Parliament Budget Session updates | Lok Sabha passes The Finance Bill, 2024

The session, which began on January 31, has been extended till February 10

February 07, 2024 10:36 am | Updated February 08, 2024 07:02 am IST

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla conducts the proceedings of the House during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla conducts the proceedings of the House during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: ANI

On Day 6 of the Budget session, Lok Sabha continued to debate the interim budget and the supplementary grant to Jammu & Kashmir with Opposition claiming that the budget was not an inclusive one and was a mere political gimmick. BJP MPs have countered it by listing the various Modi govt schemes and improvement in the economy.

Meanwhile, the Upper House took up Question Hour, and then continued to debate the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address at the start of the session. PM Narendra Modi responded to the Motion, affirming a BJP victory in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and issuing several ‘Modi guarantees’ for his third term. 

The House then took up discussion of the Interim Budget 2024-25, with treasury bench members highlighting the positive measures undertaken for four key pillars: women, youth,the poor and farmers and Opposition members raising issues such as inflation, price rise, lack of wage growth and other matters pertaining to economic growth and development. 

On Day 5 of the session, after a short debate, the Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024, and the Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024 via voice vote. Later, the Upper House passed the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Bill, 2024 via voice vote after another short debate.

Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha passed the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024 by voice vote after debate. The Constitution (Jammu & Kashmir) Scheduled Castes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and The Constitution (Jammu & Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023 were also passed with support from across party lines.

For updates on Day 5 of the Parliament budget session, click here.

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  • February 07, 2024 22:34
    Lok Sabha adjourned till tomorrow

    The House shall reconvene at 11 a.m. on February 08, 2024.

  • February 07, 2024 22:33
    Finance Bill, 2024 passed in Lok Sabha

    Lok Sabha passes The Finance Bill, 2024 by voice vote after Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary moved it for consideration and passage. 

    The Hindu provides a copy of the document in PDF/DOC format.

    Please click here to read

  • February 07, 2024 22:06
    You should not suffer from Congress phobia: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

    INC MP from West Bengal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says: “You should not suffer from Congress phobia. Congress remains and Congress wil be remaining. Nobody under the sun will be able to wipe out Congress.” 

    “The govt is not providing any source of financial help to the common people. What is the definition of Viksit Bharat? It has no shape, no idea. It is just a make believe idea, being propagated,” he says.

    Mr. Chowdhury speaks about Agnipath related issues.

    adhir feb 07.jpg

    BJP MP Nishikant Dubey points out that only matters related to Finance Bill should be discussed. 

    Mr. Chowdhury says that Agniveers need to be considered and be given provisions in the Finance Bill, as Agniveers don’t get any basic provisions and their families can’t get any benefits.

    BJP MPs again point out that these matters are irrelevant to the current discussion, as its related to Defence.

  • February 07, 2024 22:02
    Lok Sabha to discuss the Bill further

    The House extends time to discuss and pass the Finance Bill, 2024

  • February 07, 2024 21:48
    Thirumaavalavan speaks on tax regime

    VCK’s Thirumaavalavan, speaks about Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi’s conference where they had decided to bring back justice in the tax system. 

    “Businesses have been struggling after GST. The tax regime needs a change to help those who have suffered losses. The 14th Finance Commission decided at 42% tax share to the States. The 15th Finance Commission had reduced the share to 41%. But, I condemn the fact that the share came down to 35% tax share from the 14th Finance Commission and 30% tax share from the 15th Finance Commission.” 

  • February 07, 2024 21:31
    “Fund allocation for SC/ST students’ higher education has come down”

    AIADMK MP Ravindranath says: “I am proud that our Finance Minister is from Tamil Nadu. I take this opportunity to thank the PM Modi ji on allocation of funds in direct benefit transfer, Jal Jeevan mission, tap water connections in Tamil Nadu, Chennai-Bengaluru expressway. The budget by the NDA govt will make our country prosper.”

    DMK MP D. Ravikumar speaks in Tamil; talks about the fund allocation for SC/ST students. He says that the SC/ST students need scholarships for higher education, whereas OBC category students’ education is affected as the fund allocations have come down in this year’s budget. The MP also informs the House that the allocation to tribal students’ higher education has also come down.

  • February 07, 2024 21:17
    Members speak on the Finance Bill

    BJD MP from Odisha Bhartruhari Mahtab welcomes the Finance Bill, 2024. “The direct tax system is a very direct system. It is high time that the Ministry take a look at the cases of income tax issues.” 

    KC(M) MP from Kerala, Thomas Chazhikadan says, “The Finance Minister disappointed the middle income group who are suffering from inflation and price rise. The central govt is imposing economical blockade in Kerala. The finances of Kerala govt is very stringent now.”

    He added, “Central govt is using the Governors to manipulate the legislative measures. The legislation passed by the state govt are not being signed by the governors. They are interfering in the federal structure of the country. MPs will do a dharna tomorrow in Jantar Mantar.”

  • February 07, 2024 20:04
    Lok Sabha to work till 10 p.m.

    Having taken up the Finance Bill (2024) for consideration and passing, the house extended to function till 10 p.m. today

  • February 07, 2024 20:02
    Rajya Sabha adjourned till 11 am tomorrow

    The House shall reconvene at 11 am on February 8, 2024.

