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Capitalising on Opposition's boycott, Rajya Sabha passes record number of Bills

The House passed the third contentious Farm bill to remove cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities. 

Published: 22nd September 2020 02:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2020 03:51 PM   |  A+A-

Parliament House, Lok Sabha

The Parliament building. (Photo | PTI)

By Online Desk

Amid empty benches in the Opposition, the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed seven bills within three hours of time.

The eight suspended Opposition Rajya Sabha MPs earlier ended their overnight sit-in protest inside the House complex after the Opposition collectively decided to boycott the rest of the Monsoon Session.

Only members from the ruling BJP and its ally JD-U and those of parties such as AIADMK, BJD, YSR-Congress and TDP, which have been extending support to the Modi government on various issues, participated in the debates on the bills.

In most bills, the members' participation was sparse and the minister's reply brief.

The Upper House took up government legislative business after nearly an hour of discussion over the conduct of opposition MPs during the passage of two agriculture reform bills on Sunday, with Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu saying the suspension could be revoked if the members expressed regret over their action.

The House passed the third contentious Farm Bill to remove cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which was approved by the lower house on September 15, was approved by a voice vote in Rajya Sabha.

The House also passed the Bill to declare five newly established Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) as institutions of national importance.

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The Bill--Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020-- seeks to declare five IIITs in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode at Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala and Raichur as institutions of national importance along with existing 15 IIITs.

The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which is aimed to decriminalise various penal provisions, permit direct overseas listing of Indian corporates and introduce a new chapter related to producer organisations in the legislation was also passed by the government.

The amendments to the Banking Regulation Act were also passed by the House to bring cooperative banks under the supervision of Reserve Bank of India.

The House, within minutes, passed the National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020, the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020.

The House gave its nod to the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020 before adjourning for the day.

The sitting of the Rajya Sabha was extended by just over an hour beyond the scheduled time to allow the passage of the bills.

The legislative business started at 10.29 hours and ended at 14.03 hours - 214 minutes in all.

All the seven bills have already been passed by Lok Sabha and will now be sent to the President for assent.

Once he gives his assent, they will become the law.



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