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This week in parliament: Transgender bill is first pvt member's bill passed in 40 years; GST inches forward

PRS Legislative Research’s Trina Roy reports:

The second half of the Budget Session began this week. While Lok Sabha reconvened on Monday, Rajya Sabha reconvened on Thursday. Rajya Sabha was prorogued earlier on March 28, 2015.

Financial business was the focus of the week with Demands for Grants being discussed. The Demand for Grants of Railways and two other Ministries i.e. Drinking Water and Sanitation, and Chemicals and Fertilizer were passed. Discussion on the Ministry of Human Resources began but was not concluded.

One of the biggest highlights from this week is the passage of a Private Member Bill piloted by Mr. Tiruchi Siva in Rajya Sabha on Friday. The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 was the first Private Member Bill to be passed by a House after 40 years. The last Private Member Bill passed by Parliament was ‘The Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Bill, 1968’.

Till date, Parliament has passed 14 Private Member Bills. Six of these were passed in 1956 alone.

The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill was taken up for consideration in Lok Sabha. The Minister of Finance made opening remarks during the discussion and it was then decided that the debate would continue next week.

The Land Acquisition Ordinance, 2015 was also tabled in Lok Sabha on Monday. The Ordinance must be approved by both the houses within six weeks of Parliament’s reassembly i.e. before June 4, or it shall lapse.

The Lower House extensively discussed the agrarian situation in the country during the week. 138 members participated in the debate. Rajya Sabha also took up a discussion on the agrarian crisis and suicides by farmers in various parts of the country. Till now 13 members have participated in the debate and the discussion has not been concluded.

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