The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day shortly after the House met on Thursday amid an unending Parliament deadlock on the 14th consecutive day of the second half of the budget session. However, the government managed to pass a key legislation that empowers it to fix the period of maternity leave and the tax-free gratuity amount of employees with an executive order. The bill was passed by voice vote amid a din by opposition parties including the Congress, AIADMK and TDP who were protesting over their various demands. Soon after the House met, Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu greeted the members and the country on World Water Day and urged all to protect the eco-system and support the conservation of water for the future generations.
Naidu sought the cooperation of the members for the passage of the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill moved by Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on March 15 amid a ruckus. Soon after the bill was passed, members belonging to the AIADMK, the TDP and the Congress gathered near the Chairman’s podium and began shouting slogans. Naidu urged them to return to their seats but they did not relent. Amid the din, he adjourned the House for the day.
The Congress, the Trinamool and some other opposition members have been protesting against the banking fraud allegedly committed by absconding jeweller Nirav Modi and his associates, while the TDP and the YSR Congress have been demonstrating for special status to Andhra Pradesh. The AIADMK has been demanding the setting up of a board for the management of the disputed Cauvery river water.