  • February 07, 2024 20:00
    Special mentions laid on the table of the House in Rajya Sabha
  • February 07, 2024 20:00
    LoP’s 400 paar remark not to be expunged: Chair Mr. Dhankhar rules

    Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar offers his ruling on a matter raised by Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, who in his communication dated February 5, 2024, had taken exception to the expunging of his speech during the motion of thanks for the President’s speech. 

    About the particular remark made by Mr. Kharge pertaining to 400 paar, Mr. Dhankhar says that he had a lot of time to address his mistake. Mr. Dhankhar says he cannot sustain the stance of the Leader of Opposition on this matter. 

    INC MP Shaktisinh Goel objects to Mr. Dhankhar’s ruling, which the Chair says is not in order.

  • February 07, 2024 19:04
    Why was Rahul Gandhi in sensitive area in Northeast during Ayodhya pran pratishtha: BJP MP Pabitra Magherita

    Why was Rahul Gandhi in sensitive areas in Northeast when the entire country was watching the pran pratishtha of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya, asks BJP MP Pabitra Margherita, who hails from Assam. He is speaking of Mr. Gandhi’s Bharat Nyaya Jodo Yatra, which was visiting this area during this time. He indicates that these were sensitive areas where communal clashes have taken place, and asks if Mr. Gandhi was planning for something bad to take place. 

    His words cause a ruckus in the House, but Chair Rakesh Sinha asks members to sit down, indicating that nothing is unparliamentary in the member’s speech and saying that nothing else will go on record. 

    He says that no communal clashes happened in the last 10 years in Assam, saying that more than 100 people were killed during the previous government’s tenure. 

  • February 07, 2024 19:02
    Govt’s external debt is “na ke barabar”: FM Nirmala Sitharaman in Lok Sabha

    Responding to concerns about the International Monetary Fund’s report enumerating debt to GDP ratio woes, Ms Sitharaman held that it must be taken in context. “This is what has been enumerated for an ‘extreme worst-case scenario’, and is not fait accompli,” she said. 

    Ms Sitharaman assured the government’s measures towards debt structuring and core debt would keep the situation under control. 

    She explained to the house that for advanced countries debt to GDP also stand at 100%. Ms Sitharaman held that govt’s external debt is “Na ke barabar” (almost non-existing).

  • February 07, 2024 18:59
    Finance Minister responds to concerns about inflation in the Lok Sabha

    Responding to concerns about inflation, Ms Sitharaman observed CPI Inflation was within the tolerability threshold of 4% (+/-2%). 

    She told the house that provisioning of Bharat Atta, Bharat Dal and other similar essentialities. Ms Sitharaman informed the govt had sold 2.37 lakh metric tonnes of atta (as on Jan 28), dal 2.97 lakh metric tonnes (as on Jan 31) and 36 lmt of onions until Feb 3. 

  • February 07, 2024 18:54
    Finance Minister presents the employment scenario in her response at the Lok Sabha

    Summarising the state of employment in the country, quoting official data, the Finance Minister told the house unemployment rate fell from 6% in 2017-18 to 3.2% in 2022-23. Furthermore, representation of youth in the labour force increased from 38.2% to 45.5% growth – representing a 6.3% growth in absolute figures. 

    Furthermore, since May 2023, net new subs EPFO (net figures) for the 18-25 consistently exceeded 50% of new subscribers, she told the house. Women participation stood at 37% in the overall workforce. 

  • February 07, 2024 18:36
    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman responds to discussion on the interim budget in the lower house

    Ms Sitharaman enumerating highlights of the budget, said that the allocated capex accounted for the higher GDP growth and with fiscal deficit being better managed, it is expected to be at 5.8% in the current financial year, with an expectation to be at 5.1% in the forthcoming year. According to the finance minister, this was made possible by being “fairly lot more prudent”. 

  • February 07, 2024 18:36
    We are standing with government if we can help solve issues: Dr. Ashok Kumar Mittal

    Dr. Ashok Kumar Mittal, AAP MP from Punjab, says that he has come as a postman to bring the messages of various persons who look to the budget for helping them, first highlighting issues pertaining to farmers. He highlights that fertilizer and food subsidy has been reduced. 

    He says that middle class persons are disappointed that there is no reduction in income tax for them. 

    We talk about atmanirbhar Bharat, but imports from China have increased, some policy should be instituted for this, he says. 

    There are many issues to solve and I hope that we can solve it together, he says, adding that he is speaking on behalf of his party. We are standing with the government to take our country ahead, he says. 

  • February 07, 2024 18:28
    Members of Opposition benches raise concerns about micro-economic indicators of the country in light of treasury’s assertion about economic development

    RSP MP from Kollam N.K. Premachandran, referring to the government speaking of economic development more often, sought why then the basic concerns of the people were not being addressed? Previously, elaborating on the notion he pointed to Bangladesh’s per-capita GDP being higher than that of India. 

    Earlier in the day, AIMIM MP from Aurangabad (Maharashtra) Imtiyaz Jaleel had aired concerns about the reduction in minority budget by 38% in 2023-24. Whilst noting that the same was increased in the latest interim budget, he sought the government to put forth the expenditure incurred towards the same. He also raised concerns about the pre-metric scholarship being reduced from Rs 433 crore to 326 crores. 

    The Aurangabad MP in his address also stated that the government had written off Rs 14.6 lakh crores owed by banks between 2014 and 2023. Holding that while 14.07% had been recovered, he sought when the remainder would be recovered. 

