New Delhi: The Lok Sabha was adjourned till 3 pm on Monday after the proceedings stretched beyond midnight with members discussing matters of urgent public importance.
This came after the uproar in the Rajya Sabha earlier, where opposition MPs in the Upper House protested against the agriculture reform Bills, which were passed by voice vote. Due to this, the proceedings of Lok Sabha were delayed by an hour and started at 4 pm from the scheduled time of 3 pm.
The Lok Sabha session continued without interruption till 12:36 am. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proceedings of the Lower House normally begin from 3 pm and continue till 7 pm.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla initiated the zero hour proceedings with the consent of all MPs and allowed all 88 members to raise matters of urgent public importance. Notably, many ministers along with MPs were present until the conclusion of the proceedings of the House.
The Lok Sabha on Sunday passed 'The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020', which seeks to reduce salaries, allowances of Members of Parliament, and Ministers by 30 per cent. The Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on September 18.
The Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020, the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill 2020 and the National Forensic Science University Bill 2020 were also passed by the Lower House.
Earlier, Birla made remarks before the commencement of 'Discussion on COVID-19 Pandemic in the country' in the Lok Sabha. He said that the country will be able to control coronavirus through discussion and mutual coordination.
Initiating the discussion on COVID-19 in the Lower House, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said the country has had the "worst of both worlds".
"We have neither managed to limit the spread of the virus nor have we managed to keep the economy afloat. GDP for the first time in 41 years will actually shrink," he said.
Updating on the COVID-19 vaccines' progress, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that over four coronavirus vaccines are in advanced stages of pre-clinical trials in the country.
"In India, we gave all support to 30 vaccine candidates -- three of these are in advanced trials of phases 1, 2 and 3. Over four are in advanced stages of the pre-clinical trial," he said.
During the session, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP Jayadev Galla urged the central government to extend the insurance scheme for COVID warriors for one more year. "The insurance cover for COVID warriors is going to expire by end of this month. I urge that the insurance scheme be extended for 1 more year," he said.
Three opposition MPs -- two from the Congress party and one from CPI-M -- gave adjournment motion notices in the Lok Sabha over different issues including farmers' protest across the country against "anti-farmer legislation of the government" and "government's decision to privatise Indian Railways." The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for a brief time after a ruckus was created by opposition MPs opposing agriculture reform Bills.
The ruckus was created when Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar was replying to the concerns raised by opposition members.
Opposition MPs raised slogans against the government in the well of the Upper House and some of them threw away papers from the table. A Rajya Sabha rule book was also torn.