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Parliament proceedings, budget session 2019, day 9 | As it happened

A file picture of Parliament.  

It's the penultimate day of the Budget session of Parliament. The Lok Sabha hopes to pass the Finance Bill on Tuesday. The Rajya Sabha, on the other hand hoped to complete the debate on Motion of Thanks to the President's address.

Amid new revelations that anti-corruption clauses in the Rafale deal with France were waived by the government, official sources have said the audit report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) is likely to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Here are the live updates

Lok Sabha | 6.45 p.m.

The Finance Bill, 2019 is taken up for consideration and passing. Clause-by-clause voting is up now. Halfway through, the government introduces the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, for consideration and passing. Opposition Members say they are prepared to discuss this Bill tomorrow, not today. The Finance Bill, 2019 has been passed.

Lok Sabha | 6.20 p.m.

AAP MP from Punjab Bhagwant Mann says although India is one of the youngest countries, there is high unemployment rate, high crime rate. "Small traders and farmers have still not recovered from GST and demonetisation."

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal rises to respond, quoting M.S. Swaminathan, from his report as head of the National Commission on farmers, on agriculture in India in 2004. He says GST collections were done fully this time, and refunds were also on time.

Lok Sabha | 5.50 p.m.

Rajesh Ranjan (RJD) says he doesn't understand who this budget is for. He asks why the government reduced its spend on education and healthcare.

K.V. Thomas (INC) says this is the first Prime Minister he has seen who refuses to come to the House and answer questions.

Ravindra Ray (BJP) says this government has cleaned up the country.

Lok Sabha | 5:40 pm

M.B. Rajesh, CPI-M, Palakkad (Kerala): "Rate of unemployment has reached the highest level. We have highest number of infant deaths but govt is not concerned about this. Income support to farmers is only ₹6000 per year, which is only ₹4 per person per day. In Kerala, the Left govt gives ₹14,400 to 44 lakh people as pension in the form of income support. When we talk about farmers, the area cover has come down. Madam Speaker, with respect to pension scheme, the allocation is like demonetisation where workers have to pay money. A large number of workers are left out of the scheme. After the elections, Aadhaar is going to become mandatory, unlike now.

The govt is making huge claims in employment with Mudra scheme. This means that Mudra scheme has failed to generate employment. All the claims made by the govt are bogus. The Minister mentioned that 'Job seekers have become job creators', but I say that job seekers have become debt makers. And those who failed to create jobs will become jobless in the next election."

Lok Sabha | 5:15 pm

Arvind Ganpat Sawant, SS, Mumbai-South (Maharashtra): "There are thousands of slum-dwellers in Mumbai. There has to to be a way for them just like how the budget has provided provisions for people to own two houses. If govt is the doctor, it has to cure and give medicines to the people. Is employment getting generated?"

Dr. Boora Narsaiah Goud, TRS, Bhongir (Telangana): "Today Telangana has become a role-model for the country. I an proud to say what Telangana thinks today, India thinks tomorrow. 60 lakh families get ₹2600 per month as pension in the state. I think PM took an inspiration from us.

We are pioneers in taking measures for farmers. We give them 24x7 electricity, subsidies, and more. We are implementing one of the biggest irrigation projects. I welcome the Finance Bill."

Lok Sabha | 5:00 pm

Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, BJD, Bolangir (Odisha): "The honourable Finance Minister that the fiscal deficit is going to be at 3.4%. Everytime this happens, we tax and infect the value of the currency and increase the capital expenditures. I find that it would be very difficult for this govt. He has claimed an 18% increase in GST in the year 2019-20. In income tax, the FM claimed they'll increase the income tax exemption. In 2017-18 itself, the current taxation system of personal income tax is much lower. The govt is unable to achieve the revenue, that also with 2 months to go. How will you meet the fiscal deficit?"

Lok Sabha | 4:40 pm

Alphons Kannanthanam, MoD (Ind.), Tourism: "We have come very far. Revenue in India is welled up as we are the largest growing tourism destination in the world. A growth of 255% is very impressive. The whole world is watching India. India's tourism is not about destination. It is educational."

Lok Sabha | 4:00 pm

Nishikant Dubey, BJP, Godda (Jharkand) talks about Congress' self-satisfaction on blaming the govt. "HAL is a company that in the defence and aerospace field. Congress is doing this since some of their party members will benefit from the deal. Why did black money get generated in this country? To develop, our govt only thought about how to compete with other countries. Tax is something that needs to be saved after the concession that is now given to people who have an income of less than ₹5 lakh. Congress only looted the poor. But this new finance bill will help the poor."

