Parliament is expected to adjourn sine die today.
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die. In today’s proceedings, it passed the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, the three labour codes, the Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill; and returned The Appropriation (No.3) Bill, and Appropriation (No.4) Bill.
The Parliament will function today sans Opposition parties. Opposition parties boycotted Parliament on Tuesday too, first walking out of Rajya Sabha in the morning and later from Lok Sabha at around 4 p.m., protesting against the flawed passage of the two farm bills in the Upper House on Sunday that resulted in violent protests by Opposition members and suspension of eight MPs.
Here are the latest updates:
6.05 pm | Lok Sabha
Proceedings for the Lok Sabha begins.
3.00 pm | Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha will be assembling at 6 pm today, instead of 3 pm. Today, will be the last day of monsoon session.
2.10 pm | Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha is adjourned sine die
1.50 pm | Rajya Sabha
The Chairman says he received a letter by Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and others asking not to pass the three labour codes in their absence. But, he says, he has checked precedents and decided to go ahead with the bills.
The Chairman makes his concluding remarks.
He says, the session is being concluded eight sittings ahead of the 18 planned sittings as COVID-19 pandemic continues. “We made many rearrangements, like working on the weekends, having proceedings from six locations.” “I was worried about how my members will get used to these new arrangement. I had to do two mock sittings to get used to it,” he says.
In the 10 sittings, he says, 25 bills were passed and 6 bills introduced. 3.15 hours were lost due to disruptions in this session. 57% of total functional time of the House was spent on government legislative business. He says the high productivity of the previous sessions continued this time too.
1,567 unstarred questions were replied to in writing by government.
Though the session has been satisfactory in terms of productivity, there were some areas of concern. He appeals to all members, “from the depth of his heart”, to ensure that such unseemly behaviour is not repeated.
“I am pained to see bills getting passed in the din. It pains me more when the Chair is rendered helpless and is forced to take decisions against members.”
“To protest is the right of the Opposition. Any member, for that matter. But how should it be done? The floor of the House is the most effective way, and not through boycott,” says Mr. Naidu.
He brings up the remarks made by Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition, regarding dilution of the powers and stature of the LoP. He says “even though Mr. Azad does not refer to the period, it is an important observation.”
(Prime Minister Narendra Modi is present in the Rajya Sabha.)
Holding a session during the pandemic required innovative thinking and elaborate planning, he says, thanking those responsible for the logistics.
“The previous session was also cut short because of the pandemic, like this one.” “I went ahead with the session, after multiple consultations, because of one, constitutional requirement and two, the Prime Minister said when others are working, so should we. That convinced me.”
Vande Mataram plays in the House.
1.50 pm | Rajya Sabha
The Appropriation (No.3) Bill, 2020 and Appropriation (No.4) Bill, 2020 returned, without discussion
1.45 pm | Rajya Sabha
Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill is passed by the Rajya Sabha
1.35 pm | Rajya Sabha
G. Kishan Reddy begins his reply
“74% of the population in J&K speaks Kashmiri and Dogri and the demand has been to declare these two languages as official languages. Their demand was not heard for 70 years. Urdu, which was spoken by 1% of the population, was declared an official language,” he says.
He says over 2% speak Hindi. “Since Hindi is India’s official language, we have included Hindi also.”
Heeding the suggestion of the Chairman and some members, Punjabi, Pahadi and Gurjari will be promoted, he says. The bill itself provides for this, Mr. Reddy says.
1.30 pm | Rajya Sabha
MoS Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale, again in a poetic rendition, expresses his “support to Dogri and Kashmiri languages”.
Chairman Venkaiah Naidu tells MoS G. Kishan Reddy to keep in mind what the case was before 1988 and on inclusion of Gurjari, Pahadi and Punjabi.
1.15 pm | Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha discusses Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill
G. Kishan Reddy moves motion for consideration of Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill.
| Photo Credit: Rajya Sabha TV
Shamsher Singh Manhas of BJP begins discussion in Dogri.
Mamata Mohanta of BJD says the bill would help in the integration of the U.T.s into the mainland.
Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says it is unfortunate that Punjabi is not being included in this bill. The J&K Constitution included Punjabi and the first Chief Minister of J&K was a Punjabi, he says. When the language is being removed, it hurts the feelings of the Punjabis settled in J&K, he says.
