Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Week in Parliament

Script by V. Mohan Rao, Journalist
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asserted that the new farm laws will usher in the development of the small and marginal farmers in the country. Replying to the discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Monday on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address, Mr. Modi said, the farm laws aim at fulfilling the aspirations of over 12 crore small and marginal farmers. Highlighting series of reforms and schemes introduced by the Centre, he said, the NDA Government remains committed to its promise of empowering the poor and the farmers. Mr. Modi said, by increasing the ambit of Fasal Bima Yojana in 2014, claims worth 90 thousand crore rupees have been settled benefitting small farmers in the country.
PM said that the Kisan Rail and Kisan Udan Scheme had been introduced by the government to help farmers reach out to larger and more profitable markets. He reassured that the Minimum Support Price will continue and the new farm laws do not undermine the APMC Mandis in any way. He said the budget this year has laid special emphasis to modernize the APMC Mandis. Mr. Modi said that the affordable ration scheme benefitting over 80 crore people in the country will also continue.
Highlighting the series of talks with the protesting farmers by the Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, he said, the government is still open for further discussion to end the impasse. Speaking about the country’s fight against COVID, the Prime Minister lauded everyone’s effort to make India stand out in its battle against the unknown enemy. He said the foreign investment in the country touched historic figures even when the world was reeling under the pandemic. He said the country emerged as a pharmacy hub during the COVID phase supplying the life-saving drugs to over 150 countries. He said that soon after beginning the world’s largest COVID vaccination programme in the country, India started supplying vaccines to other countries as well.
 On Thursday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in the Lok Sabha that New Delhi will not give even an inch of its territory to anyone. Making a statement on the present situation in Eastern Ladakh, he said the agreement envisages that both sides will cease their forward deployments in a phased and coordinated manner. The Defence Minister said the Indian Armed Forces responded to challenges by unilateral Chinese action and have shown immense valour and courage on both South and North bank of Pangong Tso. Highlighting the details of the agreement, he informed that both sides will cease their forward deployments in a phased, coordinated and verified manner.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has reiterated the Centre’s commitment towards the development of farmers and workers in the country. Replying to the discussion on the Union Budget in the Rajya Sabha, she hailed the Budget as an important step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat. She said the budget is a blend of a stimulus package and a long term growth model. The Rajya Sabha concluded the first part of the Budget Session after the reply by the Finance Minister. Over 75 lakh people have been administered COVID-19 vaccine in the country so far. The Union Health Ministry said India was the fastest country to cross the 70 lakh vaccination mark.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr Harshvardhan informed that vaccination of front line workers has also begun from 2nd of this month. He said, beneficiaries, as prioritized by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration, will be taken up as part of the ongoing process once substantial coverage of the vaccination of health care workers and front line workers is achieved. The Health Ministry said 75 lakh people have been administered Covid-19 vaccine in the country so far. The Minister informed that two Covid-19 vaccines require completion of two dose schedules at an interval of 28 days to complete the vaccination process.
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