Dr Shashi Tharoor (Member of Parliament and head of the parliamentary committee on Information Technology) spoke to Mitali Mukherjee and said the crucial area of the debate would be India’s GDP performance (Indian economic output shrank by 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of FY21 – worst quarterly GDP numbers ever recorded since India started compiling GDP data on a quarterly basis in 1996.) He also said this was an acceleration of an already deteriorating situation, both for the economy and for unemployment, where CMIE data indicates an estimated 21 million salaried employees have lost their jobs by the end of August.
He also expressed concern at the ongoing stand-off within the GST Council but believed a clear resolution was difficult as the government seemed averse to any discussion on matters of revenue sharing with the states.
When asked if there was precedent to a complete curtailment and suspension of zero-hour and question hour for an entire session, Dr Tharoor said that even in times of war, the practice of a question hour and zero hour was maintained as that is the only sign of a healthy and vibrant democracy.
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