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In one of the most productive days in its history, Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed seven key bills, including one that removes cereals, pulses and onion from the essential commodities list, within three-and-half hours even as the Lok Sabha saw the Opposition boycotting proceedings over farm bills and suspension of members in the Upper House.

In Rajya Sabha, Opposition parties, including Congress, NCP, SP, Shiv Sena, RJD, AAP, TMC and Left parties, staged a walk out and demanded that Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu reinstate the eight members who were suspended for “unruly behaviour” during the passage of the two key farm bills on Sunday. Naidu said the suspension could be revoked if the members expressed regret over their action.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Opposition would boycott the proceedings of the House till the Government accepts their three demands.

In Lok Sabha, which was adjourned for an hour after proceedings began, saw opposition parties, including the Congress, the TMC, the BSP and the TRS, walk out even as three labour code bills were passed.

Three labour reform bills — Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, and the Code on Social Security, 2020 — were passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday even as the Opposition boycotted proceedings. Over 29 labour laws have been merged into four codes and one (Code on Wages Bill, 2019) of them has already been passed, said Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar.

The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, will consolidate and amend the laws regulating the occupational safety, health and working conditions of persons employed in an establishment and related matters.

The Industrial Relations Code, 2020, seeks to consolidate and amend the laws relating to trade unions, conditions of employment in industrial establishments or undertaking, investigation and settlement of industrial disputes.

The Code on Social Security, 2020, will amend and consolidate laws relating to social security with the goal to extend social security to all employees and workers either in the organised sector or the unorganised sector.

In one of the most productive days in its history, Rajya Sabha on Tuesday in a matter of three and half hours passed seven key bills including one that removes cereals, pulses and onion from the essential commodities list and another that abolishes penalty for certain offences by companies.

First, it passed a bill to declare five newly-established Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) as institutions of national importance. The crucial Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which removes cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities and removes stockholding limits on them, was passed next. This bill is part of the agriculture reform bills that the government is pushing to raise farm incomes.

Rajya Sabha also passed amendments to the Bank Regulation Act to bring cooperative banks under the supervision of the RBI in a bid to protect the interest of depositors. Thereafter the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which removes the penalty for certain offences, was passed. The National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020 and the Rashtriya Rakash University Bill were passed in quick succession.
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