Price rise issue raised in Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha proceedings adjourned twice due to Opposition protests
NEW DELHI: Opposition members in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday voiced concern over rising prices of petroleum products and also medicines, while demanding a discussion on the issue.
Soon after the listed papers were laid on the table of the House, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said several members have given notice under Rule 267 to suspend the scheduled business to discuss price rise.
He did not accept the notices.
Naidu said members spoke on the issue during the discussion on the Appropriation Bill and Finance Bill.
To this, Leader of Opposition in the House and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said everyday the opposition requests for a discussion on rising prices of petrol, diesel, LPG, PNG and medicines.
He said prices have been rising but the government was not ready to discuss it.
"If you will not give us an opportunity then where should we speak," he said.
The Chairman reiterated that some of these issues were raised by members during the discussion on the Appropriation Bill and Finance Bill.
"If section of members disturb the House what is the way out for the Chairman," he said.
Kharge further said prices are rising and one such rise was effected earlier in the day.
Sukhendu Sekhar Ray (TMC) said it was true that during the Appropriation Bill and Finance Bill "some casual references" were made regarding rising prices of petroleum products.
However, the opposition wants a structured discussion on the issue, he said.
Ray suggested that if it could not be taken up under Rule 267, the Chairman should allow the opposition to move a notice for a 30-minute discussion on Wednesday or the day after.
K R Suresh Reddy (TRS) raised the issue related to procurement of parboiled rice in Telengana.
As the Chair did not accept the TRS notice under Rule 267 on the issue, the party walked out of the House.
Opposition members on Tuesday disrupted the proceedings in the Lok Sabha by staging vocal protests over hike in fuel prices and other issues, forcing two successive adjournments in the House.
As soon as the House met at 11 am, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and DMK's T R Baalu demanded a discussion on the hike in fuel prices, which were raised 13 times in the last two weeks.
As Speaker Om Birla continued with the Question Hour, members of the Congress, DMK, Trinamool Congress, Left parties stormed the well of the House and raised slogans against the Modi government.
Shiv Sena and NCP members too joined the opposition protests.
TRS members too were in the Well of the House, waving placards and raising the issue of paddy procurement in Telangana.
As protests continued, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings till 12 noon.
Similar scenes were witnessed when the House reassembled at noon.
As BJP member Rajendra Agarwal, who was in the chair, took up the Zero Hour, opposition members were in the Well of the House once again, raising slogans demanding roll back of fuel price hike.
Agarwal adjourned the Lok Sabha proceedings till 2 pm as opposition protests continued.
Petrol and diesel prices were on Tuesday hiked by 80 paise a litre each, taking the total increase in rates in the last two weeks to Rs 9.20 per litre.
Petrol in Delhi will now cost Rs 104.61 per litre as against Rs 103.81 previously, while diesel rates have gone up from Rs 95.07 per litre to Rs 95.87, according to a price notification of state fuel retailers.
Rates have been increased across the country and vary from state to state depending upon the incidence of local taxation.
This is the 13th increase in prices since the ending of a four-and-half-month long hiatus in rate revision on March 22.