Monsoon Session: Government lines up 31 Bills for Rajya Sabha in this Parliament session

The government plans to put 31 Bill, including six of the Ordinances, in Rajya Sabha during that time monsoon session began on Monday while the Opposition demanded discussion on a range of issues including the Covid situation and the threat of a third wave, farmers’ protests, the alleged threat to cooperative federalism, relations with Afghanistan and China.

The Vice President and Incumbent Chairman of Rajya Sabha M Venkaiah Naidu held a meeting with floor leaders of various political parties in The Senate at his residence on Saturday to discuss the upcoming session. Representatives from 20 parties attended the meeting, which was attended by 15 coalition ministers, including House of Representatives Leader Piyush Goyal, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Government proposes to introduce 29 Bills, of which six Ordinance Bills were passed after the budget session and two related to finance in this session. Parliamentary issues Minister Pralhad Joshi informed those present at the meeting. He seeks the cooperation of all parties to conduct business smoothly and pass these laws.

Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said the Covid situation in the country and the war as well as the potential threat of a third pandemic wave should be discussed on the floor of the House of Representatives. The growing unemployment rate – exacerbated by Covid- as well as poverty, farmers’ agitation over the three Agricultural Laws and developments on the India-China border need to be taken into account. He also mentioned the situation in Jammu and Kashmir as one of the issues to be debated.

The Opposition will likely oppose the formation of a co-operative ministry on the grounds that cooperatives are a state subject and the move is an infringement on the rights of the states. Congress and NCP raised the matter and the matter is likely to be raised in the House of Commons.

NCP head Sharad Pawar suggested that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and its effects on India should be discussed in this session. TMC Leader Derek O’Brien called for more Bills to be sent to Standing Committees for scrutiny instead of rushing through Parliament.

The smaller parties asked to spend more time with them during the Bill discussions and debate the issues. Naidu assures them that he will look into the matter.

The Vice President called on all parties to cooperate so that the House can operate effectively during the current Covid pandemic and surrounding gloom. He asked ministers to contact the Opposition and conduct all House business.

This session will also see newly introduced ministers in action. Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed them to spend more time in the House learning the ropes. They were asked to watch the debates in the Senate, where the quality of the discussions was said to be better than the Lok Sabha.

The house will be active from 11am to 6pm and there are 19 posts scheduled for this session.


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