggestions made by Congress were not in the larger interest of the GST structure. He added that a flawed structure would damage the system much more than it could benefit.
Apart from GST, the government is looking to pass some key bills such as the Real Estate bill, Whistleblowers Protection (Amendment) bill, Industrial Relations Code bill and the Small Factories and other Establishments bill.