From Centre's bills to Oppn's talking points and COVID-19 looming large, here's what to expect
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Lok Sabha adjourns sine die two days ahead of scheduled date



A disappointed Speaker Om Birla, said members holding placards, raising slogans in the Well of Lok Sabha was not in accordance with its traditions

The Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die on Wednesday, bringing an early end to the stormy Monsoon Session which was scheduled to conclude on 13 August.

The Lower House functioned for only 21 of the 96 stipulated hours during the entire Monsoon Session this year and its productivity was at 22 percent, Speaker Om Birla informed on the day.

The session, which began on July 19, witnessed Opposition protests both within and without the Parliament over the Pegasus snooping row, oxygen deaths and farm laws, pictures and videos of which flooded the internet.

But despite the pandemonium 20 Bills were passed. Here’s looking back at a turbulent 17 sittings that saw legislators tear papers and break glass doors.

Significant Bills passed

The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020: The new law is expected to improve the availability of credit to micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) since more non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) will now be eligible to offer factoring services to MSMEs.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021: This law would make way for an alternative method of providing a corporate rescue plan for MSMEs.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021: It seeks to strengthen and streamline the provisions for the protection and adoption of children. It makes provision to increase the role of district magistrates and additional district magistrates in matters concerning child care and adoption.

The Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021: The law seeks to prevent workers of the government-owned ordnance factories from going on strike against the corporatisation of the units.

The Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021: It seeks to dissolve certain existing appellate bodies and transfer their functions, such as adjudication of appeals, to other existing judicial bodies.

The Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021: The legislation provides for the setting up of a commission as the sole authority with jurisdiction over air quality management. It is expected to bring an end to the blame game witnessed in the recent past over air quality monitoring and management among states of the region.

The Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill, 2021: The law aims at restoring the powers of states to notify backward classes.

The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2021: The law seeks to establish a central university in the Union Territory of Ladakh.

Productivity

The Lower House functioned for only 21 hours and 14 minutes, Out of the quorum of 96 working hours, work could not be done for 74 hrs and 46 minutes owing to constant disruption by the Opposition. This is opposed to 167 percent productivitydisplayed by the House in the Monsoon Session, 2020.

Questions raised

Ministers in all responded orally to 66 questions in the House and members raised 331 issues under Rule 377.

Loss to the exchequer

As per recent reports in Minttill 1 August, the Parliament had functioned for 18 hours and spent over 133 crore of the taxpayers’ money, which is over seven crore per hour.

Issues that were discussed

Pegasus Snoopgate: The controversy surrounds the alleged usage of Israeli spyware Pegasus by the Indian government to snoop on eminent journalists, politicians, academicians, businessmen and activists. The Opposition has disrupted House proceedings every day seeking an investigation into it.

Three farm legislations: The Centre last year passed three legislations — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. Since then a large number of people from the farming community and Opposition leaders have actively demanded that the laws be repealed as they claimed that they would adversely affect small-time farmers.

Price rise: The country witnessed a sharp rise in prices of fuel, with petrol and diesel breaching the 100-mark. Meanwhile, prices of food items have also seen a staggering rise with retail inflation crossing six percent last month.

Oxygen deaths: Another issue over which the Opposition wanted to corner the Union government was deaths due to lack of oxygen during the second wave of the pandemic. During the session, the Union health ministry had claimed that there were no deaths due to lack of oxygen.

Protests rock Parliament

Since the beginning of the Monsoon Session, the Opposition has been accused of stalling the proceedings and disrespecting the House. The prime minister had recently slammed the Opposition, saying “On one hand, our country is scoring goal after goal of victory, on the other, some people, due to political self-interests, are doing such things which make it seem that they are scoring ‘self goals'”.

Here are a few pictures of the ruckus in the Parliament in the last three weeks —

(With input from agencies)





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