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Lok Sabha to decide fate of GST Bill tomorrow; financial business to be main agenda of both the Houses

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Winter session of Parliament

By NewsGram Staff Writer

After the eventful first week of the second part of the ongoing Budget session of Parliament, financial business will continue to be the main agenda of both the Houses during the second week beginning tomorrow.

The GST Bill (The Constitution 122nd Amendment Bill,2014) has been listed for further consideration and passing in Lok Sabha on Monday. Finance Minister Arun Jaitely moved this Bill in the House last week explaining its objectives and benefits in the economic integration of the country. The Lower House will conclude the financial business with the passage of Finance Bill during the second week.

Reports of Parliamentary Standing Committees pertaining to grant demands for 2015-16 of the Ministries of Agriculture, Defence, Energy, Environment and Forests & Climate Change, Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Industry, Science and Technology, Water Resources and Urban Development will be submitted in both the Houses of Parliament on Monday.

Rajya Sabha will resume the second week taking forward the discussion on agrarian crisis and suicide by farmers in different parts of the country. During the next week, the Upper House is to discuss the working of Ministries of External Affairs, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Law & Justice, Social Justice and Empowerment and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. It will also consider the Railways Appropriation Bill as passed by Lok Sabha during first week of the session.

The Business Advisory Committee of Rajya Sabha has assigned time for discussing three Bills viz., The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013, pending before the Upper House, with official amendments. The other Bills being –The Warehousing Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and The Payment and Settlement Systems(Amendment) Bill, 2014, both as passed by the Lok Sabha.

In the second part of the Budget session which began on April 20, 2015, Lok Sabha has passed the Railways Appropriation Bill, the lone Bill to have been passed by either of the Houses. The Lower House completed discussion on demands for grants of Ministries of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Drinking Water and Sanitation. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a statement on the crisis in Yemen and rescue efforts of the government for evacuation of Indians from that country. The government has moved the GST Bill for consideration and passing during the first week.

Earlier, Rajya Sabha, whose 235th Session began on April 23, 2015 made history by passing the Private Member’s Bill on the rights of transgender persons moved by Tiruchi Shiva of DMK.

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Sri Lanka Forms Its Cabinet But Crisis Still Persists

Sirisena was health minister in Rajapaksa’s Cabinet when he defected and joined Wickremesinghe to challenge Rajapaksa in the 2015 presidential election.

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Ranil Wickremesinghe, ousted as prime minister in October, takes his oath for the same post before Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena during his swearing-in ceremony in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Dec. 16, 2018. VOA

Sri Lanka’s president Thursday appointed 28 lawmakers and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as Cabinet ministers after weeks of political crisis led to government dysfunction.

President Maithripala Sirisena administered oaths in a private event. Wickremesinghe’s reinstatement as prime minister earlier this week and the appointment of a new Cabinet will result in Sri Lanka’s government resuming functions that have been obstructed since October, but continued acrimony between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe means the crisis is far from over.

Notably, Sirisena has not appointed a law and order minister, a crucial post for investigating corruption and crime allegations against former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa, his family and government members. Wickremesinghe promised such investigations before the 2015 elections.

 

Sri lanka, cabinet
Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, front left, is sworn in as prime minister before President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo, Sri Lanka. VOA

Sirisena sparked the crisis in October when he suddenly sacked Wickremesinghe and appointed former President Rajapaksa in his place.

 

Wickremesinghe insisted he was sacked illegally and hunkered down in the prime minister’s official residence in Colombo, while Rajapaksa failed to secure majority support in Parliament in two chaotic no-confidence votes.

Sirisena dissolved Parliament and called for elections. The Supreme Court first suspended the move and later declared the dissolution unconstitutional.

Separately, the Court of Appeal ordered Rajapaksa and his Cabinet to cease functioning. As a result, the newly restored government in Sri Lanka has only 11 days left to pass a budget to provision state money in 2019.

 

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Sri Lanka’s ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe reacts during a news conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, VOA

 

After reappointing Wickremesinghe, Sirisena made a speech saying he doubted that the new arrangement would last long. Sri Lankans are not scheduled to go to the national polls again until 2020, but if the government fails to function, Parliament can pass a resolution with a two-thirds vote for snap elections.

Also Read: Lawmakers in Sri Lanka Defect From President to Prime Minister

Sirisena was health minister in Rajapaksa’s Cabinet when he defected and joined Wickremesinghe to challenge Rajapaksa in the 2015 presidential election. After victory he formed a government with Wickremesinghe as prime minister, but the two disagreed on everything from economic reform to investigating alleged government abuses during Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war. (VOA)