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Govt hopeful of passing bills barring GST

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, Dec 20 - After the truce in Parliament, the Modi government is hopeful about a substantial portion of pending legislative business being completed in the remaining three days of the Winter Session beginning Monday.

After disruptions in both Houses, particularly the Rajya Sabha, over the last three weeks, the government and opposition arrived at an agreement yesterday at an all-party meeting called by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari to pass those bills on which there is a general consensus, skipping the contentious GST bill.

In the Upper House, where the Winter Session has been a near washout so far, 18 bills are pending. No new bill could be introduced in Rajya Sabha during the session, while the only one that was passed was The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, which deals with cheque bounce cases.

Legislative and financial items entailing 43-and-a-half-hour of business are pending before the House, including key bills like The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill and The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill are to be taken up.

There is a broad political consensus to pass the SC/ST bill, which is a politically-sensitive issue.

Apart from it there is also a general consensus to pass the Appropriation Bills, the Anti-Hijacking Bill, the Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, the Commercial Courts Ordinance Bill and the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill.

The SC/ST Amendment Bill, which was moved in the House on December 14, has already been listed for discussion on Monday. The government has also listed two appropriation bills the same day.

Two other bills � The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill and The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill have also been listed for Monday.

The major bills like the Whistle Blowers Bill, Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill and Anti-Hijacking Bill have been listed for Tuesday.

At the all-party meeting, it was decided that three bills � the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill � will be discussed during the remaining period but the course of action will be decided later.

The opposition is insisting on sending the Whistle Blowers Bill to a Select Committee.

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