The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed two bills before adjourning for the day amid protests by Opposition parties, including the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party, PTI reported.
The bills passed were the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018, and the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
Under the Consumer Protection Bill, aggrieved consumers can file complaints through email and do not need to hire lawyers to fight their case, ANI reported. Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ramvilas Paswan had introduced the bill which proposes to set up a mechanism to protect consumer rights.
Paswan said celebrities who endorse a spurious product will not face imprisonment under the new legislation, a move that was criticised by several MPs. All India Trinamool Congress MP Pratima Mondol said the government’s proposal to shield celebrity endorsers would weaken the legislation, Firstpost reported.
Earlier, the Lok Sabha was adjourned twice – once until noon and upon its resumption, till 2 pm – as MPs from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu sparred over the construction of a dam on the Cauvery river, PTI reported. When the Lower House reconvened for 20 minutes at noon, Union Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley moved the supplementary demand for grants, and introduced a proposed amendment to the Companies Act, 2013.
Members of the Congress demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee inquiry into the Rafale defence deal, while Telugu Desam Party MPs demanded special category status for Andhra Pradesh and setting up of a steel plant in the state.
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam legislator P Venugopal sought permission to move an adjournment motion against the proposed Mekedatu dam, The Hindu reported. “This is in violation of the Cauvery Board’s decision,” he said. However, Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party MP Prahlad Joshi said the dam was essential for the state, and added that it would be used only for drinking water projects. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected Venugopal’s plea, and AIADMK members protested with placards in the House.
Mahajan reportedly told leaders of all parties that the image of the House was taking a big hit and has called a meeting of the Rules Committee to look into the matter, according to PTI. The Rules Committee acts like an advisory body to the speaker for framing and amending rules to regulate business in the Lok Sabha.
The ongoing Winter Session, which is the last full-fledged session of the National Democratic Alliance government, has witnessed continuous adjournment of the House over the last seven days as members disrupted proceedings.
Rajya Sabha proceedings
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day on Thursday as the Opposition kept up its protests over the Rafale jet deal and Cauvery dam dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, PTI reported.
“The country is agitated by the way the House is functioning,” The Quint quoted Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu as saying before he adjourned the House. “There are issues to be discussed.”
The Congress has demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee inquiry into the Rafale deal, while the Telugu Desam Party and the YSR Congress Party are seeking a special category status for Andhra Pradesh. The two regional parties protested in the Parliament complex on Thursday, ANI reported.