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Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die; Lok Sabha takes up Disabilities Bill

ProMASS: DEC 16, 2016:    Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari has expressed anguish over the disruption of the House during the Winter Session of Parliament. The House was adjourned sine die without transacting any substantial business on the last day today.In his valedictory remarks, Mr Ansari observed, regular and continuous disruptions characterized the Session. He said the symbolism of dignified protests, so essential for orderly conduct of parliamentary proceedings, was abandoned. He felt that the standoff deprived the members the opportunity to seek accountability of the executive through questions and discussions on matters of public interest. The Chairman regretted that the rules prohibiting shouting slogans, displaying posters and obstructing proceedings by leaving their assigned places were consistently ignored by all sections of the House. Mr Ansari appealed to all sections of the House to introspect on the distinction between dissent, disruption and agitation. However, he appreciated the passage of the ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014’ in the House.

The Lok Sabha has taken up the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2016 for consideration and passing when it reassembled at noon after the first adjournment. The Bill replaces the ‘Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995’. Moving the bill, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawar Chand Gehlot said, the number of categories of differently-abled have been increased from seven to 21 so that the Divyangs could get the benefits of various schemes at the Centre and State level. The Bill also seeks to enhance reservation for Divyangs in government jobs from 3 percent to 4 percent. He said, there is also a provision for setting up of advisory boards at national and state levels. The Rajya Sabha had passed the Bill on Tuesday after a brief discussion.

Earlier, as soon as the Lok Sabha met for the day, opposition members were on their feet over demonetisation issue. Mallikarjun Kharge of Congress said, his party is ready for a discussion on the issue. He alleged that Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar has made some remarks against his party yesterday.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said, the opposition members can raise their issue during zero hour and tried to conduct question hour. The opposition members trooped into the well and started shouting slogans. Amidst the din, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon. Our correspondent reports, today is the last day of the month long Winter Session of Parliament, and no substantial business could be transacted.

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