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A bill to ban non-vegetarian food in all government programs to be discussed in Parliament

A bill to ban non-vegetarian food in all government programs and another bill to prevent bribery in the private sector are among the list of private members’ bills to be discussed in the upcoming winter session of Parliament. A total of 20 bills from members were brought up for discussion in this session, according to a Lok Sabha notification. While most private members’ bills are rejected after a brief debate, 14 such pieces of legislation have been passed in Parliament since independence. The last one was approved in 1970.

Parvesh Sahib Singh, BJP MP from West Delhi, listed the Government’s Official Meetings and Functions (Prohibition of Serving Non-Vegetarian Food) Bill. According to Singh, “The German Environment Ministry has come up with a proposal to ban non-vegetarian food in government meetings and functions as it has a huge impact on climate and global warming. In India, we can take the initiative to move away from non-vegetarian food as it has a huge carbon footprint.” Singh emphasized that “Bill does not seek a blanket ban on non-vegetarian food for common people. But at least on the part of the government, we can take a step towards sustainable food systems and climate-friendly lifestyles,” he said.

Another BJP MP, Tirath Singh Rawat, planned to bring a bill to introduce yoga in all schools in the country. The former CM of Uttarakhand, who will pilot a bill to make yoga compulsory in educational institutions, said, “Yoga must be taught at the school level in the formative years. It helps both physical and mental growth.”

Pushing bills with the same goal

Two opposition lawmakers, NK Premachandran and VK Sreekandan – both from Kerala – will be pushing bills with the same goal: to amend Section 3 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). Section 3 stipulates that the state will give work to each worker for a maximum of 100 days a year. The bills come after many opposition leaders called for up to 150 days of work for individuals. However, the government refused to raise the annual ceiling, arguing that in case of natural calamities, the state can provide 150 days of work as stipulated by law.

BJP MP Rama Devi is set to move a bill to prevent bribery in the private sector, and Congress lawmaker Dean Kuriakose will introduce a bill to pay compensation to wildlife encounter victims. A number of constitutional amendment bills are also expected to be pushed through by individual members.

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