New Delhi [India], July 17 (ANI): Vice President of India and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said a dysfunctional Parliament adds to the prevailing gloom caused by COVID-19 and hence all sections of the House should ensure a smooth and productive session.
He chaired a meeting of leaders of various parties in the Rajya Sabha ahead of the monsoon session beginning on Monday. Naidu said, "A dysfunctional Parliament adds to the prevailing gloom and hence, all sections of the House should ensure a smooth and productive session as it offers an opportunity to address the concerns of the people affected by COVID-19."
Regarding the agenda for the monsoon session, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi informed the meeting that the Centre has identified 29 bills including six ordinances replacing Bills and two items of financial business for the session.
Leader of the House Piyush Goyal, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Railways and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw were among the 15 ministers who attended Saturday's hour-long meeting chaired by Chairman Venkaiah Naidu.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikharjuna Kharge proposed various issues for discussion in the House including the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and employment, poverty, potential third wave and preparedness, ongoing farmers' agitation, cooperative federalism, China's actions along the border and Jammu and Kashmir.
Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar suggested a discussion on the situation in Afghanistan after the the withdrawal of US troops and its implications.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien called for more scrutiny of bills by the Parliamentary Committees.
Other leaders while stressing the need for smooth functioning of the House suggested adequate time allocation for State-specific issues and more time for regional and small parties.
Following this, Naidu assured regional and small parties of improvement in time allocation.
According to Rajya Sabha release, leaders of 20 parties spoke in the meeting and made various suggestions. They also sought the cooperation of the Government in taking up various issues of wider public concern.
Naidu also complimented Piyush Goyal on being nominated as the Leader of the House in Raja Sabha. "Piyush Goyal is no stranger to Parliamentary coordination having been the Deputy Leader before the recent elevation. I hope he will deploy his auditing skills to the best use for ensuring effective management of the time of the House. I am sure Goyal will not get to miss his ever-present smile in his new role," said the Vice President.
Naidu urged the union ministers to reach out to leaders of various parties before the commencement of the proceedings of the House for better coordination and smooth functioning of House.
He observed that though it is for the Government to take a view on referring the bills to the Parliamentary Committees, it may be done to the extent possible. "All issues can be discussed in the House but none should seek to force their own positions on others," emphasised Naidu. (ANI)