The second part of the Budget session of Parliament began on March 9.
After Holi break, the Lok Sabha reconvened on Tuesday.
Following is today’s list of business in the House:
Consideration of the Rajya Sabha amendments to amend the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016.
Discussion on the Demands for Grants for Railways Ministry for 2017-18.
8.00 p.m.: Lok Sabha adjourned till 11.00 a.m on Wednesday, March 15.
7.50 p.m.: A passionate request from Dr. Satya Paul Singh, BJP MP representing Bhagpat, Uttar Pradesh:
"Why are we giving passengers blankets in our coaches? First, why do we make the train coaches so cold that the passengers need blankets in the first place? Why can we make them comfortable enough that they don't need blankets? We can save electricity and the amount of money we spend on these blankets!"
7.00 p.m.: AITC MP Arpita Ghosh, representing Balurghat, West Bengal, raises pertinent points of punctuality of trains. "Folks have been talking about profits and revenue, but no one has raised this point - punctuality."
She also touches on cleanliness on trains.
6.05 p.m.: CPI-M MP M.B. Rajesh representing Palakkad, Kerala speaks. Calls the presentation of the railway budget with the general budget a step towards dismantling railways as a public sector enterprise. "92 years ago, when a separate budget was introduced, even the British govt after adopting a resolution, went through due process. But unfortunately, this government is not following due process. The House was not even consulted."
"The pace of development tardy because of low investment. Railways gets only 19% of all investments in transport sector in India."
6.00 p.m.: Deputy Speaker Thambidurai extends House till 8.00 p.m.
5.45 p.m.: TRS MP Dr. Boora Narasaiah Goud representing Bhongir, Telangana speaks. "We should have a Europeanisation of our transport systems, instead of Americanising them, as the former concentrates more on public transport."
Cracks a joke on the railway budget being presented along with the general budget in the future. "Once you're married, both husband and wife have to go together. They cannot be autonomous. Hence, the railway budget will have to be presented with the general budget from here on in."
Requests high-speed train between Hyderabad and Amaravati.
5.35 p.m.: MP Jaidev Galla representing Guntur, Andhra Pradesh congratulates the BJP on presenting the Railway budget along with the General budget. Gets into the meat of the issue right away - more trains. He raises the issue of new railway lines to AP granted under the AP Reorganisation Act. "When I'm asking for connectivity for Guntur and Amaravati, I'm asking for the whole State," says Mr. Galla.
5.20 p.m.: Shiv Sena MP Arvind Ganpat Sawant, representing Mumbai-South speaks. "How do we increase our revenue? We need to increase our operating ratio."
Advocates increasing facilities and cleanliness. "Our first class fares are almost on par with flight fares. But the facilities are not."
5.00 p.m.: BJD MP Balabhadra Majhi from Nabarangpur, Odisha, speaks. Asks to expedite sanctions for trains in Odisha, viz Malkangiri, Naupada, Rourkela. Asks how Operating Ratio will be improved.
4.45 p.m.: Ongoing projects in West Bengal amount to Rs 40,000 crore while only 15% funds have been sanctioned, says Dinesh Trivedi. There are several ongoing metro projects in Bengal. State is providing full cooperation. The ball is in Indian Railways' court.
"Rail traffic is reducing. People either travel by air or by volvo bus. How is the Railway Ministry planning to raise revenue?"
It has to be noted that Mr. Trivedi is a former Railway Minister.
"Against a projected increase in BE of 16% the actual increase was 8% only. In the past 3 years, Indian Railways fell short of its BE. Parcel traffic is decreasing day by day. IR has not been able to harness e-commerce. No of passengers is decreasing, revenue is dipping and even freight traffic is declining. Projected Operating Ratio is 94.57%. I do not know how they will achieve this."
4.30 p.m.: Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi representing Barrackpore, West Bengal speaks. "We might have different methods, but all our goals are the same - to see the country develop."
"Finance minister said the merger of the railway budget is a historical step. We have discontinued a practice from the Colonial Era. I have something to say to that - till you change the definition of 'Railway', the department will not see further progress.
The official definition says - Indian railway is a department of the govt of India. It is also a commercial organisation. This definition is from the colonial era. So till you change it, there will be no progress. It is impossible for the railways to be a commercial organisation and see profit on its own. Railways should be that infrastructure that will add 1-2% to the GDP. It cannot generate profit on its own."
