Lok Sabha passes Essential Defence Services Bill amid din

The proceedings of the Lok Sabha on Tuesday were adjourned for the third time till 4 p.m. after the House passed the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 amid Opposition’s protest.

The Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 is to replace an ordinance by the same name prohibiting strikes, lock-outs, and lay-offs in units engaged in essential defence services by the central government which was introduced in the lower house by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on July 22.

Soon after the House resumed at 2 p.m., the Speaker Om Birla again urged the Opposition members to take their seats and participate in the debate on the Essential Defence Services Bill 2021, but the agitating members refused to budge and kept on sloganeering.

The Speaker then asked the Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt to table the Bill.

Speaking on the legislation, he said that the Bill is not unconstitutional as claimed by the opposition. “We know the situation in the north (Ladakh and PoK). We cannot afford to lose our forces due to lack of resources”, Bhatt said.

Meanwhile the Revolutionist Socialist Party Member N.K. Premachandran moved statutory amendments and said that this Bill will only facilitate privatisation of ordnance factories and urged the Chair not to pass the Bill amid din.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also said that this was a draconian and undemocratic Bill.

“We are ready to discuss all issues but the issues of inflation and snooping should be taken for discussion first”, Mr Chaudhary said.

The Defence Minister while speaking on the Bill, assured the House that the Act will be in force only for one year and before bringing this legislation, the Government has already consulted all unions of all Ordinance Board’s factories in an amicable environment.

The Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 was passed amid din.

The Essential Defence Services Ordinance, 2021 was promulgated on June 30, 2021 prohibiting strikes, lock-outs, and lay-offs in units engaged in essential defence services.




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