The Rajya Sabha Wednesday passed three Bills amid Opposition protests and was adjourned sine die.
The General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Bill, 2021, was passed after less than 20 minutes of discussion in the evening.
The Rajya Sabha later took up the National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021 that were passed by the Lok Sabha on August 10. The discussion and passage were completed within 10 minutes.
As the insurance Bill came up for discussion, the Opposition protested, asking “that the Chair must take the sense of the House”. But the government insisted on legislative business and BJD’s Sasmit Patra, who was in the Chair, said the “House may sit beyond 6 pm, as and when necessary for the transaction of government, legislative and other business”.
Leader of the House Piyush Goel said that despite the efforts of Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu and others to have fruitful discussions in the House, the Opposition’s aim has been to disrupt its functioning.
The Bill, intended to amend the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972, will allow the government to reduce its stake in insurance companies, and will stop allying with insurers from the date the Centre ceases to have control over them.
The Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 2, was cleared by a voice vote, and the proposed amendments to send it to a select committee were rejected.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the Bill without making any remarks. Four amendments were listed to refer the Bill to a select panel, but only DMK’s Tiruchi Siva was in his seat to move the amendment.
Initiating the discussion, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray of TMC said “this government has killed democracy by introducing this Bill”. DMK’s TKS Elangovan said the legislation will “kill the economy of this country”.
The House was later adjourned.
Congress MP Chhaya Varma alleged that male marshals pushed women MPs. She said her colleague Phulo Devi Netam fell down in the melee.
Leader of Opposition Mallikarjuna Kharge earlier raised the issue of marshals present in the House in huge numbers. “Our lady members are insulted here. We are not safe. Our lady members are not safe.”
In response, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi said that some of the female marshals had been manhandled. “If we are doing a mistake, let them go to the people. People have given a mandate to us,” Joshi said. Opposition members walked out during Joshi’s reply.
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