Putting the blame squarely on the Congress for the logjam on GST, Government today said it was “blocking” passage of key legislations for “political reasons”. Addressing media on the last day of the Budget session, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, also ruled out any attempt to target the Congress leadership on AgustaWestland scam, an issue which rocked both Houses of Parliament.
Naqvi expressed satisfaction over the legislative business completed in both Houses and described it as “fruitful despite political confrontation” and raising of some contentious issues. The minister said that Lok Sabha, where the BJP has majority, saw “not even a single adjournment due to interruptions” and noted that even in the Rajya Sabha, disruptions recorded a “declining” trend.
Giving details, he said the productivity of Lok Sabha during this session has been 117.58 percent and that of Rajya Sabha at 86.68 percent. “Ten bills were passed in Lok Sabha and 12 in Rajya Sabha.”
Naqvi also said that during the two years of Modi government, over a dozen reform bills got Parliament’s nod. “The number of sittings of both the Houses and bills passed during the Lower House have improved during this period. Lok Sabha held 78 sittings and passed 48 Bills, per year as against 70 sittings and 45 Bills per year during 2004-14 period.
“Rajya Sabha held 76 sittings and passed 41 bills per year as against 67 sittings and 45 bills per year during 2004-14 (when the UPA was in power),” he said giving an account of efforts made by the government towards legislation and functioning of Parliament over the last two years.
Stating that there is a definitive need for Parliament to give a major push to the priority reforms, Naqvi hoped that Congress will “introspect” during the gap between the conclusion of Budget Session today and the convening of the next Monsoon session and help pass the crucial GST bill. Due to the logjam on the issue, the GST bill could not considered in the second part of the Budget session that began on April 25.
Asked how does it expect Congress to help pass the bill, when the leaders of the main Opposition party are being attacked, Naqvi said,”corruption-free development is needed for nation- building. If corruption has happened at any level, compromise with that is not possible.”