Lok Sabha | 3:30 pm

K.C. Venugopal, INC, Alappuzha (Kerala) speaks about various promises by the govt. "Govt did not do anything so far. Now they are telling that next July we will do everything. Growing unemployment, demonetisation, badly implemented GST, price rise has destroyed both organised and unorganised sectors. Before going to the election, they are doing something for the farmers. A farmer is being offered ₹3! Is it a big thing? The people are living a nightmare for the last 4.5 years. Demonetisation shut down small-scale industries in Tamil Nadu."

Mr. Venugopal mentions The Hindu's report on the defence deal.

Lok Sabha | 3:00 pm

Bill for consideration and passing: The Finance Bill, 2019

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal: "All the changes in tax proposals, we will do when we present the budget in July 2019. There is certainty in the minds of small taxpayers. Now in this interim budget, we have given further tax rebate. There's been a significant amount of changes in every budget. This govt has given additional tax benefits to the taxpayers of India. I think this has created an atmosphere of trust. The number of taxpayers has doubled in the last five years. I thank the taxpayers for their commitment to make India an honest economy and their taxes reach the deprived sections of the society, farmers and the poor.

Under PMAY, those who buy a small house for a loan upto ₹6 lakh, we are reimbursing interest to the bank to encourage lower middle-class people to become house owners.

The decision to raise the rebate for people having annual income of ₹5 lakh was to provide greater certainty about tax liability as salary payments to them is subject to Tax Deduction at Source (TDS). The proposal was welcomed with euphoria within and outside the House and will provide requisite impetus to savings and boost economic growth. Modi government during the last four-and-a-half years tried to benefit every section of society and tax payers. Higher collections have enabled the government to earmark more resources for the socially and economically deprived sections of the society. The housing sector will too get a boost on account of the proposals including interest subvention, allowing capital gains tax exemption on purchase of two flats from proceeds of sale of a house and hiking rebate on repayment of home loans.

The government is working to ensure a house for every citizen when India celebrates its 75th year of Independence.

The government’s policies have helped in keeping the property prices under check, the non-performing assets (NPAs) too have remained low in the sector, probably because housewives insist that the home loans are repaid in time”

Rajya Sabha | 2:38 pm

House adjourned till 11 a.m. on February 13, 2019 amid protests by SP and BSP members.

Rajya Sabha | 2:05 pm

House resumes. Sloganeering continues.

Uproar by Samajwadi Party members as party chief Akhilesh Yadav was allegedly stopped at Lucknow airport while on his way to Allahabad.

As soon as the House resumed proceedings at 2 p.m., members from the Samajwadi Party jumped into the well protesting against party chief being allegedly stopped at Lucknow airport.

Meanwhile, the government introduced two bills - the International Financial Services Center Authority Bill, 2019 and Cinematography (amendment) Bill, 2019.

International Financial Services Centre Authority Bill, 2019 was moved by Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla.

The Cinematography (amendment) bill, 2019 was moved by Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

IFSC Bill

This is a Bill to set up a unified authority for regulating all financial services in international financial services centres (IFSCs) in the country.

The International Financial Services Center Authority Bill, 2019 mandates that transaction of financial services in the IFCS shall be governed by an Authority headed by a Chairman.

Currently, banking, capital markets and insurance sectors in IFSCs are regulated by multiple regulators — the RBI, Sebi and Irdai — and this would provide inter-regulatory coordination.

The bill has a provision for establishment and incorporation of the Authority. Regulatory bodies including RBI, SEBI, IRDA, PFRDI would have one nominee as its member, while the Finance Ministry will have rights to nominate two officials in the Authority.

It will be “regulating the financial products, financial services and financial institutions in an IFSC,” the bill said.

Two members could also be appointed by the central government on the recommendation of the selection committee.

“The Chairperson and a member shall hold offices for a term of three year from the date on which he enters upon his office and shall be eligible for reappointment,” the bill said.

An IFSC enables to bring back to India the financial services and transactions that are currently carried out in offshore financial centers by Indian corporate entities and overseas branches or subsidiaries of financial institutions (FIs).

It provides business and regulatory environment that is comparable to other leading international financial centres in the world like London and Singapore.

IFSC provides Indian companies easier access to global financial markets. - PTI

House adjourned till 2.36 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 1:30 pm

The Home Ministry has given security clearance to more than 6,200 proposals, including 134 foreign direct investment plans, in the past two years in critical sectors such as defence, civil aviation and telecom, the government told the Lok Sabha.

Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir informed the Lower House that in the past two years, the ministry gave security clearance to more than 1,600 proposals in critical sectors like defence, arms and ammunition, explosives, telecommunications, information and broadcasting, civil aviation, currency, shipping, etc.

The ministry also disposed of more than 4,600 security clearance requests including 134 of foreign direct investment in government approval route requiring security clearance, he said in a written reply to a question.

Average processing time for such clearance was about 71 days in 2018, he said.

