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Parliament roundup: Both houses adjourned sine die, RS bids farewell to Naidu & more

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New Delhi, Aug 08: The Monsoon session of Parliament ended on Monday four days ahead of schedule. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla adjourned the house sine die, saying it met for 16 days and passed seven legislations.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, whose tenure will end on August 10, adjourned the house sine die, saying that detailed statistics pertaining to the session will be circulated during the course by the Rajya Sabha secretariat.

Generally, before adjourning the house sine die the chair reads out the statistics about the business transacted in the house in detail. The session was scheduled to be held from July 18 to August 12.

Parliament roundup: RS bids farewell to Naidu, Bill to amend Electricity Act & more

Check out the major highlights of the day:

PM hails Naidu's wit, one-liners as Rajya Sabha bids farewell to vice president

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said M Venkaiah Naidu's witty one-liners were "revered, and never countered", and hailed his highly productive five-year term as vice president of India and Rajya Sabha chairman.

Two days before Naidu demits office, the Rajya Sabha bade him farewell with Modi leading the House in lauding his tenure during which, the PM said, the productivity of the House as well as members' attendance increased. "Your one-liners are wit-liners and win-liners as well... There is nothing left to be said after that. Your each word is heard, preferred, revered and never countered," Modi said in his speech.

He said that during the five-year term, Naidu raised the standards of functioning of the House with his discipline and experience. "Under your leadership and discipline, the productivity of this House touched new heights.

Parliament roundup: The Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2022 passed and moreParliament roundup: The Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2022 passed and more

During your term, Rajya Sabha's productivity has increased 70 per cent. Attendance of members in the House also increased," Modi said, adding a record 177 bills were passed or discussed during these five years. Naidu completes his five-year term on August 10. The prime minister said there is both depth and substance in what Naidu says.

"There is warmth and wisdom too." While Naidu's experience and guidance benefited the MPs, he sometimes also scolded them, Modi said, adding he was sure that none would have taken his reprimands to heart. "You always stressed that disruptions beyond a point are equivalent to 'avmanana' (contempt or derogation) of the House," he said, referring to the outgoing chairman. "I see the maturity of democracy in your principles."

Bill in LS to amend Electricity Act

A bill to amend the Electricity Act to allow non-discriminatory open access to distribution networks of power suppliers was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday amid protests by the opposition, which claimed that it seeks to take away certain rights of state governments.

Power Minister R K Singh introduced the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 and urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to refer it to a parliamentary standing committee for wider consultations to address concerns raised by the opposition.

The Bill is aimed at allowing privatisation of electricity on the lines of communication. If the bill is passed in both the houses, customers will have the option to choose the supplier of electricity just like one can choose for telephone, mobile and internet services.

The bill seeks to amend section 42 of the Electricity Act to facilitate non-discriminatory open access to the distribution network of a distribution licensee. It also seeks to amend section 14 of the Act to facilitate usage of distribution networks by all licensees under provisions of non-discriminatory open access with the objective of enabling competition, enhancing efficiency of distribution licensees for improving services and ensuring sustainability of the power sector.

It also seeks to amend section 62 of the Act to make provisions vis-à-vis graded revision in tariff over a year besides mandatory fixing of maximum ceiling and minimum tariff by the appropriate commission. It provides for amending section 166 to strengthen functions that will be discharged by the regulators. The bill also seeks to amend section 146 to convert the rate of punishment from imprisonment or fine to fine. The bill, as tabled, will also amend section 152 to facilitate decriminalisation of offence as it would be mandatory to accept compounding.Speaker Birla takes exception to Oppn MP approaching minister during Question Hour

Lok Sabha passes bill to promote non-fossil fuel
A bill seeking to mandate the use of non-fossil energy sources such as biomass, ethanol and green hydrogen was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday. Piloting the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Power Minister R K Singh said "this is the bill for the future," and urged the members to approve it.

The bill was later passed by the House after rejecting amendments moved by some Opposition members. The Minister said the renewable energy capacity addition in the country was fastest in the world. The Bill provides for penalties for violations by industrial units or vessels, and on manufacturers if a vehicle fails to comply with fuel consumption norms.

"With the passage of time, and in the context of the energy transition with special focus on the promotion of new and renewable energy and National Green Hydrogen Mission, a need has arisen to further amend the said Act to facilitate the achievement of 'Panchamrit' as five nectar elements presented by India in Conference of Parties -26 in Glasgow last year," the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill said.

Govt introduces bill in Raya Sabha to create Gati Shakti University
The government on Monday introduced a bill in the Rajya Sabha that seeks to transform the National Rail and Transportation University into a central university to be called Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya. The bill was introduced by Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw on the floor of the upper house.

He said there is a need to create a university producing a talented, well-trained and focused cadre for handling the complexities of the transport sector. This is also an effort to enlarge PM GatiShakti National Master Plan, he added.

Currently, the National Rail and Transportation University located in Vadodara is a deemed-to-be institution. The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, which also seeks to expand the scope of the deemed university from beyond the railways to cover the entire transport sector to support the ambitious growth and modernisation in the field, has already been passed by the Lok Sabha on August 3.

"This university would be conducted by the Railway Ministry and coordinated under the Nation Education Policy of the Education Ministry," Vaishnaw said.

Members laud Naidu's role as Rajya Sabha Chairman, urge him to write autobiography
Members cutting across party lines bade farewell to vice president M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday in Rajya Sabha, lauding his role as its chairman and recollecting how he inspired and allowed them to speak in their native languages.

Naidu turned emotional when Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien narrated an incident from the Vice President's early life when he lost his mother as a one-year-old. "From that early loss, you went on to do so many things in your glorious career... I am sure it will make a good story for your autobiography...which you must write," he said.

Referring to the passage of the farm bills in the House in September 2020, the TMC MP said it was a "very important day about my outlook about you...maybe you will answer that question someday in your autobiography".

The day this House passed the farm bills, you were not in the Chair, O'Brien recalled. He said Naidu has always urged both the Opposition and the government to talk and resolve issues.

Talking about the productivity of Rajya Sabha, he said there is another side to this argument. As you leave the House, he said, "you have at least 20 years to offer in public life. There are issues which you will address because I know, autobiography or no autobiography, you will speak your mind and will guide us".

DMK's Tiruchi Siva said Naidu was a "lion" in the House who could discipline everyone. "We are bidding you farewell only because it is customary, but we can never do so. On behalf of my party DMK and my fellow colleagues, my special regards to you," he said.

Only in Rajya Sabha can a member speak in any of the 22 scheduled languages and Naidu made that happen, he said. He also recorded that there has been a custom of using the word "beg" while making a request to the chair, but Naidu got the word removed and upheld the dignity of the members as well as the honour of the House.

"I request you Sir, please write your autobiography which will be your real contribution to the posterity of this country. We will miss you, Sir," Siva said.

Kharge, who spoke after Prime Minister Modi delivered his farewell speech for Naidu, recalled the outgoing vice president's long political career and said he will neither retire from public life nor get tired.

The Congress leader said he has known Naidu for 30-40 years, from the time he was the general secretary of the BJP-Karnataka. He said that as Rajya Sabha chairman, Naidu took several steps to bring changes.

Noting that Naidu favoured reaching a consensus on the women's reservation bill, the Congress veteran said, "I hope the government will complete the work which you have left unfinished." "You have a different ideology and my ideology is known. I may have some complaints. But this is not the time to make complaints, as you performed your role under difficult circumstances and under pressure, for which I thank you and appreciate you," Kharge said.

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