  • February 07, 2024 18:26
    Increase GST exemption limit for MSMES to Rs. 2 lakh crore: BJD MP Sujit Kumar

    BJD MP Sujit Kumar requests that the exemption for filing GST for MSMEs be increased to Rs. 2 lakh crore, from its present limit which is Rs. 20 lakhs. 

    We need to focus more on defence, he says, sharing that current spending is 2%, and that it is recommended to be at least 3%. He also points out that there was a reduction in the budget outlay for education, and points out that the outlay should be increased. 

    He says that tourism to sites in Odisha should be increased. 

  • February 07, 2024 18:18
    Modi Govt worked for welfare of the people in Amethi: Union Minister Smriti Irani

    Specifically pointing to the work done by her government, Ms Irani held that while the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance (UPA), which held fort in the state for 48 years, worked with a sense of grudge whilst her government worked for welfare of the people. 

    Ms Irani enumerated that during the five-decade rule of the erstwhile “Gandhi parivaar”, referring to the 2011 Census data, stated that 62% families in the region did not have electricity in their homes. Further, about 84% families did not have proper toilets and 20% deprived of access to drinking water from taps. She also held, while during the UPA regime 200 factories were forced to shut down, the ‘double engine sarkaar’ provided support to more than 6,000 MSMEs. 

  • February 07, 2024 18:16
    Union Minister Smriti Irani attacks opposition for lack of development in Amethi during the UPA regime

    Launching a sharp attack at the opposition, Union Minister Smriti Irani alleged that every time somebody stood to challenge the “Gandhi parvivar”, they were “humiliated” and “disrespected”. Specifically referring to the treatment meted out to Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Rajmohan Gandhi – she accused the erstwhile regime of having bricked him at the Shahgarh block. “They (Sonia Gandhi’s family) would call him ‘nakli Gandhi’ and usurped the surname for political reasons,” she stated. 

    She added that current member of the Lok Sabha Maneka Gandhi and former union minister Sharad Yadav too were humiliated when contesting from Amethi. She held that the regime thus cannot respect Modi and appreciate the work in her constituency. 

    The Union Minister had began her address stating that becoming a member of parliament for the first time is always memorable. However, she enumerated, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi being at the helm of affairs, the opportunity transcends to being “historical”. 

    She specifically pointed to the government passing through bill according 33% reservation to women in elected offices. Taking a jibe at the opposition, she held that while Mr Modi was endowed the opportunity to perform the pran-pratishthan of the newly inaugurated Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the opposition decided to boycott the event. 

  • February 07, 2024 18:00
    First time defence budget is above Rs. 6 lakh crores: Lt. Gen (Retd.) Dr D.P Vats

    Lt. Gen (Retd.) Dr. D.P Vats, BJP MP from Haryana, says that the defence budget has been increased above 6 lakh crores for the first time. He says that the forms of war have changed, and we should be prepared and there should be trained persons everywhere. 

    He highlights that Agniveers will not be left in the lurch, they will be given reservation in CAPF, Ministry of Defence and for Haryana agniveers, in their State as well. 

  • February 07, 2024 17:55
    Work hard for at least two months: IUML MP Abdul Wahab to government, ministers

    IUML MP Abdul Wahab asks the government to work hard for India for at least two months. He also asks that black money be brought back to India. 

    Dr. M. Thambidurai, AIADMK MP, says that Tamil Nadu is not being given sufficient funds for road projects and civil aviation. He requests the Finance Minister to give more funds to help the State recover from the effect of Cyclone Michaung, but says that this does not excuse the State from also taking due effort for the same. 

  • February 07, 2024 17:52
    Working with PM Modi as elected representative turns out to be historical: Union Minister Smriti Irani in Lok Sabha

    Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani began her address stating that becoming a member of parliament for the first time is always memorable. However, she enumerated, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi being at the helm of affairs, the opportunity transcends to being “historical”. 

    She specifically pointed to the government passing through bill according 33% reservation to women in elected offices. Taking a jibe at the opposition, she held that while Mr Modi was endowed the opportunity to perform the pran-pratishthan of the newly inaugurated Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the opposition decided to boycott the event. 

  • February 07, 2024 17:44
    BJP engaging in ‘fiscal federal terrorism’: AITC MP Dr. Santanu Sen

    AITC MP Dr. Santanu Sen said that the Union government’s differential treatment of individuals versus conglomerates reflects how different Indians are taxed but also how they earn. He said that inflation and price rise was not mentioned by the Finance Minister, and highlights that wages for labourers have remained stagnant over the past few years. He alleges that the Prime Minister’s speech was filled with ‘false promises.’ 

    He accuses the BJP of engaging in ‘fiscal federal terrorism’ because they cannot fight Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress, saying that they owe Rs. 6,900 crores under NREGA, Rs. 9000 crore for Awas Yojana and Rs. 7000 crores for paddy procurement under NFSA. 

  • February 07, 2024 17:32
    You speak of new middle class, but how do you treat current middle class: INC MP Imran Pratapgarhi

    INC MP Imran Pratapgarhi says that instead of providing houses over people’s heads, the centre is bulldozing homes as well as democracy. 

    How is it ‘s abka saath. sabka vikas,’ when you have taken away the Maulana Azad fellowship, taken away from the Minority Affairs department, he asks. 