Mr. Ahir said as per information provided by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and the Reserve Bank of India, the FDI through automatic route is under general permission and can be received without any approval, in compliance with the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or issue of security by a person resident outside India) Regulation, 2017.

“No information is available about the number of proposals received for FDI under automatic route. Therefore, information related to percentage in terms of number of FDI proposals coming through the automatic route is not available,” he said. - PTI

 

Bengalis in Assam

The reported killing of Bengalis in Assam was raised, with TMC members asking the BJP government to stop the “dirty politics” and ensure safety of Bengali people in the state.

TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi and Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the matter during the Zero Hour.

Mr. Trivedi said a TMC delegation has visited Assam.

“Bengalis in Assam are being killed in broad daylight...Bengal has always been pro-India. Dirty politics of BJP has to stop and you must stop killing of Bengalis in Assam,” he said.

Mr. Chowdhury said Bengalis move out of West Bengal in search of livelihood but are not feeling safe in Gujarat, UP and Assam.

“In Assam they are killed. The Centre should ask the state to ensure safety of Bengalis,” he added. - PTI

 

House adjourned till 3 pm.

Lok Sabha | 12:05 pm

Various members lay papers on the table.

Matters of urgent public importance are being discussed by MPs.

 

Electoral rolls

The Delhi government is playing “politics of deception” on the issue of electoral rolls and action needs to be taken, BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi says.

“Many people are getting calls that their names have been deleted from the voter list. To their surprise it turns out to be false when they check,” she said during the Zero Hour.

This kind of “fraud” is taking place and police have filed a case but no action is being taken, she said.

“How the politics of deception is being played by Delhi government is for everyone to see...I urge police action in such incidents,” she added.

Besides the issue of electoral rolls, M.B. Rajesh (CPM) raised the issue of stopping of light and sound show at the historical Jallianwalla Bagh in Amritsar.

He said since this comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, necessary steps should be taken to restore it.

Bhartuhari Mahtab (BJD) and TMC’s Saugata Roy said they supported the issue. - PTI

 

On Jay Panda

BJD MP Bharthari Mehtab raised the issue of alleged FEMA violation and money laundering by former MP Baijayant Jay Panda and wanted to know what steps were being taken by the Centre in this regard.

Mr. Panda was suspended from the BJD last year.

He alleged that Jay Panda, an Indian passport holder, along with his wife and family associate had opened an account in tax haven Bahamas in violation of rules.

He wanted to know as to what action has been taken by the Centre.

“What steps Union government has taken? Is it still at investigation stage? How long will it take to complete the investigation?,” he said in the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour.

Recently there were reports that the Income Tax Department received a complaint alleging money laundering and violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) by former Biju Janata Dal MP and Odisha industrialist Jay Panda. - PTI

 

Congress staged a walkout after its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Rafale deal was rejected.

Mallikargun Kharge tried to speak but Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did not allow and continued with the business of the House.

At this a visibly upset Mr. Kharge asked loudly, “What is this? We want JPC."

The Speaker said she was not saying no to anyone.

“I will allow you to speak when the time will come. Now sit down. You have shouted a lot. Give your throat some rest,” she said.

With this, Mr. Kharge sat down but said, “If you don’t allow us to speak, why should we be here."

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who was sitting next to Mr. Kharge, nodded in support.

Mr. Kharge soon nudged other Congress MPs to restart the protests and they immediately trooped into the well, carrying placards and shouting slogans seeking JPC on the Rafale deal.

Alleging corruption, Mr. Kharge said a JPC probe was needed to probe the deal.

He also demanded discussion on the issue to which the Speaker said a debate had already taken place in the House.

Mr. Kharge said the CAG report on defence was tabled before the Rajya Sabha and was “leaked”. He said the report was not tabled before Lok Sabha.

Ms. Mahajan said the reports were tabled before the Lok Sabha, in an apparent reference to P. Radhakrishnan tabling three CAG reports, including one on defence services.

Intervening in the matter, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the issue of Rafale has been discussed in the House and even the Supreme Court has given its judgement on it.

“The Prime Minister is scared of JPC. Since you are not heeding to the demand of JPC, we are staging a walkout,” Mr. Kharge said as his party staged a walkout. - PTI

Lok Sabha | 11:45 am

The proceedings of Lok Sabha were adjourned for nearly 20 minutes during Question Hour amid slogan shouting by Congress members over the Rafale issue.

Amid sloganeering in the Well, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan continued with the Question Hour for nearly 25 minutes.

But a peeved Speaker adjourned the House for nearly 20 minutes till 11:45 a.m. when the slogan shouting continued. Congress members were heard demanding constitution of a joint parliamentary committee to probe the Rafale fighter jet deal.

She was unhappy that Congress members were raising slogans and displaying placards and disrupting proceedings.

