Monsoon Session Begins Today; Govt Ready To Discuss All Issues In Constructive Manner, PM Modi Tells All-Party Meet
Today, the monsoon session of Parliament is set to begin. It is scheduled to conclude on 13 August. As per the convention, today, Prime Minister (PM) Modi will introduce the newly inducted ministers to both Houses. This will be the sixth Session of the 17th Lok Sabha.
While both houses will sit simultaneously, COVID protocols, including social distancing, will be followed. Over 400 MPs and more than 200 staff have already been vaccinated ahead of the session.
The government plans to take up 31 Bills, including two financial Bills, during the session, reports The Hindu.
According to reports, the government is likely to take around 15 bills in the session including the DNA Technology Bill, Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens, Tribunal Reforms Bill and Factoring Regulation Amendment Bill.
Yesterday, in an all-party meeting, PM Modi said that his government is ready to discuss and debate all issues in a “constructive” manner. “Took part in the All-Party meeting before the start of Parliament’s Monsoon Session. We look forward to a productive session where all issues can be debated as well as discussed in a constructive manner,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister and Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal were present at the meeting.
“At the all-party meeting, Prime Minister Modi said healthy and fruitful debates should take place in Parliament. He said the government is ready to hold discussions on any subject if raised as per parliamentary rules and procedures,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said that dysfunctional Parliament adds to the prevailing gloom and urged the government and the floor leaders of Opposition parties to ensure a productive session.
At a separate meeting with all the floor leaders, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla urged them to “respect the sanctity and dignity of the House”, and sought their cooperation for the smooth conduct of the proceedings.
The Opposition parties criticised the Prime Minister for brief presence at the almost three-hour long meeting attended by 33 parties.
Among those present in the meeting were Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge (Congress), Congress leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Anand Sharma; Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien; DMK’s TR Baalu and Tiruchi Siva; Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ram Gopal Yadav; and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Mishra.
However, differences among the Opposition parties cropped up on various issues, including the proposal of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Joshi that the Prime Minister would chair a meeting on the COVID-19 situation in the country at Parliament Annexe on Tuesday.
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and TMC leader Derek O’Brien opposed it saying that the discussion should take place on the floor of the House.
The Opposition parties also differed among themselves on what issues should be taken up first.
A separate meeting was convened by Mallikarjun Kharge in which different Opposition parties met for floor coordination and the issues to be raised. However, reportedly, some prominent parties such as the SP and the BSP stayed away and the Trinamool only made a fleeting appearance.
While the Congress party was keen to first take up the issue increase in the prices of petroleum products and other commodities, other Opposition parties wanted to move an adjournment motion to discuss the ongoing farmers’ agitation. Congress leader Manish Tewari informed that the they would move adjournment motion in both houses of Parliament over farmers' issue.
Besides these two, other important issues that the Opposition plans to raise in the session include the pace of COVID-19 vaccination; unemployment; “misuse” of Central agencies; “erosion” of the federal structure; restoring Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir; border row with China; and the Rafale deal.
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