    He highlights that the Finance Minister mentioned that some trains are being converted to Vande Bharat trains, but questions why nothing is being said about railway security, mentioning the Balasore accident. He also says that the condition of stations and railway coaches is poor. 

    You make films tax-free but don’t waive examination for students, he says. Prime Minister Modi speaks about the ‘new’ middle class, but how do you treat the current middle class, he asks? 

    He says that the youth is angry, and no provisions have been made for them in the interim budget. 

    There is no place for foodgrains for the poor in this Amrit Kaal budget, he says, asserting that it will be the last budget of this government. 

  • February 07, 2024 17:21
    We should focus on the rural economy for inclusive development: MP Dr. Fauzia Khan in Rajya Sabha

    Dr. Fauzia Khan, NCP MP, congratulates the Finance Minister for bringing the fiscal deficit below the target. She also expresses pride about seeing the fact that the Finance Minister is a woman. 

    She says that the speech mentioned mending the economy, and asks whether while mending the economy, we have been “bending towards the wealthiest of all.” She highlights that according to the India Consumer Economy 360 survey, the income of the richest has increased by 20%, the income of the middle-rich has increased by 20%, but the income of middle class, lower middle class and the poor has decreased by 20% each. 

    The capital expenditure is growing, that is good, but we should focus on the rural economy, she says. India cannot ignore its rural economy, particularly the agriculture sector, if it wants to achieve its goal of inclusive development, she says. 

  • February 07, 2024 16:41
    Rajya Sabha: It should be the responsibility of the government to take criticism constructively, says Congress MP Deepender Singh Hooda

    I urge the government to take cognisance of their shortcomings as pointed out by the Opposition, Mr. Hooda says.

    GDP growth rate slowed in the last ten years as compared to ten years of the UPA government, he adds. “GDP of any country relies on three aspects -- investment, consumption, and exports. Net FDI increased 1087% under the UPA government, while in ten years of the NDA government, it grew only 70.7%,” Mr. Hooda says, quoting RBI data. He also says that Indian exports grew from $80 billion to $321 billion in ten years of UPA government, but under the NDA government, it only grew from $321 billion to $447 billion.

  • February 07, 2024 16:34
    ‘UCC cannot be imposed’: Samadani

    IUML MP Dr. Abdussamad Samadani claims that the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) cannot be imposed as it is unconstitutional. He claims that govt is using the back door by passing UCC via state governments. Listing the infringement of minority status, attack on minorities’ places of worship and removal minority status of their institutions. 

    “This is the decade of decadence. How can you call yourself inclusive? Come back to real sense of pluralism and secularism,” says the MP. Countering his claims, Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti asserts that the Ram Mandir’s construction is based on court’s order denying the allegations that Modi govt is attacking minorities.

    RSP MP N. K. Premachandran is in the Chair.

  • February 07, 2024 16:25
    ‘How are you empowering Lakhpati Didis?’: Raut

    Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut questions how the Centre is going to empower women by ‘Lakhpati Didi’, while debating the interim budget in the Lok Sabha. Terming it a new term ahead of polls, he claims that it is mere puffery.

    He states that while the Centre’s MUDRA scheme gave loans to several young women, the disbursal stopped within months leaving several recipients languishing. He also urges the Centre to merge the Konkan Railway with the Indian railways so that it can benefit from the central govt’s allocation.

  • February 07, 2024 15:53
    Rajya Sabha takes up general discussion on the Interim Budget

    YSCRP MP V. Vijayasai Reddy says that the discussion should take place when the Opposition is also present in the House, but Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar encourages him to go on anyway.

    Mr. Reddy begins his address by criticising the Congress party for their misrule when they were in power, saying that they have “poisoned the Indian economy”. He adds that income inequality has reduced during non-Congress party rule.

  • February 07, 2024 15:44
    Rajya Sabha adopts Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address
  • February 07, 2024 15:41
    Rajya Sabha: PM Modi wraps up his speech by thanking the President for her address
  • February 07, 2024 15:39
    ‘India was pushed to fragile 5 in UPA years’: Sinha

    BJP MP Jayant Sinha recalls how India had been pushed to the fragile five economies in the UPA’s10 years of scams, balance of payments crisis, low foreign investment, low tax collection and NPAs. “We used our first term to fill these potholes under late FM Arun Jaitley’s direction”. He also lists the financial laws like GST, bankruptcy, DBT and essential amenities like free housing, water, cooking gas, toilets, banking, ration. 

    Condemning the Opposition for cherry-picking data from various global studies, he urges them to read the NITI Aayog’s multi-dimensional poverty data which says 45 crore people have been uplifted in the past 10 years. The Lok Sabha is discussing the interim budget 2024-25.

  • February 07, 2024 15:27
    The third term of our government isn’t far, PM Modi says in Rajya Sabha

    Some people call it Modi 3.0, he says, adding that the government will use all their energy to create a “viksit Bharat”. He also promises water connection in all poor households, as well as better medical and education facilities for the citizens of India.

  • February 07, 2024 15:19
    Rajya Sabha: Prime Minister Narendra Modi praises State governments for participation in the Aspirational Districts Programme

    The ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme was launched in January 2018. It aims to transform 115 districts that were identified from across 28 States. It operates on three core aspects: Convergence (of central and State schemes), Collaboration (of central, State-level ‘prabhari’ officers and district collectors), and Competition among districts.

