All usual business
was suspended in Rajya Sabha as discussion on the situation in the Kashmir
valley was taken up.

Members raised
their concerns about the reasons leading to youths’ involvement in such
violence, and urged the government to reach out to all stakeholders while
addressing the issue. Some members suggested that integration and dialogue with
people from the Jammu and Ladakh regions were also important to find a solution
to the situation in Kashmir. Demands for the ban of pellet guns and exercise of
maximum of restraint were also made by several members during their
speeches.  The Upper House had also taken
up discussion on Kashmir earlier in this session as well.

Lok Sabha introduced
and passed the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The
Bill amends the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the Customs Tariff Act, 1975.

The Companies Act, 1956 allows
companies to demerge (split) into multiple companies.  As a result of the demerger, the income,
expenses, and profits of the parent company are transferred to the resultant
companies.  The Income Tax Act, 1961
takes into account these transfers from the parent company for taxation of
resultant companies.  The Bill clarifies
that these provisions will apply in case a public sector company demerges, and
the resultant company is no longer a public sector company.

Currently, the customs duty on imports of granite and marble used for
certain purposes is charged at 10%.  The
Bill proposes to increase this to 40%.

Lok Sabha also introduced and took up discussion on the Factories(Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill amends the Factories Act, 1948.  The Act permits the state government to
prescribe rules on a range of matters, including double employment, details of
adult workers to be included in the factory’s register, conditions related to
exemptions to certain workers, etc.  The
Bill gives such rule making powers to the central government as well.

The Act permits the state government to permit overtime work hours up to
50 hours for a quarter.  The Bill raises
this limit to 100 hours.  Also, the Act
enables the state government to permit adult workers to work overtime in a
quarter up to 75 hours, if there is excessive work load.  The Bill permits
the central or state government to raise this limit to 115; and further extend this
limit to 125 hours in public interest.

Both houses were sitting at
the time of sending this report.

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