Both Houses get back to business

The week-long logjam in Parliament over the issue of spiralling prices ended today with both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha resuming their normal functioning.

Updated: Aug 02, 2010, 12:02 PM IST

New Delhi: The week-long logjam in Parliament
over the issue of spiralling prices ended today with both the
Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha resuming their normal
functioning.

The stalemate ended after the opposition gave up its
demand for a motion to discuss the issue under rules that
entail voting and agreed for passing a resolution after
discussion in both Houses.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said the House will discuss
the issue tomorrow.

In the Rajya Sabha the discussion will take place on
Wednesday.

The consensus was reached at an all-party breakfast
meeting called by Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee.

As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled for the day, the
Speaker said she had been informed that the treasury benches
and the opposition had reached an agreement.

She expressed hope that the House would start functioning
without any disruption.

The issue of price rise had rocked Parliament during
almost the entire first week of the Monsoon Session with an
angry opposition seeking to censure the government in both the
Houses.

The deadlock had remained unresolved even after the Lok
Sabha Speaker rejected notices of adjournment motion on the
issue.

The opposition has been blaming the government for failure
to control rise in prices, particularly of food items and
petroleum products. The general inflation has remained in the
double digit while prices of food items were increasing by
9.6 percent.

PTI

Seoul: North Korea attacked a South Korean warship after the South balked at its request for economic aid in return for a proposed summit, a report said on Monday.

The North`s request was delivered through a senior member of the South`s ruling Grand National Party last December, Dong-A Ilbo newspaper reported, quoting sources familiar with Pyongyang.

It said the North demanded that the South pledge economic assistance including 300,000 tons of fertiliser before any summit between President Lee Myung-Bak and its leader Kim Jong-Il.

It also called for the establishment of an unofficial channel for inter-Korean dialogue, designating then-South Korean Labour Minister Yim Tae-Hee as dialogue partner, the paper said.

The Unification Ministry and the presidential office had no comment on the report.

Yim, one of Lee`s close confidants, reportedly held a secret meeting with a North Korean official in Singapore late last year in an unsuccessful attempt to arrange a summit. He became chief of presidential staff last month.

Seoul, however, failed to give a clear answer to Pyongyang for months because of intense debate among its top policymakers, Dong-A said.

In February, Lee said he would not reward North Korea for agreeing to hold a fence-mending summit.

In March, according to South Korean and US officials, a North Korean submarine torpedoed the corvette near the disputed sea border with the loss of 46 lives.

The first-ever summit was held in 2000 and a second in 2007, when Seoul`s left-leaning leaders were practising a "sunshine" aid and engagement policy with Pyongyang.

Lee, a conservative, took office in 2008 and linked major aid to progress in the North`s nuclear disarmament, sparking anger in Pyongyang. Nevertheless, the impoverished North put out peace feelers late last summer.

PTI