Monsoon session: no opposition, no democratic debate, and disputed bills passed in parliament


Posted on 25th Sep 2020 02:13 pm by rohit kumar

Wednesday was the last day of the monsoon session of Parliament. This session, which ends on October 1, was ended eight days before the scheduled time. In this session that lasted for 10 days, 25 bills were passed in the Lok Sabha and 16 new bills were introduced. At the same time, 25 bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha and six new bills were introduced.

 

The session has been historic in many ways amid the increasing cases of Covid-19. For the first time MPs staged a sit-in inside the Parliament complex overnight. Before the session, there was a corona inquiry of the MPs, the House also worked on Saturday and Sunday. In this session, there was a lot of uproar, protests, and suspension of MPs.

 

On Monday, when the Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu suspended eight Rajya Sabha MPs, the opposition boycotted the house. In the absence of opposition, seven bills passed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday-Wednesday without any democratic debate. Disputed bills such as Labor Code and FCRA i.e. Foreign Contribution Amendment were also passed.

 

Let's know about those bills

 

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment 2020

 

This bill is for non-governmental organizations i.e. NGOs. Now the NGO will have to provide their Aadhaar number at the time of registration so that foreign funds can be tracked. Along with this, where foreign funds could have been used for administrative activities of non-profitable institutions, it has been reduced to 20 percent. Now funds from abroad can be received from the State Bank of India's New Delhi branch only.

 

This bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday and it was also passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. After the President's signature, this bill will now become law.

 

This bill is being seen as an initiative to curb foreign funding received by NGOs. The government believes that funds from foreign countries should be regulated so that these funds are not used in anti-national activities in any case.

 

But in the past, how some NGOs and social activists associated with them have consistently criticized the government, then this step of the government is being linked to the same context.

 

However, it has been clearly stated by the government that it does not want to interfere in the freedom of NGOs in any way.

 

Essential Commodities Act (Amendment) 2020

Amending the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, pulses, edible oils, onions, potatoes have been removed from the list of essential commodities. That is, the government will not control their storage and any company or businessman will be able to store it. Now the government will not interfere in their market prices. In such a situation, traders will buy it from farmers and will be able to store it according to their own. In such a situation, there will be no control over its price.

 

The opposition says that after this new amendment, there is doubt that farmers will get a fair price.

 

The government has brought the ordinance related to it in June this year, now it is being given shape of law.

 

After the new law, the government will control these items only in an extraordinary situation like war, disaster.

 

Labor code bill

Three Labor Code bills were also passed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday and the Rajya Sabha also passed them on Wednesday. These three bills are - 'Occupational Safety, Health and Working Code 2020', 'Industrial Relations Code 2020' and 'Social Security Code 2020'.

 

The government says that this will help in doing business. But the trade union says that this new labor code will return the workers of the country to the 'condition of British Raj'. It is being said that all the battles fought for the workers so far and whatever rights they can get, this new law will take away their years of struggle in one stroke.

 

One of these bills is - Industrial Relations Code 2020. With its introduction, it will be easier for companies to remove employees from their jobs. Now companies with 300 employees will not have to seek permission from the government to expose employees.

 

A provision also says that now employees have to give notice 14 days before going on strike and this rule will make it difficult for the labor union to go on strike. Earlier, only the public utility service people had to give notice before going on strike. But now in the new law, this notice has become necessary for all public and private labors.

 

It is mentioned in the circumstances under which the worker is working under the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Code 2020 and what social security should he get. It is most important that the employees working on the contract have also been given the same benefits that will be for the permanent employees. For example, working 8 hours a day and 6 days a week, in case of working overtime, the money received will be different from the fixed salary.

 

Financial criteria have been set for the first time to identify who are the immigrant workers. If a person has come from one state to another, is doing a job, or is doing business himself and the income is less than Rs 18,000 a month then he will fall under the category of immigrant laborer.

 

But experts believe that the Code of Industrial Relations will give companies an open hand to exploit the workers, which can prove to be dangerous for their workers' rights.

 

Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2020

This bill has been brought because of the scam that occurred in Punjab-Maharashtra Cooperative Bank last year. Now the cooperative bank will also come under the Reserve Bank of India. This new law will help to protect the account holders' capital and improve the operation of cooperative banks.

 

Companies (Amendment) Bill 2020

To give relief to small and big companies, the 'Companies (Amendment) Bill -2020' has been approved by the government. In this, some crimes have been excluded from the category of economic crime. All small and big companies will come under the ambit of this new bill.

 

Tax and other law bills 2020

The tax exemption that was talked about in the time of the epidemic has now been given the shape of the law. For example, due to Corona, the government has given extra time to file ITR, the TDS-TCS was given a relaxation to 2021. The government had brought this ordinance earlier, which has now been passed from the House.

 

Covid, drama and MPs suspension

Apart from the passage of the bill without debate, this session was memorable in many ways.

 

Lok Sabha MPs Meenakshi Lekhi, Hanuman Beniwal, Goddetti Madhavi, Pratap Rao Jadhav were found to be Corona positive even before the Parliament session began. Apart from this, six MPs of Rajya Sabha were also found to be Corona positive.

 

Before the session started, it came into the headlines and something happened on Sunday that the proceedings of Rajya Sabha had to be stopped for some time.

 

Two agricultural bills were introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday. The first was - the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Simplification) Bill, 2020, and the second was the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Price Assurance and Trade Bill on Agriculture Service, 2020.

 

Earlier on Thursday, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who was a minister from the Akali Dal quota in the central government, resigned from her post in a protest against the bill.

 

The debate on the bill started and after this, Deputy Speaker Harivansh extended the proceedings of the House for the whole day but the opposition was against this decision. Opposition leaders demanded that voting be done after discussing the bill.

 

When the Deputy Chairman did not listen to the opposition, there was a huge uproar in the Upper House. An MP climbed the table when he was seen making a ruckus in front of the Deputy Chairman of Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien. Despite opposition from the opposition, the Deputy Chairman by voice passed these disputed Bills.

 

In opposition, opposition parties brought a no-confidence motion against the Deputy Chairman.

 

On Monday, the controversy went one step further when Chairman Venkaiah Naidu suspended the eight MPs and also dismissed the no-confidence motion brought against the Deputy Speaker, saying that it was not 'under the rules'. For this, notice has to be given 14 days in advance.

 

After this, the opposition protested boycotting the proceedings of the House, and questions were raised about the Government's intention regarding how the voting took place and the motion of no confidence was dismissed.

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