  • February 07, 2024 15:08
    ‘Not an inclusive budget’: Sule

    NCP MP Supriya Sule congratulates Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on her sixth budget presentation, lauds her for politely answering to her queries while discussing the interim budget in the Lok Sabha. 

    Slamming the export ban on onions, she asks “This govt does not love Indian farmers. They don’t mind if Pakistan’s farmers earn more but they are not allowing Indian produce to go out. There is no data of doubling farmers’ income”. She also seeks a loan waiver for Maharashtra’s farmers and interest rates of 3-5% to all Jan Dhan account holders. 

    Talking about the disruption created by Artificial Intelligence, she says that by investing Rs 1 crore created 33 jobs in 1990, now that has fallen to 8 jobs. “What is your plan to tackle unemployment as jobs fall due to rise in technology?,” she asks. 

    Highlighting the probe into PayTM, she reminds that the company had run biggest ads after demonetisation and now is under scanner for money laundering. “What is wrong then? PayTM or demonetisation?,” she questions adding, “What is your policy on cryptocurrency?”. Behooving the Centre to be fiscally prudent, she reminds the government of the ballooning fiscal deficit. She concludes by advising the govt to focus not only capital expenditure and infrastructure but also put money in people’s pocket.

  • February 07, 2024 15:01
    Rajya Sabha: “Sabka sath sabka vikas” is not just a slogan, it’s my guarantee, says PM Modi

    The Prime Minister also tells the Opposition to not “spread lies” because it reduces their credibility in society.

    Congress has alleged that the BJP has ruined PSUs, but we should remember what they did with BSNL, MTNL, HAL, and Air India, Mr. Modi says. He also adds that when the UPA government was voted out of power in 2014, there were 234 PSUs in the country. “Today, that number stands at 254. If we had been selling these entities, how has the count increased,” he says.

  • February 07, 2024 14:41
    ‘Interim budget devoid of reality’: Chandra

    In the Lok Sabha debate on interim budget, BSP MP Girish Chandra slams the breakdown of law and order in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, highlighting the rise of attacks on women. He also bats for the government recognition of Anganwadi workers and laments the rise in farmer suicides. Terming the interim budget as a ‘political gimmick’ ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, he says it is not based on ground reality issues like poverty, inflation, unemployment and farm distress. 

  • February 07, 2024 14:34
    Rajya Sabha: PM Modi raises questions related to the influence of British rule on Congress party

    If the Congress party wasn’t influenced by the British, then why wasn’t the Indian Penal Code, which was made by them, repealed and replaced, Mr. Modi asks. “Why were hundreds of laws made during the British rule allowed to continue?” he adds.

  • February 07, 2024 14:30
    Rajya Sabha: Congress did not consider Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar worthy of Bharat Ratna, PM Modi alleges

    Instead, they kept giving the award to their own family members, he adds.

  • February 07, 2024 14:28
    Rajya Sabha: PM Modi blames Congress for trying to wedge a divide between north and south India

    Prime Minister Modi’s remark comes after D.K. Suresh, a Congress MP in Lok Sabha, recently commented that the southern States could seek a separate country over the injustice meted out in the allocation of funds. Arguing that there was injustice in the distribution of funds between and northern and southern States, with the latter getting a raw deal, Mr. Suresh said, “We are seeing injustice on all forms... If we do not condemn it, there could be a situation when we (southern States) have to demand a separate country.” He was speaking to presspersons in Delhi after the interim Budget was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1.

  • February 07, 2024 14:19
    ‘Andhra needs special status’: YSRCP MP

    YSRCP MP Maddila Gurumoorthy speaks on the need for special category status for Andhra Pradesh blaming the unscientific bifurcation of the state into two - Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, leading to loss of its capital Hyderabad. He also sought additional Central funding of Rs 17,145 crores for the development of Amaravati as its capital as per revised estimates. 

    Lok Sabha is discussing the Interim Union Budget for 2024-25 and Supplementary Demands for Grant (Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir)

  • February 07, 2024 14:18
    Rajya Sabha: LoP Mallikarjun Kharge rises to object to PM Modi’s remarks

    PM Modi continues with his speech. “You are ready to not listen to me, but you cannot drown my voice,” the Prime Minister says.

    Mr. Kharge and Opposition members continue their protest. “Nothing will go on record,” Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar tells the Opposition.

  • February 07, 2024 14:16
    I couldn’t say it earlier, but I want to especially thank LoP Mallikarjun Kharge for his views, says PM Modi in Rajya Sabha

    “I was listening to Mr. Kharge very intently...and I was wondering how he got the freedom to speak so much. That was probably because the two ‘special commanders’ of the party weren’t around,” says Mr. Modi, poking fun at Congress party leaders.

  • February 07, 2024 14:10
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi rises to respond to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address in Rajya Sabha
  • February 07, 2024 14:06
    Rajya Sabha: ‘Modi worked for OBCs, not Congress’

    BJP MP Surendra Singh Nagar said Congress’s vision excludes OBCs and discourage reservation, policies which go back to Jawaharlal Nehru’s leadership. On the contrary, PM Modi has worked for the welfare of OBCs. 

    Prime Minister Modi has also arrived in the Upper House. He is expected to reply to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address today.