She said members were flouting rules by holding placards and raising slogans.

“Discussion (on Rafale) has already taken place ... every day you cannot disrupt ... it is below standards,” she said adjourning the House. - PTI

 

House reassembles. Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS Housing, replies to a question on informal settlements. All our schemes seek to provide better amenities in the existing settlements. We trying to resettle migrant people nearby where they work.

Opposition members continue with their sloganeering.

Kaushalendra Kumar (JD-U) seeks if there are adequate godowns to store foodgrains. Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan says it was bumper harvest this time and we have procured excess foodgrains. They are stored well. The godowns are used only in one or two quarters and is usually empty rest of the year. He says they are exploring ways to use these godowns throughout the year.

Rajya Sabha | 11:40 am

Govt says it has open mind on considering demand of lawyers

The government says it has an open mind on considering demand of lawyers, who are on a day-long strike seeking budgetary allocation for welfare of advocates, chamber facilities and accommodation.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad gave the assurance in Rajya Sabha during Zero Hour.

“Government has an open mind on their demands,” he said.

Sukhendu Sekhar Ray (TMC) raised the issue through a Zero Hour mention after broad consensus among members led to functioning of the House for the first time during the current Budget session that began on January 31.

He said 1.5 million lawyers across the country are on a strike on Tuesday demanding among other things insurance cover and housing.

Responding to the mention, Mr. Prasad said he wants to assure the member that the demands will be considered by the government with an open mind.

Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said along with an open mind the demands should be considered with a positive mind.

“Open mind includes positive mind,” Mr. Prasad said. - PTI

 

Rakesh Sharma (Nominated Member) raises the issue of pension not being provided to retired teaching staff of Delhi University.

Protests surface in Rajya Sabha after 40 minutes of smooth functioning.

 

SP members were up on their feet trying to raise their issue but nothing could be heard and Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu ordered that nothing would go on record.

Mr. Naidu said he cannot allow them to raise the issue as they have not given notice and no member can raise issue without the permission of the Chair.

SP members said they have received information that party president Akhilesh Yadav was stopped at Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow by police in a bid to prevent him from visiting Allahabad to attend an oath-taking ceremony at Allahabad University.

“Please go to your seat. Please don’t spoil the atmosphere. This is not the way. We have lost so much of valuable time,” he said before adjourning the proceedings till 2 p.m.

In a tweet, Akhilesh Yadav said, “The government is so afraid of oath ceremony of a student leader that it is stopping me at the airport to prevent me from visiting Allahabad." - PTI

 

House is adjourned till 2 p.m.

Rajya Sabha | 11:30 am

In Rajya Sabha, Tiruchi Siva (DMK) seeks exemption of firecracker units from environment clearence.

Nadimul Haque (AITC) says retrenchment of BSNL workers and freezing of wages must be revoked.

Motilal Vora (Congress) seeks early disposal of pending dues of sugarcane farmers.

Vikas Mahatme (BJP) says many castes are left out in the SC,ST and OBC due to different spellings followed in various states. He seeks a standard practice on spellings so that marginalised communities get their dues.

Elemaaram Kareem (CPI-M) seeks constitution of new wage board for working journalists. He also seeks to include television journalists under the ambit of wage board and Working Journalists Act.

Revati Raman Singh (SP) says there is disparity in the caste lists among Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. While some castes are listed under OBC is one State, they are considered SC in the other State, he points out.

Rajya Sabha | 11:20 am

Lok Sabha adjourned till 11:45 am as sloganeering continues and some members enter the well of the House.

Rajya Sabha | 11:10 am

Kahkashan Parveen (JD-U) seeks Bharat Ratna to former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur.

Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad suggests if the debate on Motion of Thanks taken up now itself. Chair disagrees.

Sukendu Shekar Roy (AITC) speaks about lawyers' strike. The seeks the government to look into their demands. Mr. Prasad says we have highest regard for the lawyer community. The government is dealing the issue with an open mind. "Have a positive mind too," the Chair says.

Rajya Sabha | 11:05 am

Leader of Oppostion Ghulam Nabi Azad says both Treasury and Opposition benches has the responsibility in the functioning of the House. He requests the House to take up the Motion of Thanks today and discussion of the Budget tomorrow.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Goel agrees. He also suggests extending the session.

Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu says he will proceed with Zero Hour now since he has accepted some notices.

Lok Sabha | 11:05 am

In Lok Sabha, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh is answering questions pertaining to nutri-farming. Opposition members led by Congress raise slogans seeking JPC into Rafale deal.

11:00 am

Rajya Sabha assembles. Ministers lay various papers on the table of the House.

Lok Sabha assembles. Question Hour is being taken up.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 2:42:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-budget-session-day-9-live-updates/article26245483.ece

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