Parliament of India witnessed a number of historic developments in 2017. For the first time, Budget was advanced by a month to February 1. Also, the Railway Budget and Union Budget were merged. Then a special session was held for the passage of historic Goods and Services Tax Act. And as the year is about to end, the historic Triple Talaq bill has also been tabled in the lower house. Also, like every year, Parliament of India witnessed a number of historic developments in 2017. For the first time, Budget was advanced by a month to February 1.
· Budget Session 2017:
– For the first time in Indian Legislative history, the presentation of Union Budget was advanced to February 1. This was a big financial reform to make funds available early to ministries for execution of developmental projects. Vote on Account was also dispensed with because of advancement of the Budget.
– Also for the first time, the General Budget and Railway Budget were merged in 2017 and an integrated Union Budget was presented. During the Budget Session, the productivity of Lok Sabha was 113.27% and of Rajya Sabha was 92.43%; 18 Bills were passed by both Houses of Parliament during the Budget Session 2017.
– Goods & Services Tax (GST): Passing of all the enabling acts of the GST was achieved in Budget Session 2017. Passing of four historic Bills namely, the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017 and the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 by both Houses of Parliament enabled implementation of Goods and Services Tax across the country w.e.f. 1st July, 2017.
· Monsoon Session 2017
– Number of Bills introduced in Lok Saha was 17
– Number of bills passed by both Houses was 13
– A Special Discussion on 75th Anniversary of the ‘Quit India Movement’ was held in both Houses on 09.08.2017 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the ‘Quit India Movement’ and for the first time the pledge of ‘Sankalp se Siddhi’ for building a “New India” by 2022 was taken with wide consensus among all parties during Monsoon Session 2017.
– Extension of Goods and Services Tax (GST) to the state of Jammu & Kashmir was a historic achievement during Monsoon Session 2017, as passing of the related bills would lead to the economic integration of the state with the rest of the country.
– The productivity of Lok Sabha was 77.94% whereas in Rajya Sabha it was 79.95%.
· Winter Session 2017 (As on 26.12.17)
– Number of Bills introduced in Lok Sabha was nine
– Number of Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament was two
– Indian Goodwill Delegation of Parliamentarians under the leadership of Shri Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia, the then Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, consisting of 10 Leaders/Members of Parliament of various political parties (Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha) had visited Sweden, Norway and Israel from 29th May-6th June, 2017 with a view to discussing the nation’s policies and achievements in different fields with their counterparts and opinion makers in foreign countries and securing their goodwill and support in favour of India.
– S.S. Ahluwalia, the then Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, distributed Prizes for the 29th National Youth Parliament Competition, 2016-2017 for Kendriya Vidyalayas and 51st Youth Parliament Competition, 2016-17 for Delhi Schools. Students, Principals and teachers in charge of 25 Kendriya Vidyalayas and 33 Delhi Schools received Trophies and Prizes from the Minister. The Youth Parliament Scheme aims at inculcating among the younger generations the spirit of self-discipline, tolerance of diverse opinion, righteous expression of views and other virtues of a democratic way of life. Besides, the scheme also acquaints the students with the practices and procedures of Parliament, techniques of discussion and debate and develops in them self-confidence, quality of leadership and the art and skill of effective oratory – the hallmarks of democracy.
– 75th Anniversary of Quit India Movement: The Ministry planned and coordinated organizing of an Exhibition cum Cultural Event throughout the country at 39 different locations during the months of August – October 2017 to celebrate 75th Anniversary of Quit India Movement and to rekindle its spirit in the form of Resolve to Make a ‘New India by 2022’, the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence.
– This exhibition titled as ‘Naya Bharat Karke Rahenge’ was organized. Further, in tune with the concept of New Digital India, 65% of the content was kept in digital, video and interactive formats.
– The exhibitions were focused on India’s freedom movement from 1857 to 1947 showing various activities initiated to attain the freedom from the British rule- “The First War of Independence, 1857”, “The Champaran Satyagrah”, “The Non-cooperation Movement”, “The Dandi Yatra” and “The Quit India Movement”.
– This programme was in tune with the mass campaign started by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi to take the six resolves to make the country- free of corruption; free of poverty; free of filth; free of communalism; free of terrorism and free of casteism.