  • February 07, 2024 13:51
    ‘Everybody has become a priest of Brahminical Hinduism, especially the media’, says K. Keshava Rao

    Commenting on the discussion around Ram temple, BRS MP K. Keshava Rao expressed the ‘anguish’ of being a Hindu who is undermined and looked down upon by those of the Sanatan dharma. “What you are talking about is not Hinduism, but Brahmanism”, Dr. Rao says. I am a Hindu, but I’m not allowed to sit or eat with others, “this is my practical experience”, he says. 

    Mr. Rao warns against mixing dharma in politics. “Don’t call [Dravidians] anti-Indian if we interpret Hinduism in our way,” says Mr. Rao in Rajya Sabha.

  • February 07, 2024 13:50
    Budget anti-poor, TMC MP Sougata Ray says in Lok Sabha

    Terming the interim Budget as “anti-poor”, TMC’s Sougata Ray alleged that the Narendra Modi-led government wants to finish the Opposition-ruled States. That is why the Budget is for the rich. It is an anti-poor Budget. 

    Citing the example of MGNREGA, Mr. Ray noted that allocation for the “best project” for the poor has come down. For the poorest of the poor, there is no money, he added. “Don’t take the public for granted. This is not wise,” the TMC leader said.

    “One of the major jobs in a Budget is to bring structural reforms in the economy. The government has lost the plot. Major structural reforms were carried out between 1991 and 1996 when Manmohan Singh was Finance Minister. Tax structures were reformed between 1996 and 1998. Between 2004 and 2014, reforms were carried out in the securities market. After that, nothing has happened. Yes, GST was a structural reform but GST loss disrupted existing trade structures,” the MP added.

  • February 07, 2024 13:44
    Rajya Sabha: ‘PM Modi’s inauguration of a Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi is a great achievement’

    NCP’s Praful Patel mentioned the gains made in uplifting farmers’ well-being, economic and manufacturing house, and we are the most advanced country in renewable energy “which will benefit future generations”. Coal and petroleum products prices will reduce; transition to green hydrogen, solar energy, and ethanol are notable examples of innovations, he says.

    Among other things, Mr. Patel said India is succeeding in parts where the world lags. “Modi is a Vishwaguru,” mentioning initiatives to renew relations with Islamic nations and the inauguration of a Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.

  • February 07, 2024 13:30
    BJP’s Nishikant Dubey slams Opposition in interim Budget discussion

    Speaking next in the discussion on the interim Budget, BJP’s Nishikant Dubey trained guns on the Opposition, saying it failed to ensure development and progress during its rule. Mr. Dubey also slammed the Congress for starting the the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Manipur, saying the move exposed the party’s political motives.

    Here are his full remarks.

  • February 07, 2024 13:25
    ‘Divine smile of the idol lord Ram signifies good times to come’: MP in Rajya Sabha

    Haryana MP Kartikeya Sharma continues the discussion on the President’s Address. He said the Modi Government’s list of achievements is endless, “but some people can’t see it”. Among other things, he said it is “imperative to acknowledge the return of Lord Shri Ram to his birthplace”. While Opposition members pointed out the number of the President used Lord Ram’s name in the Address, Mr. Sharma urged members not to take the usage into another context, noting that “this is a matter of faith, culture and custom”. 

    In response to the Opposition’s critique of press freedom and dubbing the media as ‘Modia’, Mr. Sharma said “such statements should not be encouraged in the House”.

  • February 07, 2024 13:14
    Jaya Bachchan: ‘Brutal crime against Dalit girls in UP testament to how unsafe girls are’

    MP Jaya Bachchan in Rajya Sabha spoke about youth power, farmers, women’s empowerment and poverty reduction in the President’s Address. The government has written off Rs. 10.5 lakh crore for companies, but they refuse to waive off farm loans, Ms. Bachchan says. She cited data on farmers’ suicides and a lack of assessment of farmers’ income. 

    The parliament in a special session passed the Women’s Reservation Bill, but this Bill may take several years before it comes into effect due to a delimitation exercise, Ms. Bachchan adds. “What is the point of this Bill if it is going to take years before women get democratic rights, and why do a special session for this cosmetic Bill?”

    The government’s silence on the question of caste census also violates the rights and interests of the poorest of poor, Ms. Bachchan adds.

  • February 07, 2024 13:02
    Rajya Sabha resumes discussion on Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address

    The Upper House continues the discussion on Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address.

    PM Narendra Modi is also scheduled to reply to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address in Rajya Sabha today.

  • February 07, 2024 13:01
    Question Hour concludes in Rajya Sabha

    Subhas Sarkar, MoS Education, said the education policy is on the basis of medical science. MP Jaya Bachchan asked about teacher education, to which Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan said the government is going to initiate an ambitious programme. Ms. Bachchan says “this was not my question.” “Take recourse to rules, ma’am.,” says Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar. 

    Question Hour then concluded in the Upper House.

  • February 07, 2024 12:59
    Rajya Sabha: PMAY, MGNREGA under focus in Question Hour

    The Upper House witnessed a debate on fund allocation under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (MGNREGA) and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

    “If you are not satisfied with the answer, take recourse to rules,” Mr. Dhankhar said, when MoS Rural Development refused to answer a question about the social audit of MGNREGA citing the supplementary was not related to the question.

