Govt keeps option open of reconvening session

Govt keeps option open of reconvening session

Keen to ensure passage of GST bill, Government is keeping open the option of reconvening the session with the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs today deciding not to recommend immediate prorogation of the Houses after they are adjourned sine die.

Sources said the decision to reconvene Monsoon session, after the washout of last three weeks due to disruptions by Congress-led opposition, will depend on whether there is some significant headway with other parties on the contentious GST bill.

If the government manages to rope in some regional parties and chooses to press for the GST bill, then it may call for reconvening the Monsoon session for few days.
The non-prorogation of the Houses after they are adjourned sine die today will enable it to reconvene them at a short notice, they added.

Under Article 85(2) of the Constitution, the President is vested with the power to prorogue (end a session) both Houses of Parliament. If Houses are not prorogued and are only left at being adjourned sine die by Chair in Parliament, the same session continues and can be reconvened at any time.

Government had on Tuesday moved for consideration of Rajya Sabha the Constitution amendment bill for introduction of GST but a debate on it was blocked by a vociferous Congress which raised procedural issues.

With some regional parties like BJD, SP and INLD voicing disapproval of the disruptions in Parliament, there is a view in the government that the pro-reform measure GST can be pushed. Trinamool Congress had already backed the Bill. Government is also trying to bring NCP on board on the GST.

Moreover the government has to also take a call on the land ordinance, which was issued for the third time last month and will expire on August 31. The bill to replace it is still before the Joint Committee of Parliament headed by BJP MP S S Ahluwalia, which is examining the contentious measure, and it has decided to bring it only in Winter session.

If the government wants to re-issue the ordinance for a record fourth time to "maintain continuity", it can recommend proroguing only one of the Houses to keep the ordinance alive as was done after the Budget Session earlier, they said.

While an ordinance has a life of six months, it has to be approved by Parliament within six weeks of the commencement of the session which follows its promulgation. An ordinance cannot be re-promulgated while the House is in session.

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