“Language is the basis of the cultural heritage of a community”, he says, asking that the Minister reconsider it.
Mir Mohammad Fayaz of PDP says Gurjari, Punabi and Pahadi should be included, “so that we win the trust of everyone in J&K”.
1.10 pm | Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha passes the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill, 2020
Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2020, is passed, as is The Code of Social Security, 2020.
12.50 pm | Rajya Sabha
Mr. Gangwar begins his reply
He takes a dig at the Congress and says this is not the first time that the Congress is not present. “Congress has not cared for the workers.”
The Bill will provide social security to 50 crore workers for the first time after Independence, he adds.
The Minister also said that the bill has provisions for migrant workers to get a yearly travel allowance to go back to their home states. The bill also provisions for a free health checkup.
The House is extended till disposal of day’s buiness.
Mr. Gangwar says government has not taken away workers’ right to strike. The 14 day notice is for a chance to solve the dispute.
12.40 pm | Rajya Sabha
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, in the capacity of Member of Parliament, speaking on the codes, says workers had become entangled in labour laws so far. “Cases would go on in tribunals and workers wouldn’t get justice, but now the cases will have to be disposed of in 1 year.”
MoS Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale, also speaking in the capacity of MP, says there is a need to end the contract system. He supports the codes, expressing his appreciation in a poetic rendition.
Opposition parties conduct silent protest march in Parliament over farm Bills
Opposition parties seen protesting inside the Parliament premises.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
Various opposition parties Wednesday took out a silent protest march in the Parliament complex against the contentious farm Bills passed recently.
The protesting MPs carried placards with messages such as “Save Farmers, Save Workers, Save Democracy” during their march from the Mahatma Gandhi statue to the Ambedkar statue on the premises.
They also stood before Gandhiji’s statue in a line.
Members of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPI, CPI-M, DMK, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Samajwadi Party and the NCP participated in the protest.
12.20 pm | Rajya Sabha
Rakesh Sinha of BJP says the government has not brought in these codes overnight. “It’s unfortunate that the Opposition isn’t in the House when it’s discussing the codes,” he says.
“These codes have increased the bargaining power of workers.”
“Gig workers and platform workers are brought into the ambit of the codes, thus giving them social security,” he says. The codes bring gig, platform, informal and unorganised sector workers under its ambit, for their benefit, Mr. Sinha says.
“The codes put an end to gender discrimination in workplaces. They are an example of social inclusion.”
12.00 pm | Rajya Sabha
Subhash Chandra Singh of BJD says economic growth cannot be envisaged at the cost of health and safety of workers. He says making Aadhar compulsory should be reconsidered and must be made user-friendly as has been made in Odisha. The BJD is happy to support the codes, but the government should iron out some issues, he says.
Ram Chandra Prasad Singh of JD(U) says the consolidation of labour legislations is welcome. He says this will be a win-win for workers and employers.
S.R. Balasubramoniyan of AIADMK says strikes and lockouts are prohibited without notice, it should be reduced to 3-4 days.
Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar of TDP says trade unions across the country have apprehensions about the codes. The government should allay their fears, he says.
11.40 am | Rajya Sabha
Vivek Thakur of BJP says workers are the backbone of the country. These legislations are for ensuring the country becomes truly atma nirbhar (self-reliant), he says.
This is a step towards ‘One code, one nation or one country, one license’, he says. “The codes have the potential of making a huge social impact.”
“This legislative marvel will be a guide to State governments,” he says. The codes will ensure labour trust, propel productivity and economic growth. The labour reforms are gearing up young India to take on the changes in a post-COVID worls, he says.
11.30 am | Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha discusses the three labour codes passed by the Lok Sabha
Santosh Kumar Gangwar, MoS (IC) Labour and Employment, moves motion for consideration of the labour codes in Rajya Sabha on September 23, 2020.
| Photo Credit: Rajya Sabha TV
Rajya Sabha takes up three Bills together-
The Industrial Relations Code, 2020
The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020
The Code of Social Security, 2020
Santosh Kumar Gangwar, MoS (IC) Labour and Employment, moves motion for consideration of the codes.