    MP A.A. Rahim asked about fund allocation to Kerala, as well as the government’s decision to have the PMAY logo inscribed on the houses of beneficiaries. Minister of Rural Development Giriraj Singh responded with figures saying Modi government has increased allocation in the last 10 years, as compared to the UPA government. 

  • February 07, 2024 12:49
    Why have funds to Kerala reduced for social justice, asks MP Elamaram Kareem

    In the Upper House, MoS of Social Justice and Empowerment A. Narayanaswamy answered questions about the national action plan for drug demand reduction and aid to senior citizens. MP Elamaram Kareem asked about the ‘drastic’ reduction of funds to Kerala. “What is the specific reason for that other than political?” he said. Mr. Narayanaswamy refused the claim. “There is no question of fund reduction...After the BJP came to power and Modi became PM, we changed the scholarship model to 60-40 (60% of funds being financed by the Central Government),” he said, adding that the budget allocation is also increasing. “In our Budget, we have allotted for SCs an amount of Rs. 1.30 lakh crore. We are working for the social sector in the country.”

    MP P. Wilson asked about reservations for OBCs in all-India seats in National Law Universities. Mr. Narayanaswamy said this is not related to the main question, to which Mr. Wilson replied, “We are talking about social justice in Kerala.” 

    Concluding the exchange, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said, “[Mr. Wilson] can have a cup of tea with the Minister” for the answer.

  • February 07, 2024 12:37
    ‘India will be the skill manpower hub of the globe’, says Dharmendra Pradhan

    Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan is answering questions about the skilling ecosystem. MP K.R. Suresh Reddy asked about unemployment and the status of national skill qualification, to which Mr. Pradhan said the unemployment ratio has drastically reduced. “Skilling are vocational subject. From next academic year, skilling, art and culture and sports will be made part of the proper textbook. This is a paradigm shift by the Modi Government to look into the global need,” he said, adding that India will be the skill manpower hub of the globe..

    When asked about the region-specific courses., Mr. Pradhan said Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) have realigned their course on how the drone ecosystem will emerge --in the healthcare, logistical, coding and ITI sectors. 

    MP V. Sivadasan said there is a lag in the expenditure for the skill development programme, to which Mr. Pradhan said ITI and skilling are not the monopoly issue of Central Government. “[Mr. Sivadasan] can disagree with me, but he cannot laugh about my vocabulary.” 

    Chairman Dhankhar later said, “[Mr. Pradhan] you are a man of substance...don’t take it to your heart. People laugh about me also, let’s take in our spirit.”

  • February 07, 2024 12:25
    Nitin Gadkari in Rajya Sabha: ‘We will build roads using the common man’s money and make sure it benefits them’

    Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari answered questions about road connectivity for religious tourism, BOT projects and toll plazas in different States. He highlighted the progress made in religious tourism, such as building the Ayodhya circuit. We are trying to do the same for Jain, Muslim religions, he said. 

    About the functioning of BOT projects, Mr. Gadkari said, “We will build roads using the common man’s money and make sure it benefits them”. About the location and fee of toll plazas, he said the government has tried to place tolls a little farther on the outside of the city, so that villagers who travel far should not have to pay for tolls.

  • February 07, 2024 12:21
    Congress’ Shashi Tharoor targets Modi government over economic mismanagement

    Initiating the debate on interim Budget in Lok Sabha, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor remarked that people have been betrayed by the economic mismanagement of the government over the past decade. “It has left the people of India staring at widespread distress, hardships, low income and high unemployment. He spoke about the “reckless decision” of demonetisation, which the MP said broke the back of the Indian economy.

  • February 07, 2024 12:13
    Discussion begins on interim Budget in Lok Sabha

    When the Lower House took up discussion on the interim Budget, the Opposition objected to the absence of the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman from the House. Amid uproar as the Opposition threatened to walk out, Minister Piyush Goyal said that it is the collective responsibility of the government.

  • February 07, 2024 12:02
    Budget session extended

    With the conclusion of Question Hour, the Lok Sabha agreed to extension of the ongoing Budget Session till Saturday, February 10. The session, which began on January 31, was otherwise slated to end on February 9.

    With the agenda items like the Finance Bill, budget discussion and demand for grants yet to be taken up by Parliament and the white paper also to be tabled, sources had said it was considered necessary to extend the session’s duration by a day.

  • February 07, 2024 12:01
    Question Hour in Rajya Sabha

    The Upper House takes up Question Hour.

    Two supplementary questions posed to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj went unanswered in the Upper House. MP Fauzia Khan asked about the underutilised funds allocated for tribal communities, and AAP’s Sandeep Kumar Pathak said the PESA law remains only on paper. “It has been 28 years, 10 years since your government came to power, how long will it take to implement PESA?” he asked. 

    The Minister of Panchayati Raj said both questions were not linked to the question and said they could be provided separately. 

    Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar later said, “The Minister is well within his rights to say that the supplementary does not emanate from the question before the House.”

  • February 07, 2024 11:56
    Rajya Sabha: Communal language, unclaimed pension fund among issues raised

    Ministers are raising sundry matters with the permission of the Chair. MP K. Laxman drew attention to the merger of Secunderabad Cantt with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation; G.V. L. Narasimha Rao of Visakhapatnam says there is a “rising concern about the high level of ocean pollution...it has huge negative implications for the future.” BJP MP Vijay Pal Singh Tomar said poverty and employment remain a worry, and urged the government to establish schools and colleges in villages. At the start, INC’s Pramod Tiwari said he is seeing a trend of communal language being used by people in power to satisfy communities.

