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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Delhi Confidential: Present, Please

On Monday, when the House met after a week of continuous disruptions, hardly one-fifth of the total strength of MPs was present, with members from both sides missing.


March 16, 2021 1:55:49 am
K Muraleedharan, the MP from Kerala.

Campaigning in election-bound states has left many rows of seats empty in the Lok Sabha. On Monday, when the House met after a week of continuous disruptions, hardly one-fifth of the total strength of MPs was present, with members from both sides missing. At one point in the first half, less than 100 MPs, including members from the treasury benches, were present. In the Question Hour, seven questions were taken up, without the members who raised them being present to put them. But one MP’s presence in the House had everyone amused. K Muraleedharan, the MP from Kerala and declared Congress candidate from Nemom constituency, was there in Lok Sabha on Monday.

Fueling Unison

The issue of increase in fuel prices united members belonging to the Opposition, friendly parties of the BJP, and even allies of the ruling party in Lok Sabha on Monday. On a question on inclusion of petroleum and its by-products under GST, YSR Congress’s Midhun Reddy asked the government whether it would consider bringing down the tax to give relief to the common people—and the entire Opposition backed him. Congress MPs asked whether it would be brought under GST, to which MoS (Finance) Anurag Thakur said the decision could be taken by the GST council, in which the states have representation. JD(U) leader Rajiv Ranjan also joined the Opposition members, saying the minister was trying to give “gol-gol (circuitous)” reply and insisted on coming up with a specific answer if the Centre will bring in that proposal in the GST Council. Ranjan pointed out that former Finance minister, late Arun Jaitley, had said it could be brought in later. Thakur was still evasive and said if the states are ready and bring in the proposal in the GST Council meeting, the Centre and the states can take a decision together.

Keep It Simple

While there is a lot of stress on doing official work in Hindi in the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the ministry has said that Hindi translations should be done in a manner that people can understand it. “The Committee is of the view that the translation done in standard Hindi language is very tough to understand and interpret by a common man. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the Department of Official Language may review the translation works done in Hindi and take necessary steps to ensure that the Hindi translation is done in simple, easy to comprehend and reader-friendly manner,” the committee headed by Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma has said.

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