Updated: September 22, 2020 9:00:47 pm
In one of the most productive days in its history, Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed seven key bills, including one that removes cereals, pulses and onion from the essential commodities list, within three-and-half hours even as the Lok Sabha saw the Opposition boycotting proceedings over farm bills and suspension of members in the Upper House.
In Rajya Sabha, Opposition parties, including Congress, NCP, SP, Shiv Sena, RJD, AAP, TMC and Left parties, staged a walk out and demanded that Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu reinstate the eight members who were suspended for “unruly behaviour” during the passage of the two key farm bills on Sunday. Naidu said the suspension could be revoked if the members expressed regret over their action.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Opposition would boycott the proceedings of the House till the Government accepts their three demands.
In Lok Sabha, which was adjourned for an hour after proceedings began, saw opposition parties, including the Congress, the TMC, the BSP and the TRS, walk out even as three labour code bills were passed.
Here are the top developments of Parliament proceedings on Day 8
Three labour code bills cleared by Lok Sabha
Three labour reform bills — Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, and the Code on Social Security, 2020 — were passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday even as the Opposition boycotted proceedings. Over 29 labour laws have been merged into four codes and one (Code on Wages Bill, 2019) of them has already been passed, said Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar.
The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, will consolidate and amend the laws regulating the occupational safety, health and working conditions of persons employed in an establishment and related matters.
The Industrial Relations Code, 2020, seeks to consolidate and amend the laws relating to trade unions, conditions of employment in industrial establishments or undertaking, investigation and settlement of industrial disputes.
The Code on Social Security, 2020, will amend and consolidate laws relating to social security with the goal to extend social security to all employees and workers either in the organised sector or the unorganised sector.
In one of the most productive days in its history, Rajya Sabha on Tuesday in a matter of three and half hours passed seven key bills including one that removes cereals, pulses and onion from the essential commodities list and another that abolishes penalty for certain offences by companies.
First, it passed a bill to declare five newly-established Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) as institutions of national importance. The crucial Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which removes cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities and removes stockholding limits on them, was passed next. This bill is part of the agriculture reform bills that the government is pushing to raise farm incomes.
Rajya Sabha also passed amendments to the Bank Regulation Act to bring cooperative banks under the supervision of the RBI in a bid to protect the interest of depositors. Thereafter the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which removes the penalty for certain offences, was passed. The National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020 and the Rashtriya Rakash University Bill were passed in quick succession.
Suspended Opposition RS MPs end sit-in
The eight suspended lawmakers ended their sit-in protest inside the Parliament House complex after the Opposition decided to boycott the remaining session in the Upper House.
“All the opposition parties have boycotted the rest of the session (in Rajya Sabha), nobody is attending the session. They appealed to us to withdraw the dharma and since nobody is attending the session till the suspension is revoked, there is no point in continuing with the dharna,” suspended Congress MP Nasir Hussain told PTI.
Hussain said all eight collectively decided to call off the protest. Another Congress MP Rajeev Satav said they called off the protest since the Opposition has boycotted the remaining Rajya Sabha session, and added that they will now hit the streets against the farm bills.
Opposition to boycott Rajya Sabha till ‘three demands’ met: Azad
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Opposition will boycott the proceedings of the House till the Government accepts their three demands. “Government to bring another bill under which no private player can purchase below MSP, MSP to be fixed under formula recommended by Swaminathan Commission, and Government agencies like FCI shouldn’t buy crops below MSP,” Azad said.
‘My way or the highway’ approach is unacceptable: Venkaiah Naidu
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday lauded Deputy Chairman Harivansh for showing restraint when opposition members were agitating in the House and disapproved of the conduct of the protesting leaders, saying the “my way or the highway” approach is unacceptable.
He also appealed to the opposition members to reconsider their decision of boycotting Rajya Sabha proceedings and asked them to participate in the discussions in the House instead.
“Democracy means debate, discussion and decision, not disruption,” he said, adding that the Chair wants the House to run with the full participation of members.
Govt: 1 crore migrant labourers returned home on foot during Mar-Jun
More than one crore migrant labourers returned to their home states on foot during March-June 2020, including those who travelled during the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown, the government said on Tuesday. “COVID-19 has resulted in migration of large number of workers from destination states to the home-states,” Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways V K Singh told Lok Sabha in a written reply.
As per the data compiled by Ministry of Labour and Employment, more than 1.06 crore migrant workers, including those who travelled on foot during the lockdown, returned to their home states, he said. As per provisional available information, 81,385 accidents occurred on the roads (including national highways) during the period March-June 2020 with 29,415 fatalities, he informed Parliament.
‘PM Modi visited 58 nations since 2015 at expenditure of Rs 517 crore’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited 58 countries since 2015 and a total expenditure of Rs 517 crore was incurred on them, the government said on Tuesday. Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan provided details of the prime minister’s visits abroad since 2015, including their outcome, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
“The total expenditure on these visits was Rs 517.82 crore,” he said. According to the details provided by Muraleedharan, the prime minister made five visits each to the US, Russia and China, and multiple trips to some other countries like Singapore, Germany, France, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.
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