Normalcy finally returned to Parliament on Thursday (March 12) with both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha finally witnessing the first day without disruptions ever since the second part of the Budget session began on March 2.
After the suspension of seven Congress Lok Sabha members was revoked on Wednesday and the Lower House discussed Delhi riots, the Rajya Sabha started discussing pending bills on Thursday.
The Lok Sabha, meanwhile, started with the usual routine of question hour without any slogans or disruption.
Back to budget
Return of peace to both Houses is likely to result in both Houses quickly taking up discussions on the budget in the coming weeks as the session is scheduled only till April 3. Demands for grants of various departments are to be taken up for discussion with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman providing answers and explanations to the issues raised by the opposition. Budget discussions have become more important now as coronavirus impact has stumped the global economy, resulting in a crash in stock markets and oil prices – triggering fresh concerns of further slowdown in growth.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkiah Naidu advised members on Thursday to be cautious about coronavirus and take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. The World Health Organisation has declared Covid-19 outbreak as a pandemic, he pointed out. Parliament House officials are also discussing steps in this regard, including the imposition of restrictions on visitors.
With all major parties agreeing to speed up consideration of the pending agenda, the Rajya Sabha skipped Question Hour as well as Zero Hour and went on to discussions starting with the Insovency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill.
Delhi riots discussion
After the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha is also expected to take up the discussion on Delhi riots with Home Minister Amit Shah replying to issues raised by the opposition. The challenge is expected to be a bit tougher for the Government in the Upper House since the numbers are not as favourable as it is in the Lok Sabha.
Yes Bank issue
With controversial issues coming on the table one after the another, the Yes Bank scam is also expected to figure in Parliament soon. The Congress had called for an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha, hoping to attack the government on Yes Bank-DHFL links and also the manner in which the PMC Bank scam has been handled till now.
The BJP on its part is looking forward to utilising any discussion on Yes Bank to hit out on Priyanka Gandhi for selling a painting of Rajiv Gandhi to Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor who is now being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate on allegations of bleeding the bank to collapse.