Thursday, February 2, 2023

Agnipath, price rise, agencies misuse: Govt, oppn to clash at Monsoon session

The Monsoon session of parliament, commencing from Monday, is likely to see the opposition trying to corner the government on the Agnipath scheme and issues like price rise and list of ‘unparliamentary’ words, TOI report stated.
Sunday saw leaders from various parties attend an all-party meeting convened by the government. Separately, leaders from several opposition parties met at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence in Delhi on Sunday to chalk out a strategy for the session.
Agnipath: Sources said the opposition leaders were unanimous in their demand for the immediate withdrawal of the Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the armed forces.
When asked about the opposition demand for withdrawal of the Agnipath scheme, Joshi said “We are open to discussion on all issues under the rules and procedures of parliament.”
Economy, price rise: The opposition wants to corner the government by demanding discussion on inflation, falling value of rupee against dollar, farmers’ problems, MSP, unemployment.
Price rise too is likely to figure prominently in the opposition’s agenda for debate during the discussion.
List of ‘unparliamentary’ words: Some words listed in a Lok Sabha booklet as ‘unparliamentary’ is also likely to be taken up by the opposition during the session.
“Some of the issues that were raised included about the words that have been declared as ‘unparliamentary’ and it has been clarified that the compilation of unparliamentary phrases is being done every year for a long time,” parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said.
He said such a practice is being carried on since 1954, and the opposition was making it an issue so as it was devoid of any issues against the government.
‘Too many bills, too short time’: The government said 32 bills have been indicated by various departments for presentation in two houses, of which 14 are ready.
“Thirty-two bills have been indicated by various departments for being presented in this session of Parliament, of which 14 bills are ready, but we will not pass the bills without discussion,” Pralhad Joshi told reporters after an all-party meeting.
Bills listed by the government for the session include the Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to rationalise the government’s role in cooperatives and increase participation in the working of multi-state cooperative societies.
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill seeks to strengthen the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code by introducing provisions on cross-border insolvency.
Two separate bills for Constitution amendment to revise the list of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) for Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu are also listed for introduction.
The ‘Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill’ seeks to replace the 155-year-old ‘Press and Registration of Books Act’ with a simplified version that decriminalises various provisions and brings digital media under its ambit.
However, the opposition felt that the 14-day session is too short to discuss all the issues raised by the opposition.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge wondered how 32 bills will get passed in 14 days.
“We raised 13 issues including price rise, Agnipath, attack on the federal structure of the country and misuse of investigative agencies such as ED and CBI,” Kharge said.

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