Parliament disrupted to block passage of GST bill, says Arun Jaitely

Finance minister Arun Jaitley today said a majority of members in the Rajya Sabha were for the passage of the goods and services (GST) bill and the continued disruption of the House was meant to stop legislation.

He said the government did not decide on proroguing both the Houses but is yet to decide on reconvening of Parliament for GST Bill

Jaitely said the just concluded monsoon session of Parliament, which was rocked by disruptions was frustrating as well as educative for the whole country and paralysing Parliament without any reason is a negation of democracy.

He was briefing media persons after the conclusion of Parliament's monsoon session.

Arun Jaitely asserted that numbers in the Rajya Sabha were stacked in favour of introduction of the much-awaited GST and hence, the proceedings of the House were persistently disrupted so as to prevent the passage of GST Bill.

Responding to a question if the government was contemplating any special session of Parliament to take forward GST Bill, Jaitely said that the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs that met today did not take any decision on prorogation of both the houses of Parliament and the government is still to decide on the next course of action regarding introduction of GST.

The finance minister asserted that stalling the passage of GST Bill amounted to hurting the interests of the country and disruption of Parliament was propelled by the intention of stalling development and initiatives of the government in this regard.
He said that introduction of GST would result in a common national market besides giving a fillip to manufacturing and economic growth.

He also said that there was no reason to delay the introduction of GST since it was proposed by the previous government and the GST Bill was examined and approved in the past by a Standing Committee and subsequently passed by the Lok Sabha in the last session and recommended by a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha during this Monsoon session.

He said that strong resentment is being voiced by all sections of the people across the country over persistent disruption of Parliament and hoped that this would make those who disrupted the Monsoon session wiser.

Responding to a question on the 'tit-for-tat' strategy of disruption of Parliament as claimed by some parties, Jaitely stressed that the issues that were chosen for disrupting this monsoon session were not equivalent to the issues of corruption raised in Parliament in recent years.

He said issues relating to 2G Spectrum and coal blocks allocation were taken up in the past further to submission of CAG reports,

Supreme Court judgement and filing of FIRs etc, and the revenues generated through auctioning of coal blocks proved that CAG estimates of loss of revenue were an under estimate.

During the just concluded monsoon session of Parliament, the productivity of Rajya Sabha fell to a low 9 per cent while that of Lok Sabha was down at 60 per cent from a high of 103 per cent and 123 per cent during the previous session.

No bill could either be introduced or passed in the Rajya Sabha while 10 bills were introduced and 8 passed in the Lok Sabha.