Parliament proceedings | Give voter bonds instead of electoral bonds, says Rajeev Gowda

In Lok Sabha, the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 will be considered for passing, while in Rajya Sabha the Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020 is being taken up.

March 13, 2020 10:45 am | Updated 03:46 pm IST

A view of the Parliament building in New Delhi on July 15, 2019.

A view of the Parliament building in New Delhi on July 15, 2019.

The Budget Session of the Parliament of India resumes on Friday. After days of discussions on Delhi violence , the Houses are expected to have a low-profile day of business.

In Lok Sabha, the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 will be considered for passing, while in Rajya Sabha the Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020 is being taken up.

Here are the latest updates:

3.30 pm | Rajya Sabha

Mr. Gowda points out to electoral bonds and says it makes the system murkier.

He says every voter should get a voter bond of ₹100 instead.

He withdraws the Bill.

Special Mentions are being made now. A Member speaks about Yes Bank's collapse.

House is adjourned for the day.

3 pm | Rajya Sabha

Narendra Jadhav's Bill on FDI in financial infrastructure is taken up for further consideration. The Bill is withdrawn.

Ravi Shankar Prasad speaks on an amendment to the Representation of People Act. A Member has introduced a Bill asking that limitations on election expenses be removed.

He compliments the intellect of the founding fathers. He says that universal suffrage was given by visionaries. He does not support the Bill. He urges the Member, Rajeev Gowda to withdraw the Bill.

Mr. Gowda says that the limit is impractical, and it drives election spending underground.

2.30 pm | Rajya Sabha

Clause-by-clause consideration of the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill is taken up. The Bill is passed.

Private Members' Bills are taken up now. Bills are being introduced.

2.10 pm | Lok Sabha

Suresh Kodikunnil (INC) speaks on the Demands for Grants under the control of the Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment. He says the government has allocated only 0.8% for Dalit women and 0.3% for tribal women.

Almost 1 out of every three government schools make Dalit children sit separately, he says.

2 pm | Lok Sabha

Congress govts presented separate rail budget to mislead people: Piyush Goyal

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal attacked the previous Congress-led governments in Lok Sabha, saying they presented separate railways budget only to mislead people.

Replying to a discussion on demands for grants of the Ministry of Railways, he said separate railways budget was only a “balloon” and only attracted “claps” in the House.

He said the “fake” announcements used to only “mislead people in elections“.

Citing some examples, the Railways Minister said some projects are pending since 1974.

He said allocations for the sector was enhanced to ₹1.61 lakh crore this year from ₹54,000 crore in 2013-14.

The increased allocation is being used on 58 super critical and 68 critical projects, he said, adding the current government fixes big target and make all efforts to achieve that.

“We fixed a target for electrification of 6,000 km of rail line and reached 5,200 km as against 600-650 km of electrification in 2013-14,” he said.

Mr. Goyal also criticised the previous governments on pension funds for the sector, stating they did not take any steps to strengthen this fund.

“In 2014, this fund was very low. We built that adequately,” he said, adding this government took calibrated steps to increase revenues for railways, rather than hiking fares by 60-70% and burdening passengers.

On criticism over slow pace of work in States, the Minister said if States provide help in terms of land availability and other clearances, the project will be implemented at a fast pace.

For northeastern States, he said several projects are underway.

Earlier about 60 help lines numbers were there for registering complaints, but “we have only one (139) for general complaints” and another (182) for security-related matters.

He said the ministry has sent a written reply to all members who have participated in the discussion.


1.50 pm | Rajya Sabha


The discussion on the Direct Tax Bill, 2020 continues.

BJD MP Dr. Amar Patnaik says he welcomes the Bill, but he is worried that the timeframe for recovery of revenue locked in litigation is too stiff. He mentions other problematic provisions in the B‎ill, and points out that when a similar scheme was introduced earlier, only 10% of the expected amount was recovered.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) MP from Kerala Elamaram Kareem opposes the bill, saying it is highly discriminatory against honest taxpayers. Regular taxpayers got no relief according to this, he says. "Is this amnesty applicable to those who deposited who huge amt in their accounts during demonetisation," he asks the Finance Minister.

MP from Tamil Nadu P. Wilson opposes the Hindi title of the bill, saying that it will act as a barrier for the citizens of non-Hindi speaking States, and they will hence be unable to understand the true benefits of the bill.

1.40 pm | Rajya Sabha


Discussions begin in Rajya Sabha on the Direct Tax Bill, 2020 .

The bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on February 5, was passed on March 4.  The scheme seeks to resolve about 4.83 lakh direct tax appeals involving ₹9.32 lakh crore worth of dues pending at various forums. The changes to the amnesty bill specify tax, interest and penalty to be paid if an appeal is filed either by the taxpayer or the Income Tax Department.



