Parliament Monsoon Session Highlights: Lok Sabha passes Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 amid din; adjourned for the day – The Indian Express

Parliament Monsoon Session Highlights: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed two bills, the Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021 and the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021, amid protests from the Opposition. Both the Houses have been adjourned for the day.
The Essential Defence Services Bill was passed by a voice vote without any discussion. While the Opposition called the Bill “draconian that would deprive employees of their democratic rights to protest,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was present in the House, said the government had taken all employee unions into confidence before passing it.
The Parliament Tuesday approved the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021, with its passage through the Rajya Sabha.
Meanwhile, Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that Opposition unity was the need of the hour to fight the Centre. Earlier today, a breakfast Opposition meet of leaders from as many as 17 parties was held to form a strategy to overcome the current stalemate in Parliament. Some parties have proposed holding a mock session outside the Parliament premises.
Following multiple disruptions amid Opposition protests, the Lok Sabha has been adjourned for the day. The House will resume on August 4, 11 am.
As the protests from the Opposition continue, the Lok Sabha Tuesday passed the Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday informed the Rajya Sabha that the monthly production capacity of Covishield is projected to be increased to more than 120 million doses and of Covaxin to around 58 million doses by December, citing information from the vaccine manufacturers. 
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday urged both the government and the opposition to collectively resolve the present stalemate in Parliament.
News agency PTI reported that Naidu had discussed the deadlock in the House with the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, following the first adjournment on Tuesday. Sources said that he had also met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Leader of the House Piyush Goyal on Monday evening to discuss the impasse.
Essentially, the Essential Defence Services Bill is aimed at preventing the staff of the government-owned ordnance factories from going on a strike. Around 70,000 people work with the 41 ordnance factories around the country.
The Bill empowers the government to declare services mentioned in it as essential defence services “the cessation of work of which would prejudicially affect the production of defence equipment or goods; or the operation or maintenance of any industrial establishment or unit engaged in production of goods or equipment required for any purpose connected with defence; or repair or maintenance of products connected with defence”.
It also prohibits strike and lockouts in “any industrial establishment or unit engaged in essential defence services”.
It has a direct bearing on around 70,000 employees of the 41 ordnance factories around the country, who are unhappy with the corporatisation of OFB, fearing that it will impact their service and retirement conditions. Read more.
Lok Sabha passed the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 on Tuesday amid protests by opposition members over various issues. The Bill was introduced in the House by Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt on July 29.

Following multiple disruptions throughout the day, the Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 4 pm as the Opposition continues its protest over the Pegasus row.
The Parliament has approved the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021 with its passage in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. It was put forth by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on July 28, without discussion amid sloganeering from the Opposition.

The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for the day.
Disruption is replacing discussion as the foundation of our legislative functioning. The passionate debate that should inform the country is taking place everywhere other than in Parliament. Last week, this newspaper reported that the government is considering curtailing the monsoon session of Parliament. If that happens, then all four sessions since last year would have been cut short. The first two because of Covid, this year’s budget session because of campaigning in state elections, and the ongoing session on account of disruptions.
Political parties understand what causes disorder and the changes required to prevent it. In 2001, a day-long conference was held in the Central Hall of Parliament to discuss discipline and decorum in legislatures. A galaxy of political leaders including the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sonia Gandhi, and leader of the All-India Trinamool Congress, Mamata Banerjee, weighed in on the subject. Their inputs and those of parliamentarians like Arun Jaitley, Pranab Mukherjee, and former prime minister Chandra Shekhar helped identify four reasons behind the disorderly conduct by MPs.
Rajya Sabha was adjourned till for the second time on Tuesday, till 2 pm amid uproar in the House. 
In Rajya Sabha, the speaker took up the Question Hour and it went on till 12.45 pm amidst the pandemonium. As the questions were related to the agriculture ministry, Union Minister Piyush Goyal slammed the opposition MPs for not raising issues related to farmers inside the House.
Lok Sabha on Tuesday got adjourned till 12 pm following a ruckus by Opposition MPs, who are protesting in the House over different issues.
During today’s BJP parliamentary party meeting, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a presentation on the state of the economy. Sources said she told MPs that the welfare schemes initiated by the government have given relief to the poor who were facing issues due to the Covid pandemic. She said the economy has picked up after a lull from June -July.
 Rahul Gandhi, who organised the meet on Tuesday took to twitter and wrote,”One priority- our country, our people.” As today’s Opposition meeting came to end, the parties have reaffirmed their position to continue their fight against the Centre, at least till their demands are not fulfilled.  
One priority- our country, our people.

एकमात्र प्राथमिकता- हमारा देश, हमारे देशवासी। pic.twitter.com/NkyfGaYRY8
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday cautioned his party colleagues to maintain restrain and protect the dignity of the House in the face of opposition protests in Parliament.
Addressing party MPs at the BJP parliamentary party meeting, the Prime Minister asked them not to lose calm as the opposition continues their chaotic protests inside both Houses. “This is an insult to Parliament, people, constitution and Democracy,” PM was quoted as saying over the opposition’s disruptions. (With Liz Mathew)

Shortly after the session began on Tuesday, Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 12 pm amid uproar in the House. Opposition MPs gathered at the Well of the House, protesting over various issues.
After the Opposition meet on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition leaders cycled to the Parliament to highlight the issue of high fuel prices.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday called for Opposition unity as the need of the hour. Gandhi highlighted the more united the Opposition parties become, the more it will be difficult for the BJP and RSS to suppress the resistant voices.
The breakfast meeting of Opposition leaders from both Houses is underway on Tuesday at the Constitution Club in New Delhi. Leaders plan to form a strategy to hold a structured discussion on Pegasus snooping issue, Farm Bills among other things in the Parliament. Take a look at few visuals of the meet. 


The Opposition meet planned by senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday is being attended by Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena, RJD, SP, CPI(M), CPI, IUML, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Kerala Congress (M), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, National Conference, TMC and Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD). 
As the logjam in Parliament continued over the Pegasus snooping issue, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday spoke to Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and sought his cooperation to end the impasse. With the government not agreeing to a debate on Pegasus, the Opposition signalled that it was hardening its position and is drawing up plans to step up its offensive against the government.
The Opposition leaders — from as many as 17 parties from both Houses — will meet over breakfast on Tuesday on the invitation of senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to strategise on their next course of action. Sources said that some parties have proposed that the MPs hold a mock session in the Parliament premises to highlight what they called the stifling of their voices inside the two Houses.
Rocked by protests from opposition parties on Pegasus snooping and other issues since the start of the Monsoon session, Parliament has only functioned for 18 hours out of the scheduled time of 107 hours, resulting in a loss of more than Rs 133 crore of taxpayers’ money, government sources said on Saturday.
Sources said so far 89 hours have been wasted in the ongoing session which started on July 19 and is scheduled to conclude on August 13.
According to the details shared by official sources, while Rajya Sabha has functioned for nearly 21 percent of its scheduled time, Lok Sabha has managed to function for less than 13 percent of the scheduled time.

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