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14 July 2016

The Narendra Modi government’s push for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill and other legislation - including potential reforms of the legal services sector - could see another roadblock in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament with the Congress getting set to attack the Centre on the Supreme Court verdict to restore the ousted Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh.

24 February 2016

The Budget Session began yesterday and is scheduled to meet till 13 May, 2016.

23 December 2015

The passage of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015 in the Rajya Sabha unanimously on 21 December was an event that Dalits across the country were aspiring for.

02 December 2015

Parliament met for the fifth sitting of the Winter Session today.

28 November 2015

PRS Legislative Research’ Trina Roy reports the beginning of the Winter Session of Parliament last week.

14 August 2015

Parliament faced record-low levels of productivity this session, with mainly the Delhi pecuniary jurisdiction bill and cheque bouncing bill squeezing through.

05 August 2015

Bar wars: A hope for peace or is a triple-trilogy just beginning?The Lok Sabha, on day 11 of the monsoon session, passed the Delhi High Court Amendment Bill, 2014 after years of wrangling and lobbying around the issue between the bar of the district court and the high courts in Delhi. The legislation increases the pecuniary jurisdiction of the High Court of Delhi from Rs 20 lakh (Rs 2m) to Rs 2 crores (Rs 20m).

22 July 2015

PRS Legislative Research’s Trina Roy reports:

Both Houses of Parliament faced repeated disruptions and were unable to take up scheduled business for the day.  Opposition parties in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha continued to raise demands insisting upon the resignation of the Minister of External Affairs. 

Opposition parties also raised the issue of allegations against Chief Ministers with regard to developments relating to VYAPAM and Lalit Modi.  It was pointed out by the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha that such issues were outside the purview of the central government and were related to state governments. Opposition benches challenged this view, stating that these developments were not ‘state’ issues and concern national interest.

The Select Committee examining the Constitutional Amendment Bill on GST submitted its report.  The committee, as reported has made certain recommendations with regard to the additional 1% tax and compensation for states.

The Bill is an enabling legislation which will subsequently give Parliament and state legislatures concurrent powers to make laws on GST. The proposed Bill exempts alcohol for human consumption from the purview of GST. GST will apply to five petroleum products at a later date. The Bill empowers the centre to impose an additional tax of up to 1%, on the inter-state supply of goods for two years or more. This tax will accrue to states from where the supply originates.

In this context, it may be argued that the provisions of this Bill do not fully conform to an ideal GST regime. Deferring the levy of GST on five petroleum products could lead to cascading of taxes.

It may also be argued that the additional 1% tax levied on goods that are transported across states dilutes the objective of creating a harmonised national market for goods and services.  Inter-state trade of a good would be more expensive than intra-state trade, with the burden being borne by retail consumers. Further, cascading of taxes will continue.

To further understand the key features and issues of the Bill, please read our analysis here.

The deadline for the Committee to submit its report on the Land Acquisition Bill has been extended to the first week of August.

01 May 2015

During the week, financial business continued to be the focus in both the Houses. While Lok Sabha discussed Demands for Grants of Ministries, Rajya Sabha undertook discussion on the Working of Ministries.