Parliament met for the 9th sitting of the Budget Session today.

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014,
which was introduced in Lok Sabha yesterday, was referred to the
Standing Committee by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today. This Bill amends The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989,
which prohibits the commission of offences against members of the
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs) and establishes
special courts for the trial of such offences and the rehabilitation of
victims. The amendment Bill adds new categories of actions by non SCs and STs against SCs or STs to be treated as offences

Lok Sabha then undertook a discussion on the General Budget and the
Demands for Excess Grants for 2011-2012 today. At the time of sending
this diary, the discussion on the budget was ongoing in the Lower House.

Rajya Sabha was adjourned again over the issue of whether the House
should undertake a Short Duration Discussion on the unprecedented spurt
in violence in Gaza and West Bank area of Palestine.

Participation of First-Time MPs: The 16th Lok Sabha has
the highest number of first-time MPs in the last three decades. Of the
314 first-time MPs elected to the Lower House, 36 made their maiden
speech in the first week of the Budget Session.  Mr. P.P. Choudhary from
Pali constituency in Rajasthan spoke 5 times in the first week, the
most of all first-time MPs in the House.

97 MPs in total spoke in Lok Sabha in the first week. Some of the issues
discussed were price rise, welfare of Indians stranded in Iraq and
Syria, the National Institute of Design Bill, power and water crises in
the country, the formation of an independent Union Ministry for
Himalayan States etc.

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