At the halfway point of the four-week Monsoon Session, Parliament continued to witness disruptions and adjournments. After introducing four key bills and passing one, the two Houses adjourned early in the afternoon.
Several Members were expected to participate in a Short Duration Discussion on COVID-19 in Lok Sabha today. However, the House adjourned before it was time for the debate.
Two bills each were introduced in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Three of these were cleared by the Cabinet this week. These are:
- The DICGC (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which enables depositors to access their savings through deposit insurance in a time-bound manner in case of restrictions on banks such as moratorium,
- The General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 which provides for reducing the government’s shareholding in general insurance companies to below 51%,
- The LLP (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which amends the 2008 Act to decriminalise certain compoundable offences, and
- The Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021 which replaces an Ordinance to provide a framework for coordination among Delhi and its four neighbouring states to tackle air pollution.
One Member opposed the introduction of the Insurance Bill saying that the Bill is vague, indefinite, ambiguous, and not in consonance with the original Act. The Finance Minister replied by saying that the aim of the Bill was not privatisation but instead to bring in public-private participation in general insurance.
The Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed in Rajya Sabha. It was introduced in the House yesterday.
Numbers to Note
The Health Minister informed Lok Sabha today that there are 3,500 licensed blood banks in the country. The National Blood Policy states that there should be at least one licensed blood bank in every district while avoiding clustering of the blood banks in urban and semi-urban areas. There are 63 districts in the country without a blood bank.