Mr. Gangwar says the three codes are a part of the government’s codification of 29 labour laws into four codes. The Code on Wages was passed by Parliament in 2019.
11.30 am | Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha passes the Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020
11.10 am | Rajya Sabha
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman starts her reply
She says the Bill is “absolutely critical for financial stability in the country.” The Bill brings in a firm legal basis for bilateral netting for two counter parties, Ms. Sitharaman says.
Clearing Corporation of India acts as a mediator of multi lateral financial contracts. “It is just the bilateral contracts which do not have any firm legal basis. Value of bi-lateral derivative contracts is estimated by Clearing Corporation of India to be Rs. 56,33,257 crore as of March 2018.” Bi-lateral contracts constitute 40% of total financial contracts.
The Bill has been brought in to address the three lessons learnt from the 2008 global financial crisis, she says. The first two have been addressed previously. This bill provides the legislative backing to address the third problem, she says.
If the law were available in 2017, banks would have had Rs.42,194 crore for onward lending, but they had to keep it locked up. In March 2020, Rs. 58,308 crore was locked up because we had no law on bi-lateral netting.
This legislation will help us make actual risk assessment, in gross terms, rather than a notional risk assessment, she says.
“The bill will empower regulatory authorities.” “I would strongly appeal for the bill to be supported by the House, since it provides a buoyant credit market.”
10.50 am | Rajya Sabha
A. Vijayakumar of AIADMK supports the bill.
Sujeet Kumar of BJD says this is a welcome financial reform step. He calls it a milestone that will improve the financial health of the nation, by bringing in the much needed liquidity, reducing transactional cost and boosting investor morale.
Mahesh Poddar of BJP says this law is an important step towards unleashing potential. The bill allows for freeing up capital in the market, which will be useful.
10.36 am | Rajya Sabha
The Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill taken up for discussion
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moves motion for the consideration of The Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moves motion for the consideration of The Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill in the Rajya Sabha on September 23, 2020.
| Photo Credit: Rajya Sabha TV
Suresh Prabhu of BJP says while we prescribe a margin for transactions, which is very necessary, we are also allowing for netting. “We should eventually ensure that more liquidity is brought into the market. The bill brings in the liquidity,” he says.
“The regulation brings into its ambit all regulators in the financial sector. These will be the parent for all transactions.”
He says that the Finance Minister should clarify which transactions would qualify as “qualified financial contract”.
“This is a good step that will lead to a vibrant, dynamic bond market in the country, which is the need of the hour in the country.”
He congratulates the government on the bill and supports it.
10.35 am | Rajya Sabha
Mr. Rai moves motion that the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill.
The Rajya Sabha passes the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020.
10.15 am | Rajya Sabha
MoS Home Affairs Nityanand Rai starts his reply
Mr. Rai says FCRA is a national and internal security law.
When the FCRA law was brought in, in 2010, the then-Home Minister Chidambaram said that out of Rs. 20,000 crore funds received, there was no information on where Rs. 10,000 crore went, Mr. Rai says. “This meant there was appropriation somewhere.”
Responding to Mr. Balasubramoniyan, he says the bill is not against those NGOs doing good work. “It is in the interest of good NGOs instead,” he says. “Jobs will not be lost, but employment will be generated.”
The NGOs won’t have to come to Delhi to open a bank account in SBI, New Delhi. They can open the account through their nearest SBI branch, he clarifies, in response to Mr. Kumar.
There will be no delay in transfer of funds to NGOs. Government will be able to trace and monitor the funds with the bill, he says.
10.00 am | Rajya Sabha
Prashanta Nanda of BJD supports the bill but says genuine NGOs should not be troubled by the officials.
Ram Chandra Prasad Singh of JD(U) supports the bill.
Swapan Dasgupta, nominated member, says says some NGOs are involved in “proxy politics”. He suggests appointment of a commission to look into what NGOs are doing. He calls the bill an important and major step to check this “proxy politics”.
Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar of TDP supports the bill. He says the clause for all NGOs to have an account in SBI, Delhi will lead to problems.
9.45 am | Rajya Sabha
After a confusion over the Supplementary Agenda List being taken up before Legislative Business, the latter begins.
RS discusses Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill
The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 is taken up for consideration.
