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Lok Sabha passes controversial farm sector bills;Harsimrat Badal resign from Modi Cabinet.

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Harsimrat Kaur Badal of Shiromani Akali Dal will resign as Union minister over government’s farm ordinances, PTI reported. Meanwhile, Lok Sabha has passed the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020

Mahua Moitra, a TMC MP from West Bengal’s Krishnanagar said that the government is stomping upon the spirit of federalism with its brute majority. Moitra said, “By legislating on the farm sector, the government has once again done what it does best, that is aggrandizing itself the authority that is simply not vested in it by the Constitution.”

Stating that farm markets and agricultural pricing are state subjects, TDP lawmker K Ram Mohan Naidu urged the Center not to presume that all Opposition parties have a political agenda

The TMC MP said the proposed legislation’s would to also lead to black marketing and hoarding and push the entire sector towards privatization.

Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar defended the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce and Farmers Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services bills, saying these will give more freedom to farmers.

The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020 seeks to replace an ordinance issued in March to provide compliance relief to tax payers.

Durga Prasad, a native of Venkatagiri town, was earlier with the Telugu Desam Party and jumped on to the YSR Congress party bandwagon ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Lok Sabha reconvened at 3 pm. TRS, TMC, DMK, RJD, AAP, NCP, Samajwadi Party and Shiv Sena MPs protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue at the Parliament premises, demanding GST payments to states.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said ‘we are all one’ when it comes to the integrity and sovereignty of India. Many RS members expressed solidarity with the government on this issue.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said three vaccine candidates are being developed and a vaccine should be available in India next year. “Virus transmission is happening because of our own irresponsibility. Till a vaccine is available, masks and social distancing is a social vaccine,” he said.

China continues to be in illegal occupation of approximately 38,000 sq. km in the Union Territory of Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Rajya Sabha.

Chinese actions reflect a disregard of our various bilateral agreements, Singh said, adding that the amassing of the troops by China goes against the 1993 and 1996 agreements. “We do remain committed to peaceful resolution of the current situation. At the same time, we remain prepared to deal with all contingencies,” he added.

Two days after presenting a statement on the government’s position in Lok Sabha on the India-China border row, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressed the Rajya Sabha on the developments in Ladakh.

Ghulam Nabi Azad said that he WHO warning about a mysterious pneumonia came as early as December 2019, but the Indian government wasted golden months in addressing the virus’ spread.

NCP Praful Patel said that though news reports quote officials saying that there is not shortage of oxygen cylinders and the remdesivir drug, the ground reality is different.

On the fourth day of the Parliament’s Monsoon Session, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address the Rajya Sabha on the developments in Ladakh. He had addressed the Lok Sabha on the India-China border row on Tuesday.

The Upper House will also continue the discussion on the coronavirus pandemic and India’s response. Home minister Amit Shah will move the Salaries and Allowances of Ministers Act, 1952 in the Rajya Sabha to seek consideration and passage. The Bill pushes to temporarily reduce salaries and allowances of lawmakers and ministers in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will introduce the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020 that will replace the ordinance issued to provide compliance relief to taxpayers. It also seeks to provide tax benefits to donations made to PM CARES Fund.

Terming three bills related to agriculture “anti-farmer”, AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday demanded that the Center withdraw them, saying his party will vote against the bills in Parliament. The AAP has three Rajya Sabha MP and one LoK Sabha MP.

“The three bills related to farming and farmers brought in the Parliament are anti-farmer. Farmers all over the country are opposing them. The central government should withdraw these three bills. The AAP will vote against them in Parliament,” he tweeted in Hindi.

The Center had on Monday introduced The Farmers’ Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, and ‘The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill to replace the ordinances promulgated earlier.

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Covid 19 caused 78% MSMEs & startups in India to reduce workforce in the last 8 months: Survey

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Seventy-eight per cent MSMEs and startups in India have reduced workforce in the last 8 months since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
As per a survey by LocalCircles, only 22 per cent startups and MSMEs have the same or increased workforce as compared to the pre-Covid levels.

India’s startups and MSMEs ecosystem went through a torrid time due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the following lockdown. With revenues and operations getting impacted for most businesses, many end up cutting costs and some even shut down temporarily or permanently. Per CMIE, 6 million Indians had already lost white collar jobs in the March – August period.
LocalCircles conducted a survey to understand the startup and MSME pulse on their workforce adjustments due to Covid. The survey received over 7,000 responses from startups, MSMEs and entrepreneurs spread across 104 top business districts of the country.

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