1.35 pm | Lok Sabha

MTP (Amendment) Bill in LS next week: Meghwal

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 will be taken up for consideration and passage in Lok Sabha next week, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Friday.

Informing the House about the legislative business listed for the next week, he said the bill will be taken up next week.

The bill seeks to extend the upper limit for permitting abortions from the present 20 weeks to 24 weeks. It was introduced in Lok Sabha earlier this month by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

The government had said the bill seeks to ensure safe termination of pregnancies and also give women reproductive rights over their bodies.

The extension to 24 weeks will also help victims of rape, girls with disabilities as well as minors, who may not realise they are pregnant until later, it had said, describing the draft legislation as progressive.


1.20 pm | Lok Sabha

Instead of reforms, Railways is deforming: Chowdhury

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the railways is getting “deformed” rather than being reformed under the BJP government.

Speaking on the demand of grants for Railways, he said Railways is now resorting to borrowings to run its operations and the extra budgetary borrowings has become a order of the day for it.

He claimed Indian Railways ranked 28th in the world in terms of quality of railway infrastructure.

The Congress leader asked what is the fate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project as its deadline is in 2022.

He claimed only 30% land has been acquired for the project so far, as farmers are objecting to acquisition of land.


1 pm | Lok Sabha

Mr. Goyal continues that no passenger has died in the Railways in the last year.

He says that the government has scrapped all the old designs for coaches in the last two years. He also says that the Rae Bareilly coach factory hadn't made any coaches till May 2014. Now, in 2019-20, that factory has made 2,000 coaches.

99% coaches now have bio-toilets.

12.40 pm | Lok Sabha


Discussion on Demands for Grants under Ministry of Railways for 2020-21 proceed in Lok Sabha. Minister Piyush Goyal shares a lighter moment when he says that he is the 100th member to speak on this issue. 

In the House on Thursday, the Opposition had demanded that the government not undertake  privatisation of railways  and come out with a separate Rail Budget to better analyse the performance.

Participating in a discussion on demands for grants of the Ministry of Railways in Lok Sabha, M.K. Raghavan (Congress) said the BJP government has shown consistent apathy towards railways in the last five years and the dismal performance is visible in the high operating ratio, which is the worst in last 10 years.

Mr. Goyal says that the Railways pension fund is so little, as opposed to what it should be. He says one party ran the country for so long and did not build up the pension fund.

He blames the Kerala State government for not acquiescing to the Centre's demands for land for railway projects.


12.20 pm | Rajya Sabha


In the Question Hour, questions asked include those on the National Fisheries Policy that is to be drafter to promote fisheries, and that on the financial crisis faced by sugar mills.

Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, responding to the latter, gives out details of the sugar production and consumption . Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh are the main producers, he says. 

Vijay Goel, who asked the question, says that he had asked the number of sugar mills that were closed, but he did not get the answer for it .


11.40 am | Lok Sabha

Queries include those on the environmental clearances for National Highway 516E, and construction of sewage treatment plants.

AAP MP from Punjab Bhagwant Mann asks the Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar about the pollution of rivers in Punjab , but the minister replies that even though the government does keep an eye out on all NGT rulings regarding pollution, the question asked is too vague for a pointed response.

Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor asks if the government has considered the impact of proposed sewage treatment plants near urban, populated areas, on humans.

Shashi Tharoor in Lok Sabha.

Shashi Tharoor in Lok Sabha.


Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar replies that the government has studied the effects and that the sludge would be used as fertilizer while the treated water can be used for farming or as coolant for therman power plants. He adds that earlier operator and builder of a plant used to pass responsibility to each other with regard to treatment of effluents, but now, the builder and operator will be the same for 10 years, thus solving this problem.


11.15 am | Rajya Sabha

Odisha MP Prashanta Nanda speaks on the financial burden added to the States regarding the devolution of funds of Central government schemes.

Andhra Pradesh's TDP MP Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar speaks on the need to evolve a national policy on the creation and establishment of capitals . Citing the example of Andhra Pradesh, he explains the process by which Amaravathi was decided as the new capital of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh, until the Jagan Mohan Reddy government came into power. This was followed by the decision to establish three capitals under the pretext of decentralisation of power, he says. In order to avoid repetition of such incidents, we need a national policy, he says.

11 am | Lok Sabha


The Question Hour kicks off with queries on health problems in women and children. During a reply regarding malnutrition in women and children, Minister of Women and Child Development said that the West Bengal should come on board the Poshan Abhiyaan scheme, keeping aside politics and party lines.

Union Minister Smriti Irani speaks in Lok Sabha

Union Minister Smriti Irani speaks in Lok Sabha




Lok Sabha

Bill for Consideration and passing

  • Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020

Discussion and Voting on Demands for Grants

Rajya Sabha

Bill for consideration and return

  • Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020

Private Members' Business

Top News Today


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