The Chairman says the bill will get one hour for discussion.
BJP MP Arun Singh says some NGOs were misusing funds by “buying chocolates and renting big houses”. The bill provides for verifying if the funds received by the NGOs are indeed being used for the purpose. “Some NGOs are using such funds for forced conversions, like some NDGOs in Kerala,” he says. The bill checks the anti-national activities of NGOs which receive funds from outside the country, he says, adding he supports the bill.
S.R. Balasubramoniyan of AIADMK says the bill shouldn’t be used to antagonise the political parties. “The government should assure us this won’t happen, that political opponents won’t be targeted.” There may be some bad NGOs, but majority are genuine NGOs doing good work, he says. “Such NGOs should not be bulldozed.”
On the one hand the government is encouraging foreign investments, on the other hand it also restricts the good work that such investments could bring in. “The bill has good intentions, but bad implications on the ground,” he says. He supports the bill.
9.40 am | Rajya Sabha
Special Mentions begin
Satish Chandra Dubey of BJP says EWS quota should have relaxation of age and fees.
Dr. Sonal Mansingh of BJP seeks financial package for freelance artists during the ongoing pandemic since cultural activities are on a standstill.
Kailash Soni of BJP seeks that conditions of PMAY scheme be relaxed to include those affected by floods.
Anil Desai of Shiv Sena asks that the Bombay High Court be renamed as Mumbai High Court. He says the State government has been in constant touch with the Centre regarding this.
9.30 am | Rajya Sabha
BJP MP Bhupender Yadav says today is the birth anniversary of poet and former MP Ramdhari Singh Dinkar from Bihar, we should set up a chair in his name. He recalls the friendship that Dinakar and Ram Manohar Lohia shared both inside and outside the Parliament.
K.C. Ramamurthy of BJP raises matter of flood damage in Karnataka. He says the State has suffered loss of Rs. 9,440 crore in this season alone. He seeks special financial assistance from the Centre for the flood management.
9.15 am | Rajya Sabha
Social Justice Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot moves a motion for election of one member to the Rehabilitation Council of India.
Zero Hour begins
BJP MP Lt. Gen (retd.) Dr. D.P. Vats says important rail and road projects get delayed due to pending court cases. He asks Law Ministry to come up with a legislation to speed up development works.
Mamata Mohanta of BJD asks that the Kurmi Mahanta community be added in the ST list.
Nazir Ahmed Laway of PDP raises the matter of home guards and other government employees who don’t get permanent jobs for years.
Birendra Prasad Baishya of AGP says he requests the government to complete the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway immediately for the progress of the northeast.
Subhash Chandra Singh of BJD says remuneration of anganwadi and ASHA workers, who are COVID warriors, is very low. He asks Centre to come up with a special package for them.
9.10 am | Rajya Sabha
Chairman Venkaiah Naidu at the Rajya Sabha proceedings on September 23, 2020.
| Photo Credit: Rajya Sabha TV
Chairman announces that the House is bidding farewell to some members from U.P. and Uttarakhand today, as they are set to retire in November. They include P.L. Punia, Ram Gopal Yadav, Hardeep Puri, Neeraj Shekhar, Raj Babbar and Javed Ali.
“Though some members may be re-elected, I hope, this House will miss those who will not be coming back immediately,” he says.
Neeraj Shekhar, the son of former PM Chandra Shekhar, says he used to play in the Central Hall when visiting the Parliament as a child with his father. Mr. Shekar switched from the Samajwadi Party to the BJP last year. He
9.00 am | Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha proceedings for the day begins
MoS Parliamentary Affairs V. Muraleedharan laying papers on the table.
Mr. Muraleedharan says the government has decided to recommend adjournment of the House sine die today, but there is some important legislative business to be completed before that. He gives time stipulations within which the pending bills are to be discussed, as recommended by the Parliamentary Advisory Committee meeting on September 22, 2020.
Chairman Venkaiah Naidu says government can recommend the adjournment of the House, but when to adjourn is the chair’s decision.
Bills for consideration and passing
- The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020
- The Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020
- The Appropriation (No.3) Bill, 2020
- The Appropriation (No.4) Bill, 2020
Bills for consideration and passing
- The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020
- The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020
- The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020
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