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After Monsoon Session Washout, Parliament’s Productivity This Session 95% So Far

PM Modi’s GST outreach was part of the same larger plan. Government managers also thought that if the Opposition still insisted on disrupting the Parliamentary proceedings, it would reflect poorly on them. Government managers were also seen engaging Opposition leaders – in and outside the House

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When Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (4 December) said that the good news was that Parliament was functioning, he was only reflecting the dramatically changed ground reality -- as when compared to the monsoon session.

A comparison of Parliament’s productivity in the first week of Monsoon Session and the WinterSession shows an interesting contrast – while the average monsoon session productivity in the first week was 6.4 per cent, the average winter session productivity in the first week is 94. 7 per cent.

As Businessworld noted on Dec 3, the BJP-led NDA at a meeting before the Winter Session had decided to be “accommodative” of the Opposition concerns. PM Modi’s GST outreach was part of the same larger plan. Government managers also thought that if the Opposition still insisted on disrupting the Parliamentary proceedings, it would reflect poorly on them. Government managers were also seen engaging Opposition leaders – in and outside the House.

The Congress, meanwhile, gave up its demand for resignations of BJP chief ministers (Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje) and a Union Minister (Sushma Swaraj), and decided to rally the Opposition on issues like “intolerance” and Gen V K Singh’s reported remarks after a tragedy in Haryana.

At a top Congress meeting on Thursday, it was decided that while the party would cooperate with the Government on legislative business, it would continue to raise “people’s issues”.

The Congress’s three demands on GST – which were put forward before the PM – were part of the “people’s demands”, reckons the party. As already reported by Businessworld, the government won’t mention the GST cap rate in the constitution amendment bill while it’s ready to meet the mainline Opposition party half-way on issues like 1 per cent tax for manufacturing states.

The first two days in this session were reserved for debate on the Constitution. In other business, the Lok Sabha had a discussion on intolerance while both the Houses discussed the monsoon fury in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The Lok Sabha has also passed two bills till Thursday -- the Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015.