March 24, 2021 2:20:11 am
FINANCE MINISTER Nirmala Sitharaman’s reply to the Finance Bill in Lok Sabha started on a rare note of bonhomie between the government and the opposition. Sitharaman said she appreciated the speech by Congress MP Amar Singh, who dealt with things substantively and acknowledged “some good things” while making his points of difference as well. With other Congress bigwigs campaigning in the poll-bound states, the party is being led by Ravneet Singh Bittu, and Sitharaman said she was happy with the approach shown. In his speech, Singh also pushed for restoration of MPLAD funds, which received nods from across benches.
RAJYA SABHA Chairman Venkaiah Naidu often discourages MPs from talking amongst themselves during House proceedings. On Tuesday, he asked minister Piyush Goyal to not talk during Zero Hour. He then addressed all MPs on this pet peeve of his and told them while they may think that speaking softly under a mask cannot disturb proceedings, he can actually hear them.
DESPITE the Ministry of Home Affairs instructing northeastern states to turn back refugees fleeing Myanmar, in particular in Mizoram, which is now believed to house hundreds of Myanmarese refugees, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has left for the border district of Champhai to assess the situation personally. On March 10, Zoramthanga had written to Home Minister Amit Shah, asking him to take a more lenient approach towards the refugees on humanitarian grounds and informed him that the Centre’s stand was “not acceptable to Mizoram”. Incidentally, Champhai is a former constituency of the Chief Minister, which he is now visiting for the first time since 2008. He is expected back in capital Aizawl on Saturday.
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