Members in both Houses called the attention of the Minister
of Water Resources to barrage projects being undertaken over river Mahanadi by
the Government of Chhattisgarh, thereby severely impacting the flow of water
into the Hirakud dam in Odisha. The
Minister replied to the discussion stating that the centre is willing to
convene a meeting between the Odisha and Chhattisgarh government to resolve the
Rajya Sabha saw adjournments after the calling attention
discussion. Opposition members demanded that voting on the Andhra Pradesh
Reorganisation (Amendment)) Bill, 2015 (a private member Bill that could not be
taken up last Friday due to disruptions), be taken up.
Lok Sabha passed the
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill. It seeks to
prohibit the employment of children (i.e. those below 14 years of age) in all
occupations and adolescents (i.e. those between 14 and 18 years of age) in
hazardous occupations and processes.
The government had circulated
amendments to the Bill in 2015.
A comparative note of these amendments, with the provisions of the Bill and the
Standing Committee recommendations can be found here.
During the debate, members raised their concerns about the
exceptions provided to allow children to work. These exceptions include: (i) family
and a family enterprise which does not involve hazardous occupations, after
school hours or during vacations, and (ii) working in the audio-visual entertainment
industry (films, TV, etc.) or sports activities. Some members felt the
definition of ‘family’ and ‘family enterprise’ is broad and needs to be more
Lok Sabha was continuing debate on the bill at the time of sending this report.