Parliament has passed the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 with the Rajya Sabha approving it today amidst din. The Lok Sabha has already cleared the Bill. The Bill allows the central government to prohibit strikes, lock-outs, and lay-offs in units engaged in essential defence services. It amends the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 to include essential defence services under public utility services.
Speaking on the Bill, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh clarified that it has been brought to make reforms in Ordnance Factories and it will not impact the service conditions of employees. He said the right to peaceful protest will be allowed. The Bill was passed after a brief discussion amid continuous protest by the opposition parties. Sujeet Kumar of BJD, M Thambidurai of AIADMK, Manoj Jha of RJD and others participated in the discussion.