Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said notwithstanding the message going across to people that nothing was happening in Parliament, the fact was that MPs did flag social issues. She was speaking at a function to launch Walking into Twilight with Dignity” by BJD floor leader Bhartruhari Mahtab. Mahajan said: “Today, a perception is gaining ground – what is the Speaker doing? Nothing is happening and all create hungama… People think parliamentarians have no vision. But… they also put forth issues concerning society and give suggestions to the government about policies”. Health Minister J P Nadda said the issue of providing healthcare to the elderly remained neglected. Mahtab pointed out that the number of elderly people was on the rise and he had moved a private members bill aimed at providing them healthcare.
In 12 countries, 182 mercy petitions by Indian missions
Indian diplomatic missions have filed 182 mercy petitions in 12 countries, including the UAE and Oman, on behalf of Indians in foreign jails in the last three years, Lok Sabha was informed Wednesday. The maximum number of petitions have been filed in the UAE (74), followed by Oman (57), Bahrain (14), Myanmar (12) and the US (5), Minister of State for Foreign Affairs V K Singh said in written reply to a question. To another question, he said that since inception of the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) scheme in December 2005, 23,60,626 Persons of Indian Origin have been issued OCI cards till December 6, 2016. Replying to yet another question, Singh said the Ministry of External Affairs is implementing a Productivity Linked Incentive Scheme (PLIS) to enhance the efficiency in the functioning of the passport office in the country.