    DMK’s M. Shanmugam highlighted the delay in increasing the minimum monthly pension of workers as demanded by various state unions. “A huge amount is lying with the Finance Ministry as unclaimed amount,” Mr. Shanmugam said.

  • February 07, 2024 11:52
    Congress MP questions import of mobile phone components from China

    Lok Sabha Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi questioned the Centre over the import of mobile components from China. “Made in India phones have Made in China components. Why is India importing such components from China? Why are we not reducing our dependency on China especially when there are privacy and surveillance concerns?” the MP asked. 

    Adding to Minister Anupriya Singh Patel’s quick reply, Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said the component ecosystem is responding well to the growing demand in India. “It is not true that all components are coming from China. They are also coming from Japan, Korea, Europe, Taiwan and America. India will soon become a global supplier in this segment,” Mr. Goyal responded.

  • February 07, 2024 11:34
    ‘Happy to revise unparliamentary expressions. may constitute a committee’: Dhankhar in Rajya Sabha

    Heated exchange unfolded in the Upper House over Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge’s expunged remarks. Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said he has gone through Mr. Kharge’s submission and will give his ruling on it later. “I will be too happy to revise unparliamentary expressions. I may constitute a committee on that point,” Mr. Dhankhar said.

    Other ministers raised the issue of expunging records. “The way 10-minute long speeches are being expunged records...this never happened before in Rajya Sabha. . The word is removed, not the entire reference,” says MP Pramod Tiwari. To this, Mr. Kharge cites Rule 238(A) proviso: “the chairman may at any time prohiit any member from making any such allegation if he is of the opinion that such allegation is derogatory to the council”.

    You will have a ruling on this before the course of the day, Mr. Dhankhar says.

  • February 07, 2024 11:27
    Heated exchange in Lok Sabha as Railways Minister says non-cooperation from few States stalling projects

    Replying to a question from Chalakudy MP Benny Behanan on the overbridge at Kotikulam, Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw remarked that the issue is a case study on how the lack of cooperation from the State government can lead to a lack of development. “The railway overbridge on Kotikulam was sanctioned in 2006-07. The work was entrusted to the State government as requested. From 2006-07 to 2019-20, the State government couldn’t execute the work… Even today, the government of Kerala has no interest in the development of railways… Cooperation from the State government has been lacking due to which the projects in Kerala are suffering.”

    Intervening in the discussion later with another question, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the Centre can’t shirk responsibility on the pretext of the State government. A heated exchange ensued as the Minister said that a few States were not ready to cooperate while the Centre was working with an open mind.

  • February 07, 2024 11:22
    Mallikarjun Kharge objects to remarks expunged from records

    In the Upper House, the Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge objects to his remarks being removed from record. I have neither named a Minister or a State, so no rules of procedures have been violated, Mr. Kharge said. Moreover, in the remarks that have been expunged, there were no comments on “persons of high authority”. He read Rule 238 which clarifies the said violation. 

    The tweet I referred to was based on a “factual situation”, Mr. Kharge noted. He asked for his remarks to be restored in the House proceedings. “This is the second or third time my speeches are cut. I didn’t want to speak to the media before I bring this to your notice,” he said. We can discuss Manusmriti, but why remove the reference to untouchability, Mr. Kharge added.

    Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar asks Mr. Kharge not to read the expunged motion in the House because “it has been held unparliamentary”. 

  • February 07, 2024 11:08
    Lok Sabha extended to February 10: RS Chairman

    Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar announced that Lok Sabha has been extended up to February 10, Saturday “to complete essential government business”. The decision was taken after consensus among members and ministers in a Business Advisory committee meeting held yesterday, he said.

    “There will be no Zero Hour or Question Hour on that day,” Mr. Dhankhar said.

  • February 07, 2024 11:07
    India hasn’t blocked any trade route: Centre in Lok Sabha

    Replying to a question by Congress MP Jasbir Singh Gill on the status of trade with Middle East and Central Asian countries, Minister Anupriya Singh Patel informed the House that India hasn’t blocked any trade land route. “We have to understand that all the transit route is via Pakistan. So the responsibility lies with Pakistan and not India,” Ms. Patel said.

  • February 07, 2024 11:02
    Proceedings begin in Lok Sabha

    The Lower House has commenced proceedings of the day with Question Hour. 

  • February 07, 2024 11:01
    Rajya Sabha commences

    The Upper House is in session. Papers are being laid on the table.

  • February 07, 2024 10:36
    Congress MP Manish Tewari gives adjournment motion in Lok Sabha, seeks discussion on border situation with China

    Congress MP Manish Tewari has moved an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha seeking a discussion on the border situation with China in the Lower House on Wednesday.

    The MP from Sri Anandpur Sahib constituency sought suspension of Zero Hour, Question Hour, and other businesses of the day. 

    ANI

  • February 07, 2024 10:36
    List of business in Rajya Sabha

    1. Question Hour

    2. Consideration of any business entered in the revised list of business for February 6, 2024, and not concluded on that day

  • February 07, 2024 10:36
    List of business in Lok Sabha

    1. Question Hour

    2. Consideration of any item of government business entered in the revised list of business for February 6, 2024, and not concluded on that day.

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