PM lauds soldiers as Parliament session gets under way

Thanks MPs for coming forward to attend session during the pandemic

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14

Lauding soldiers deployed at the borders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the entire nation and every parliamentarian is standing with them.

“Corona bhi hai aur kartavya bhi,” he said, also thanking MPs for their participation in the parliament session.

“The more there is participation on issues, the more the country will benefit,” he said in his brief address before the first sitting of the session.

The PM expressed gratitude to the MPs for coming forward to attend the session and asked mediapersons to follow norms.


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“It will be snowing very soon and our jawans will be there in such harsh conditions to protect us,” the PM said.

Highlights

*Lok Sabha session begins.

*Lok Sabha adjourned for an hour after obituary references to Pranab Mukherjee, deceased sitting and former MPs and Pandit Jasraj who passed away recently.

*Speaker Om Birla says that while attempts are being made to bring everyone together this time there have been attempts to maintain distance.

*Some MPs have expressed reservations about seating arrangements but these are unprecedented times and the aim is to ensure the conduct of the House keeping in mind safety protocols, says Birla.

*You may have to undergo some difficulties but these arrangements are important keeping in mind the current circumstances; please bear with us, Birla told the House.

*With the efforts of the country we will soon be able to overcome the Covid pandemic, Birla said.

*We have limited time; therefore, it is our responsibility to make the best use of it by making positive inputs, the Speaker said, appealing for cooperation from all members.

*I am sure with your cooperation we will be able to give a positive message to the country, Birla said.

*The distribution of seats haa been made as per strength of individual parties. They are free to distribute their allocated seats as per their requirements. During the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha some members will sit in the Lok Sabha chamber. This is also for the first time in the history that many RS speakers who used to dream of sitting and speaking in the LS will be able to do so, Birla said.

*Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi moves the motion regarding business of the House, Opposition leaders object.

*Leader of Congress in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says the argument and rationale offered with regard to revoking the question hour is far from convincing.

*Question Hour is the golden hour; what the government is saying is strange because it has no problem in running Parliament but has problems in running the Question Hour. They are stifling the democracy, says Chowdhury.

*AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi also urges the Speaker not to allow the government to encroach upon rights of the members and seeks a division.

*Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari (Congress) says the Question Hour can be done away with only if the House unanimously agrees.

*Question Hour is an integral part of the session and this is the only time we get answers from the government, says AITC leader Kalyan Banerjee. This would take away 50 per cent of the glamour from the proceedings, he says.

*In response to the objections of members regarding suspension of Question Hour, Joshi said all Assemblies, including Punjab and West Bengal, have met for one or two days and passed as many as 24 bills.

*We are running the House for 18 days. In last five years, 60 pc question hour in Rajya Sabha and 40 pc in Lok Sabha despite resounding victory of PM Narendra Modi, says Joshi.

*We are not running away from answering any questions, the members are free to ask us anything they want, he says.

*Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says that majority of the opposition parties agreed to the arrangement given that the House is being run only for four hours.

*With the help of unstarred questions you can ask anything you want. In case you are not satisfied with any reply you are free to seek answers during Zero Hour, Singh says, seeking cooperation from all members.

*Singh says Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was also consulted on the matter. He had agreed, says Singh.

*Birla assures the two sides that they will be given ample time to express their views.

*The House clears the motion regarding business of the House, suspension of Question Hour.

*Speaker does not allow Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to raise the issue of Chinese incursions; says it is a sensitive issue and should be discussed after it is taken up by the BAC.

*Government discrimating against Punjabi in Jammu and Kashmir, says Manish Tewari.

*Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari says Punjabi and many of its dialects are spoken in Jammu. However, it is very said that the government has kept Punjabi out of the official languages in Jammu and Kashmir. The discrimination against Punjabi should be stopped in Jammu and Kashmir and the language be included as the official language, says Tewari.

*Actor-turned politician Ravi Kishan demands strict action against drug abusers in film world.

*NCP leader Supriya Sule says the main challenge is economy and job loss, adding that state of economy should be discussed on priority. We should put everything aside and discuss it first, Sule urges FM Nirmala Sitharaman, who was present in the House.

*Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says he has briefed the House on two earlier occasions on measures taken to tackle the pandemic, once in February and then in March.

*Giving the details of the situation across the country till date, the Health Minister says India has been able to limit the mortality rate to lowest in the world.

*As he went on to read the details amid objections from Opposition members, the Speaker asked the minister to lay the statement and read out only the key parts.

*However, Harsh Vardhan said it is an important issue and he would complete his statement in 10 to 15 minutes.

*Making a detailed statement, Harsh Vardhan talked of all the measures and response mechanisms put in place by the Narendra Modi government in tackling and combating the global pandemic, its transmission, etc.

*He also spoke about the steps taken by the Aviation Ministry, including Vande Bharat mission operated by the government, apart from those taken by his ministry.

*Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moves a proposal in the Lok Sabha to withdraw the Bill to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

*Kollam MP MK Premachandran objects and demands an answer why Sitharaman was withdrawing the Bill.

*To this Sitharaman says the bill they are bringing in will have all the features of the old bill along with provisions to safeguard cooperative banks and customers. What the government is doing now is giving the RBI a chance to give distressed cooperative banks a chance to restructure loans, she says.

*The government introduces the Essential Commodities (Amendment Bill), 2020.

*Congress leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Tarun Gogoi say it will encourage hoarding of commodities.

*This is an example of coercive federalism by the Centre, says Sougata Roy of the AITC, saying it will help hoarders.

*When there is discussion on the Bill all issues will be discussed, Raosaheb Patil Danve said, adding that before bringing the ordinance a high-level CM panel discussed the issue.’

*The government introduces the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation ) Bill, 2020.

*Reacting to objections by Congress's Shashi Tharoor, Harsh Vardhan says when the surrogacy bill was being brought many members demanded the regulation bill. We will answer questions during discussions, he says.

*Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar introduces the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill 2020 amid objections from Opposition leaders.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says state cooperative laws are not mentioned in the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

*277 urban cooperative banks are facing loss, she says, urging for need to protect the depositors. Number of cooperative banks are weak, she says stressing on the need for the Bill.

*Health Minister Harsh Vardhan introduces the National Commission for Homeopathy Bill, 2020, and the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2020, for consideration and passing.

*As Harsh Vardhan went on to elaborate on the two Bills, Speaker Om Birla again tells him to cut short because of paucity of time.

*Lok Sabha clears the National Commission for Homeopathy Bill, 2020, and the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2020.

*Lok Sabha adjourned for the day. Speaker thanks members for active participation and cooperation on the first day of the Session.

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