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RS passes 6 more Bills, adjourned sine die

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 23, 2020 Published on September 23, 2020

Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu conducts proceedings during the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, on Wednesday   -  PTI

Opposition meets President, asks him to send back the farm Bills

The Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die on Wednesday after passing six Bills and returning another two in the absence of Opposition members.

Earlier in the day, the Opposition sent a letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu saying that the three Labour Code Bills will affect the lives of workers and will be a blot on democracy if these are passed unilaterally. In his valedictory remarks, Naidu said the letter cannot be considered as there were no specific proposals from the Opposition.

Oppositions’ demand

The Opposition later went to Rashtrapati Bhavan to meet President Ramnath Kovind and submitted a memorandum signed by 18 parties. Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters after the meeting that it was the duty of the government to ensure that division takes place on a Bill and added that due process was not followed in the case of the three Farm Bills. He urged the President to uphold Constitutional provisions and send the Bills back to the Rajya Sabha. “Division of votes or voice vote was not allowed. The Constitution was undermined in the temple of democracy. The farm Bills have been passed unconstitutionally. The President should return these Bills,” Azad said.

Naidu, however, reiterated his position on the episode. “Though it is not the first time that some members are suspended and Bills are passed when some sections of the House boycotted the proceedings, I find it extremely unpalatable. This kind of a situation needs to be avoided by all means. But the Rules of the House do provide for such suspension when it becomes inevitable. If legislative work is not taken up during the boycott by some sections of the House, it may legitimise such boycott as an effective instrument of blocking legislation,” Naidu said in the House.

Also read: Bilateral Netting Bill passed; move will boost financial market stability

Brief discussion

Meanwhile, the Occupational Safety, Health And Working Conditions Code, the Industrial Relations Code and the Code On Social Security were passed with brief discussion involving ruling alliance members and those who support the Bill on Wednesday.

The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill and the Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill were also passed in similar manner.

Two Appropriation Bills, moved by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, were returned to the Lok Sabha without any discussion.

Also read: Kerala to move Supreme Court against farm Bills

 

Replying to the debate on the Labour Codes, Union Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said: “The objective of the labour reforms is to have labour laws in line with the changing world and provide an effective and transparent system, balancing the needs of workers and industries.”

He said the atmosphere, technological base, mode of working and the nature of work have changed drastically.

“If India does not make the required changes in its labour laws, we will be left behind, both in terms of welfare of the workers and the development of industries,” Gangwar said and added that extensive consultations were held with all stakeholders before passing the Bills.

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Published on September 23, 2020
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