4.20 p.m.: MP C. Gopalakrishnan from Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, raises the issue of overflowing trains from Chennai to the Nilgiris area. He speaks about the holiday season and asks for more trains.
"Trains are overflowing. There are no adequate trains from Chennai to Coimbatore, Madurai etc. I ask that Chennai Express maybe extended to Mettupalayam. I also ask that holiday trains be introduced from Chennai to Coimbatore and Madurai."
3.45 p.m.: Muniyappa brings up the Congress vs BJP battle going in Manipur and Goa.
"Today is a black day in the parliament. People have given the mandate to Congress in Manipur and Goa. We have to respect the mandate of the people, but that is not happening. We have to accept our (Congress') failure in U.P. But we will not accept this in Manipur and Goa."
"The Constitution has been derailed!" comes the shout from the rest of the MPs present.
3.30 p.m.:Currently ongoing is the Discussion and Voting on the demand for grants of Ministry of Railways for 2017-18.
MP K.H. Muniyappa from Kolar, Karnataka speaks about renovating and strengthen the railway lines. He also touches on the subject of converting the meter gauge trains into broad gauge. He speaks about the projects in Karnataka.
"The government is willing. Please prioritise projects in Karnataka. We appreciate your (BJP's) vision and commitment, but let your vision also be result-oriented."
3.00 p.m.: The Lok Sabha passes the Enemy Property Bill.
The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, which amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968, was passed by voice vote in the Lok Sabha, incorporating the amendments made by the Rajya Sabha last week.
The Lok Sabha had passed the bill earlier but certain amendments were introduced to it in the Rajya Sabha, on the recommendations of a Select Committee. Those amendments had to be approved by the Lower House, which was done today, reports PTI.
2.23 p.m.: Rajnath Singh: We are not keen on the ordinance route, but we had to do this because the bill couldn't be taken up earlier.
2.05 p.m.: Rajnath Singh says this is a govt's policy. We are discussing about Raja Mahamudabad's property. It is not an enemy property.
All the enemy properties are identified and if any remain, those will also be identified.
1.56 p.m.: SS MP from Maharashtra, Arvind Sawant, YSRCP MP Mekapati Rajmohan Reddy and JD(U) MP Kaushalendra Kumar discuss Enemy Property Bill.
1.51 p.m.: YSRCP's Makapati Reddy says this has taken a very long time to come into practice, the govt should draw a plan and justice should be incorporated into the rules.
1.46 p.m.: West Bengal CPI-M MP Mohammad Salim says, as we are fighting corruption, custodians of enemy properties try to take the properties in their own hands. We are overlooking these practices in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab.
1.40 p.m.: Narsimham Thota of TDP speaks about Enemy Property Bill.
1.30 p.m.: Saugata Roy: The govt. isn't able to pass a bill in Rajya Sabha. I support the Enemy Property Bill, but not the ordinance route.
Updates from Devesh K. Pandey:
12.42 p.m.: RSP member Premachandran moves amendments to the Bill. The Bill has to be sent to the Standing Committee, he says.
Congress members raise slogans, obstruct the discussion, walk out.
12.35 p.m.: The 2016 Bill was sent to RS committee, in May 2016 the report was submitted. The recommendations were accepted. In RS, it was cleared on March 10 with some changes. Now that the year has changed, name of the Bill had to be redrafted. Under the new Bill, the aggrieved party has 60 days time to appeal in court. 60 days more on reasonable grounds.
Speaker tells Mr. Kharge that no discussion on the issue raised by him will be allowed, when the discussion on Bill is under way. Congress members protest.
12.31 p.m.: Rajnath Singh seeks approval to introduce the Enemy Property (Amendment) Bill.
Discussion underway, MoS Home Affairs says it was necessary to clear some grey areas with respect to enemy properties.
12.29 p.m.: AIADMK MPs speak about the demise of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. They demand a CBI enquiry.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar intervenes: There is a feeling that death has happened under suspicious circumstances, Tamil Nadu already probing. We are with them in their grief and sorrow. After the report comes, we will decide further action.
12.25 p.m.: Minister Uma Bharti introduces the bill after a go ahead from majority by voice vote.
