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Parliament proceedings updates | Opposition leader brings up banks employees’ strike in Rajya Sabha

The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are scheduled to consider, discuss and pass bills including amendments to the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order Bill and Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2020. The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020, which was introduced in the House by Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, will also be considered.

Both Houses saw multiple adjournments on all days of last week as the Opposition demanded a discussion on the rising prices of fuel in the country.

Here are the latest updates:

Rajya Sabha | 11.40 am

Sanjay seth of BJP says that due to shortage of forensic doctors in hospitals, postmortem is not done properly. In most cases, safai karamcharis do the postmortem and doctors merely sign on the reports.

He says that the seats for forensic doctors should be stressed in medical colleges.

On caste-based census

Manoj Kumar Jha of RJD asks why there is no caste-based census this round. “The previous exercise was scrapped. Now we are talking about sub-categorisation of OBCs? Where is the data? Caste census should be done in Census 2021. We should know about the social status of a person selling vegetables,” he says.

Chhaya Verma (Congress) says that the Prime Minister announced in 2019 that a caste-based census will be done. “Crores rupees have been spent. They take decisions when it suits their friends, they can count who all has a TV or fridge, but why cannot they do caste census?” she asks.

Rajya Sabha | 11.40 am

On fisheries

Animal Husbandry Dairy and Fisheries Minister Giriraj Singh says the Fish Farmers Producers Organisations are being strengthened.

“From sea to inland, there is about 25% post-harvest (fish) wastage. Cold storage chain is being arranged, the government plans to reduce the wastage by 5-10%,” he says.

Mr. Singh adds that the Fish Farmers Producers Organisations are being strengthened. Special emphasis is being given on trout fishing, says the Minister in response to a query about the measures being taken in Jammu and Kashmir.

On reviving sick industries

Member E.T. Mohammed Basheer seeks information from the government on the steps taken to revive sick industries and for ensuring complete utilisation of installed facilities.

Minister Prakash Javadekar says there is always an effect to ensure that the units, which can be revived, are revived. Some of the units include Hindustan Steelworks, MTNL/BSNL.

Lok Sabha | 11.35 am

Sanjay Singh of AAP says that another chance should be given to UPSC candidates who were unable to attend exams as they were affected by COVID-19.

Rajya Sabha | 11.30 am

On lag in COVID-19 vaccination

Shakti Sinh Gohil of Congress points out that the COVID-19 cases are rising at alarming rate. “Only 0.35% of population has been vaccinated so far. At this rate, it will take 18 years to vaccinate the entire population,” he says, adding that the vaccination rate should be sped up.

Chairman says government has to take care of various aspects of the vaccine drive.

Rajya Sabha | 11.25 am

On Myanmar refugees

K. Vanlalvena of MNF brings up the issue of Myanmar refugees.

Due to military coup, nearly 1,500 police personnel from Myanmar have entered Mizoram, he says. “They were standing with the protestors. MHA has issued directions to stop them. They are our brothers, sending to Myanmar will mean killing them. Being the biggest democratic country in the world, we must ensure restoration of democracy in Myanmar, kindly request MHA for a renewed policy,” he says.

To this, the Chairman says that it is not a democratic right of any foreigner to come here and demand anything.

Rajya Sabha | 11.20 am

On bank employees strike

Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge brings up the issue of bank employees strike.

He says that lakhs of employees of nine banks have been on strike for past two days, and this has affected businesses and common people.

On March 17, general insurance companies are also going on strike. On March 18, LIC employees are going on strike against privatisation, he says, adding that around 13 lakh people work in these banks.

There are 75 crore bank account holders in these banks, and yet the government has decided to privatise these banks without consulting the stakeholders, he says. “This impacts the livelihood of 13 lakh employees. People in reserved category are eligible to get jobs in these banks, Indira Gandhi nationalised these banks, this empowered anyone to open an account in a bank. Even the 2008 bank recession could not impact India due to nationalised banks. The government should speak to the bank employees sitting on protest,” he says.

Chairman asks parliamentary minister to look into the matter. Mr. Kharge continues to speak amidst mild disturbance in House.

Lok Sabha | 11.15 am

On Sedition Law

As climate activist Disha Ravi’s case comes up, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekshi asks if a chargesheet has been filed on the case. MoS Kishan Reddy says that there is no chargesheet till now, and a discussion can be had after one is filed.

On crop loss due to locust attacks

Shardaben Anilbhai Patel (BJP, Gujarat) raises the issue of crop loss due to locust attack, and asks that the damage payment to farmer be increased.

Minister Kailash Choudhary lists the measures taken to control the locust attacks, including the spraying of material from helicopters and importing supporting machinery from the United Kingdom. He says measures would be taken on receipt of information from the State. “Every State has State  Disaster Fund, whenever the funds are required, States concerned may approach the Centre. The government is committed to compensating the farmers for the damage to their crops,” says the MoS. The Agriculture Minister also assures that all necessary steps will be taken.

Rajya Sabha | 11.10 am

Zero Hour begins.

Mamata Mohanta of BJD says that along NH 49, a 10 km forest area should be constructed. Meanwhile, BJP member Bhagwat Karad speaks in the House in Marathi.

Lok Sabha | 11.05 am

Lok Sabha proceedings begin.

MP Anumula Revanth Reddy (INC, Telangana) questions the rise in sedition cases in recent years, and says that a discussion is needed on this serious issue.

MoS Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy says that the previous governments never kept separate data on sedition cases, and had instead hid it in other data. Mr. Revanth Reddy remains dissatisfied with the Minister’s answer.

Rajya Sabha | 11 am

Rajya Sabha proceedings begin.

M. Venkaiah Naidu, Chairman Rajya Sabha says India has taken many steps to reduce the number of tuberculosis cases. He asks members to support TB control measures.

Parliamentary standing committee reports on ministries of education, women and child development, sports, law and justice, coal and steel, defence, finance, labour, social justice and empowerment laid on the table of the House.


Lok Sabha

Bill for Consideration and Passing

  • The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Discussion and Voting: Demands for Grants

Ministry of Railways, Education, Health and Family Welfare, and Road Transport and Highways

Rajya Sabha

Bill for Consideration and Passing

  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020

Discussion and Voting

Ministry of Jal Shakti, Railways and Tourism and Food Processing Industries.

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