Parliament nod to bills to ensure quality homeopathy, Indian system of medicine Government scraps Question Hour, private members’ business; Opposition slams move
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed confidence that Parliament will send out a unanimous and strong message that the country is unitedly standing behind its brave soldiers guarding India’s borders, asserting that doing so is the legislature’s “crucial responsibility”. In his remarks to media before the commencement of Parliament’s Monsoon Session, Modi noted, in an apparent reference to the ongoing border row with China in Ladakh, that brave Indian soldiers are defending the borders with great courage and high spirits in difficult hilly terrains with snowfall expected in some time.
Referring to the issue, he said, “This Parliament, particularly in this session, has one more crucial responsibility... Just like the faith with which they (soldiers) are standing, determined to protect the motherland, Parliament and all its members too will send out a message in a unanimous voice, spirit and resolve that the country stands in support of them.” “The entire Parliament stands with the brave soldiers of the country with one voice.
I believe that Parliament and all its will give out a very strong message,” he added. Modi’s call for lawmakers to send out a united message over the issue came amid expectations that Parliament may debate the tense border situation, with some Opposition leaders, especially from the Congress, sharply criticising the Government’s handling of the row with China. Noting that Parliament is expected to take up many important discussions and decide on key issues, the Prime Minister hoped that MPs will do “value addition” to debates. It is our experience that the more deep and diverse debate happens in Parliament, the more benefits it brings to the subject of discussion and the country, he added.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread across the country, the Prime Minister observed that the session is taking place under special circumstances and asserted that MPs have chosen the path of duty. “There is a corona pandemic on one hand while our obligation towards fulfilling our duties on the other; and all the MPs have chosen the path of duty. I congratulate and thank all the MPs for this initiative,” he said. He referred to the host of changes, including staggered timings of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and the decision to run them on weekends too, brought to the running of this session due to the COVID-19 crisis, and said MPs have welcomed them.
Everybody has to follow guidelines and precautions about which they have been informed, Modi said, adding, “Ye bhi saaf hai jab tak dawai nahi tab tak koi dhilai nahi” (It is clear that there can be no laxity till a vaccine is found). He expressed hope that a vaccine becomes available soon, and people are helped out of this global crisis. Modi also enquired about the health of media personnel while noting that they will not get the opportunity to move around freely like before due to the coronavirus guidelines. “You will get every news. It is not a difficult task for you, but please take care of yourself. It is my personal request to all of you,” he said.
Bill to cut MPs’ salaries by 30% introduced in LS
Sept 14 (PTI)
PARLIAMENTARY Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Monday introduced in Lok Sabha a bill that seeks to reduce for one year the salaries of Members of Parliament by 30 per cent “to meet the exigencies arising out of COVID-19 pandemic”. The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020 seeks to replace the Salary, Allowances And Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020. “I rise to move...To introduce the bill further to amend the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954,” Joshi said and added that “I introduce the bill”.
The ordinance was cleared by the Cabinet on April 6 and promulgated on April 7. The ordinance had stated that the coronavirus pandemic has shown the importance of expeditious relief and assistance and therefore, it was necessary to take “certain emergency measures to prevent and contain the spread of this pandemic”.
Around 30 MPs test positive for COVID: Sources
Sept 14 (PTI)
AROUND 30 MPs and more than 50 employees of Parliament have tested positive for COVID-19, sources said on Monday. All parliamentarians and staff of the secretariats of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha had undergone mandatory COVID-19 tests before the start of the Monsoon Session.
As per the reports of these tests, around 30 MPs and over 50 employees of the secretariats tested positive for coronavirus, the sources said. All those who have tested positive have been asked to stay in quarantine and they did not come to Parliament. Members of Parliament, including ruling BJP leaders Meenakshi Lekhi, Anant Kumar Hegde and Parvesh Sahib Singh have tested positive for coronavirus on the first day of Monsoon Session of the Parliament. In a first of its kind initiative, the members of Parliament marked their attendance through an app on Monday, according to the Lok Sabha Secretariat. The Lok Sabha MPs used the ‘Attendance Register’ App on the first day of the Monsoon Session which commenced on Monday.
The app is designed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to curtail the risk of COVID-19 spread as MPs will not have to use or touch the attendance register. They have to be present inside the Parliament to register themselves using the coordinates provided by the app. Speaker Om Birla welcomed the MPs and said that it was an extraordinary occasion and urged them to follow all arrangements and guidelines for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic phase.
“The session is being held in extraordinary circumstances this time. While we always try to decrease the distances between the members, but this time arrangements have been made to keep them apart. I am aware of the discomfort caused to some members due to this but it is important to do so for safety,” Birla said.