"No Zero Hour today. No talk on Governor will be allowed," says Speaker. Congress members protest.
12.23 p.m.: Minister Uma Bharti: Is the creation of permanent tribunal necessary? That too headed by a retired SC judge.
The amendment says the permanent tribunal's order shall have the same force as the order and decree of the SC. It is the same as provided in the Act, it is a badly drafted bill.
Article 262 says Constitution can bring laws with respect to inter-state water disputes.
12.20 p.m.: Constitution gives power to executive through Legislature to resolve the issues, Bill seeks to subsume powers of all tribunals to a permanent tribunal. Committee to be formed to give reports in three years, then no time frame for a report by tribunal. I am not going into the merit of the Bill, at this juncture it is wrongly drafted.
Water is a State subject, after independence, tribunals were constituted. After 2002, when respective States were not following decisions of tribunals, the orders were made mandatory: Bhartruhari Mahtab.
SC was not allowed to intervene, now parties can approach the SC if the disputes are not resolved.
12.13 p.m.: Footwear Design and Development Bill is introduced.
The introduction of Inter-state River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill is opposed by BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, says river water is a State issue.
12.12 p.m.: Mallikharjun Kharge: Was there an intelligence failure?
Speaker says: Do not start a new convention. After Minister's statement, such questions cannot be raised. You ask for discussion, I have not disallowed it. But it cannot happen now.
Kharge replies: We are not asking for discussion. If Speaker gives a notice for discussion, I will consider it. All adjournment motions disallowed.
12.04 p.m.: Home Minister Rajnath Singh talks on Sukma attack by Maoists on March 11. "They used IEDs, 12 security personnel laid down their lives, two got injured. 13 weapons snatched away."
Lists the names or martyred personnel, pays condolences to the families.
67 encounters happened in 2016, 64 per cent increase compared to 2015.
In the actions against Maoist insurgents in the last three years: 135 were killed, 789 arrested, 1,198 surrendered. In Chhattisgarh, 15 per cent reduction in maoist incidents.
Maoists have been attempting such incidents to uplift the morale of their cadre, security forces are on alert. CRPF directed to probe the incident to avoid such situations in future.
Over 1 crore per family of the martyred being given under various heads.
We are taking all measures to equip the security forces in coordination with the States. We assure the nation that we will not allow the Maoists to create disturbance.
12 noon: Question Hour comes to an end. Members lay papers on table.
11.58 a.m.: Saugata Roy: I am not asking why it took three years for government to cap the prices, there is a shortage of such stents in the market. Have you done a study on what stents should be used in which condition?
11.57 a.m.: AITC member Saugata Roy asks: Good step of the government to make stents cheaper. But hospitals still charging more by putting extra money under various heads. What action are you taking to stop it?
MoS chemicals: With the cases of heart attacks on the rise, we have reduced the cost of stents significantly. We found the actual price of Stents. Rs. 45,000 stent production cost was Rs. 4,450, Rs.1.27 lakh stent's production cost was Rs. 7,000.
Now the Rs. 45,000 stents are available for Rs. 7,000.
We have ensured that there is no artificial shortage of Stents. This year 5 lakh patients to get stents for Rs. 5,000 crore less. Hospitals and doctors have started supplying the stents on capped prices.
11.52 a.m.: BJP MP Anurag Singh asks, "Do you plan to appeal in SC the constitution of Dharmadhikari Committee for re-constitution? Tourists pollute the environmentally sensitive areas.
MoS environment: There are experts in the Dharmadhikari Committee from all fields. The committee keeps a record of the red, orange and green category industries. It is doing a good job. Solid waste management in the Himalayan areas is a major issue, we are working on it for concrete action.
11.47 a.m.: So many projects, like dams, came up in western ghats displacing tribal population, says Shiv Sena MP Shivaji Patil from Maharashtra.
Trees are being cut illegally, there is encroachment in 100 acre land.
MoS Environment says: All States, excluding Tamil Nadu, have responded for treating western ghats as single unit to resolve the issues.
After we receive the replies, a new notification would be issued. We are in talks with all the respective MPs and States.
11.42 a.m.: Eight zones are declared as environmentally fragile, including western ghats, in 2002 SC declared the area fragile. Justice Dharmadhikari committee working on developing the area: MoS Environment Anil Madhav Dave, answering a question on Ecologically Sensitive Areas.
