FM raises question on passing laws sans debate

'Hasn't country not lost out by delaying GST?'

FM raises question on passing laws sans debate
A day after the GST Bill failed to get past Parliament and the government had to take recourse to the joint committee of Parliament for the bankruptcy bill, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday asked whether the country has not lost out by delaying the GST since the last year’s Budget Session.

In his blog post, Jaitley also asked how far it was desirable to pass important legislations on the last day without discussion. Putting the blame on the Congress for disruption of Parliament during the winter session, Jaitley said: “The moot question which arises for the Congress is, how does India legislate? The standing committee mechanism which worked exceedingly well since 1993, has been weakened in the Rajya Sabha, by the House repeatedly appointing select committees, questioning the opinions of the standing committee.”

“If this tendency continues, a successful institution of standing committee could be hurt. The government, therefore, has adopted an alternative option of a joint committee to consider the Bankruptcy Law. There are other options being suggested, such as to pass legislation without a standing committee or drafting laws in a manner to fit them into the definition of Money Bills,” he wrote.

He, however, said that passing legislation without standing committee and listing them as money bills were not preferred options. “The Congress leadership must seriously explore that its disproportionate and irrational approach in dealing with Parliament is hurting institutions. If Pandit Nehru can be credited in the initial years of our democracy of having laid down healthy precedents being established, the current generation in control of the Congress will find a place in history of having weakened what their ancestors established,” Jaitley said. “Has the country not lost out by delaying the GST since the last year’s Budget Session? How far is it desirable to pass important legislations on the last day without discussion? Statistically, we have passed a law. But has Parliament applied its mind to the law?,” Jaitley  wondered.

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