Rajya Sabha starts on a promising note, passes two bills
One of the bills is about the merger of six subsidiary banks with the State Bank of India (SBI) and another allows the central government to requisition immovable property (or land) for any public purposeindia Updated: Jul 18, 2018 23:41 IST
The Rajya Sabha overcame an initial spell of disruptions to pass two bills and transacted a full question hour on Wednesday, the opening day of the Monsoon session.
One of the bills is about the merger of six subsidiary banks with the State Bank of India (SBI) and another allows the central government to requisition immovable property (or land) for any public purpose.
In the last two sessions, the Upper House took up Question Hour only on six days. It managed to conduct Question Hour on only one day in the Budget session.
The prospect of House’s performance looks brighter this session. Senior officials revealed that during the all-party meeting on Tuesday, Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu almost had an altercation with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) member YS Chowdury when the latter spoke about the rights of a member to protest.
“(Venkaiah) Naidu gave a stern warning and told Chowdhury that he would take tough measure if Chowdhury or any of his party leaders tries to disrupt proceedings. That message was received,” said an official familiar with the matter on the condition of anonymity.
On Wednesday, the lawmakers belonging to the TDP, however, insisted that the discussion on special package for Andhra Pradesh should happen immediately.
The chair responded by saying that for a discussion to take place, the minister concerned has to be ready.
Still, this did result in a small disruption and the house had to be adjourned.
Naidu quickly called another meeting in his chamber and there the opposition leaders and the government agreed on a detailed discussion next week on implementation of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act and the promises made to the State.
In the afternoon many members in the Upper House expressed concern over bad loans and “political influence” in the banking system while discussing the merger.
Responding to the almost two-hour debate, Minister of State (MoS) for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said the merger would make the State Bank of India profitable, improve its working capital and enable it to offer better services to its customers.
Initiating the debate, Congress’ Jairam Ramesh said “I would like the minister of state to give an authoritative statement on the behalf of the government that privatisation of banks or denationalisation of banks is not on government’s agenda.”
First Published: Jul 18, 2018 23:41 IST