The Upper House of Parliament was adjourned sine die on Wednesday. The Upper House was adjourned eight days ahead of the scheduled end of the Monsoon session amid concerns of the spread of coronavirus among lawmakers. The monsoon session, which started on September 14, was set to continue till October 1.
On Wednesday alone, the Rajya Sabha passed three key labour reform bills on industrial relations, social security and occupational safety by voice votes. The passage of the bills will now remove obstacles for winding up of companies and allow firing of staff without government permission in firms with up to 300 workers.
Parliament also approved a bill to make it mandatory for office bearers of NGOs to provide their Aadhaar numbers at the time of registration and also bring various other changes on Wednesday.
Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020, to bring cooperative banks under the control of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The amendment, which got approval from Lok Sabha on September 16, aims to improve governance at such banks and protect depositors' money.
Parliament cleared the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which focuses on decriminalisation and enhances ease of living.
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020, received Parliament nod on Monday. The bill ensures that no fresh insolvency proceedings would be initiated against companies for defaults arising during six months from March 25.
Rajya Sabha had passed the Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, through voice vote on Sunday.
The bills had faced staunch opposition from farmer bodies, opposition parties and from within the ruling coalition. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the food processing minister from the Shiromani Akali Dal party, even resigned from the government over the bills.
In total, the Upper House had to hold 18 sittings but only 10 could be held due to fear of COVID-19 spread in Parliament. Despite fears of coronavirus, the 10-day session was productive and as many as 25 bills were passed. The MPs also introduced a total of six bills.
The monsoon session of Parliament saw more than its share of ruckus as the government passed several contentious bills, including agricultural reforms bills. During last Sunday's sitting, eight members were suspended as they created a scene over the passage of the farm bills.