Here are the updates from Thursday:
- Congress MP in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that the government has been suppressing the voices in the Opposition, the Hindustan Times reported. His comment came in response to the suspension of six Trinamool Congress MPs from the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
- Floor leaders of Opposition parties will meet at Kharge’s office on Friday morning ahead of the day’s proceedings in the House, India Today reported. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi will also attend the meeting. This will be the third meeting of Opposition leaders in a week’s time to chalk out their plans to put pressure on the Narendra Modi-led central government to discuss matters, including the Pegasus surveillance controversy, the farmer protests and rise in fuel prices.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Opposition was scoring “self goals”, or tarnishing its own reputation, by disrupting Parliament proceedings, PTI reported. At a video conference, Modi beneficiaries of the Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana initiative, Modi said the Opposition parties were insulting the Parliament. The Opposition has been holding protests demanding a discussion on allegations of spying by use of the Pegasus spyware.
- The Ministry of Finance proposed an amendment in the Income Tax Act to withdraw retrospective tax demands made on indirect transfer of Indian assets prior to May 28, 2012. The tax has been at the centre of disputes between the Indian government and firms like Vodafone and Cairn Energy. The amendment Bill also proposes to refund the amount of taxes paid in these cases without any interest.
- The Parliament approved a Bill that seeks to set up a commission for air quality management in the National Capital Region and its adjoining areas, PTI reported. Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said that it was the responsibility of central government to deal with air pollution.