Is there any plan to re-constitute the committee, asks a Member from Maharashtra.
MoS environment: SC has set up the committee till further orders. We must follow the orders, if you want changes, please approach SC.
11.40 a.m.: BJP member Ganesh Singh asks: People question the quality of generic drugs, is there a possibility of black marketing or is it a problem with the quality?
MoS Chemicals: The quality of drugs available at these stores are of WHO standard, they are checked at our end before distribution. They are of very good quality, they need to be promoted. Please help us reach out to people who need medicines. Ensure that hospitals prescribe generic medicines.
Drugs and Cosmetic Rules have to be changed to ensure that the drug stores are able to give generic drugs.
After government govt hospitals, private ones would also be told to prescribe generic drugs.
11.39 a.m.: A Trinamool member says Mamata Banerjee has set up fair price shops by when the target of 3,000 stores will be achieved. Can you involve MPs in it?
MoS Chemicals says: We accept the member's recommendation. If they can run through their NGOs and open the stores, we welcome it. Please create awareness in your respective areas.
11.37 a.m.: Are you planning an amendment to National Rural health scheme to ensure availability of stores in villages, asks an MP.
MoS Chemicals says: Even govt hospitals can open these stores, NGOs, self help groups and individuals can set up these kendras.
11.30 a.m.: MoS chemicals replies: We have set right the supply chain. 600 medicines are now being made available. Purchase is being done through competitive bidding. There was an issue of centralized storage, whatever problems we encountered, they are being resolved. We will ensure regular supply.
Even Diploma pharmacists are allowed to set up these stores. We have entered into an MoU with Telangana govt, stores will be set up there too. The states are being given funds.
11.26 a.m.: An MP alleges that there is a lot of unemployment among pharma students, is the government planning to include them under Mudra scheme.
There is a short supply of medicines, says TRS member Kavitha, "Please allow us to source medicines from private manufacturers. States and Centre can combine their schemes."
11.24 a.m.: Mansukh Mandaviya replies: "We help a pharmacist with Rs. 50,000 to open these stores and even help provide medicines along with commission. Not only this, we even compensate him with Rs. 10,000 per month and even change guidelines. We help him even if he is from northeast, or SC/ST or even physically challenged."
11.17 a.m.:Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadi Kendras are being discussed by ministers. "Common man shouldn't die if medicines aren't available," says Mansukh Mandaviya, MoS, Chemicals and Fertilisers.
Stores are being set up for the poor, we are working on since 2008, only 99 stores were set up, after we came, over 900 stores. 19,000 applications given approval on principle.
TRS MP Dr. Boota Narsaiah Goud asks if govt can bring up the infrastructure to reach the goal of curing ailments.
11.15 a.m.: BJP member Uday Prathap Singh raises issue of drug peddling in Delhi.
MoS Home Affairs says, "We will take action against the complaints, Delhi Police has been taken measures to curb drug peddling. A separate cell is being created for this."
11.11 a.m.: UP BJP MP Neelam Sonkar talks about cameras being used for monitoring and asks if there are any yojanas for the usage.
MoS Home Affairs Hansraj Gnagaram Ahir says 4017 surveillance cameras have been installed in 58 markets and 27 border pickets, at six places and it is being done by ECIL.
11.08 a.m.: BJP's Rattan Lal Kataria from Haryana asks if the country uses all the milk, eggs and vegetables that is produced; demands an explanation for any preservation methods.
Radha Mohan Singh replies about the steps taken towards production matching the demands in each of the products.
11.06 a.m.: AIADMK MP K. Kamaraj talks about free distribution of milch cows, goat and livestock and asks if central govt will give additional sanctions to the state.
11.03 a.m.: BJP MP from UP Rajesh Kumar Diwakar speaks as Opposition seeks time to raise their issues, Speaker disallows. Congress leader Mallikharjun Kharge urges the Speaker for permission to speak.
Congress members shout slogans.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley intervenes, says since strong words have been used, seeks time to respond. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan says "have not allowed anyone (from Congress) to speak. It will not go on record."
Congress members walk out.
11.02 a.m.: Question Hour begins, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh speaks about milk, eggs and meat production.