Monday, January 17, 2022

 The Week in Parliament

Script by V. Mohan Rao, Journalist.
The Budget Session of Parliament began with the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman presenting the Union Budget 2021-22 on Monday, with a wish to lay a vision for an Atmarnirbhar Bharat. She said Atmanirbhar Bharat is an expression of 130 crore Indians who have full confidence in their capabilities and skills. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the historic Budget will bring positive changes for individuals, industry, investors and infrastructure. To provide adequate credit to farmers, the government has enhanced the agricultural credit target to 16.5 lakh crore rupees in the next fiscal with focus on ensuring increased credit flows to animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries.
The Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned for the day on Tuesday following repeated adjournments after opposition parties demanded rollback of the new farm laws. Similar pandemonium and adjournments hit the Lok Sabha also. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed the Lok Sabha that the government is willing to discuss the three farm reform laws both inside and outside Parliament.
The Lok Sabha took up the discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address when it met at 7 P.M. on Wednesday. Locket Chatterjee of the BJP initiated the discussion amid continued Opposition protests. She said, the ongoing year is very important as India will celebrate the 75th year of Independence. Amidst sloganeering, by Opposition members, Speaker Om Birla adjourned the house for the day.
In the Rajya Sabha, Opposition disrupted the proceedings of the House over the issue of farmers protesting against the three farm laws. Members from Congress, Trinamool Congress, RJD, DMK and Left parties forced repeated adjournments of the Upper House. It was adjourned thrice before adjourning finally for the day.
Earlier, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu lauded Team India’s ‘Spirit of Gabba’ that resulted in the historic Test series win against Australia last month.
In the Rajya Sabha, opposition parties reiterated their demand to repeal the three farm laws in the light of the continued protests by the farmers. The government has categorically said that Indian Parliament has passed reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector after a full debate and discussion and urged people to ascertain facts and have a proper understanding of the issues at hand before rushing to comment on such matters. The Rajya Sabha has taken up discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address with the ruling BJP urging the opposition not to make the farmers agitation into another Shaheen Bagh.
Leader of Opposition and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad asked the government to withdraw the three farm bills without making it a prestige issue. He said disrespect to the national flag cannot be tolerated. He condemned the violence at the Red Fort on Republic Day during the farmers’ tractor parade. He suggested that the Prime Minister should himself make the announcement on the repeal of the bills.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India has taken up the issue of killing of Tamil Nadu fishermen in the island nation with Sri Lanka in the strongest terms and has made it very clear that such incidents are unacceptable.
On Thursday Rajya Sabha resumed discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address to the joint sitting. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the Centre is committed to ensuring MSP for the farmers. He said the Centre has effectively implemented measures ensuring 1.5 times the MSP to the farmers. Mr. Pradhan said the Centre’s decisive and time-bound actions have ensured ‘Sabka Saath and Sabka Vikas’.
On Friday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar asserted in Rajya Sabha that the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to the development of Gaon, Gareeb and Kisan. He said the government is committed to the goal of doubling farmers’ income and the new farm laws are an instrument to achieve the same. The Agriculture Minister said that the Country showed exemplary discipline during COVID induced lockdown. He said the decisions taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and their strict adherence by the citizens is praiseworthy which resulted in achieving a healthy recovery rate of patients.
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