New Delhi: Monsoon session of Parliament is taking place under the shadow of COVID pandemic, India-China border tension at LAC and economic crisis. Today, the Rajya Sabha is discussing the Centre’s preparedness on the ongoing COVID pandemic and its strategy to curb the spread. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will move the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 for its passage in the Lok Sabha. Also Read - Amid Oppostion Protest, Rajya Sabha Passes 7 Key Bills in Three And Half Hours
The day 2 of Parliament witnessed a fiery debate with Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh giving a speech on the border row, while the opposition demanded information on migrant deaths as well as Bollywood’s nexus with drug traffickers. Also Read - Farm Bills Row: Will Consider Revoking Suspension Only After MPs Apologise, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad
On the border row, the Centre may hold a closed-door meeting with the opposition amid the government’s reluctance to hold a full-fledged discussion on the issue in Parliament, given its sensitive nature, a report by Hindustan Times said. However, no final decision has been taken so far. Also Read - Centre Announces MSP Hike Amid Row Over Farm Bills, Opposition to Take Protests to Streets | Roundup
Further, the Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a Bill which has provisions to suspend the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds for two years and for a 30 per cent deduction of salaries of all lawmakers and the money thus saved can go to the Consolidated Fund of India to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 – was also passed in the Lower House of the Parliament Tuesday. While the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 seeks to deregulate food items, including cereals, pulses and onion, a move aimed at transforming the farm sector and raising farmers’ income, the Congress described it as a direct and deliberate assault by the Centre on the farmers’ interests.
The 18-day session is being held amid unprecedented precautionary measures against COVID-19 due to a continuing spike in cases. All MPs have been asked to undergo a COVID test and only those with a negative report are being allowed to sit in the session.