Parliament proceedings live | Lok Sabha passes the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020

Updated - March 17, 2020 07:57 pm IST

Published - March 17, 2020 11:07 am 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 resumed on Tuesday.

Here are the latest updates:

Lok Sabha | 7.30 pm

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare begins his reply on the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 is passed by the House.

House is adjourned.

Lok Sabha | 7.15 pm

Unsafe pregnancy terminations are a major reason of pregnant mortalities in India, says P. Raveendranath Kumar of the AIADMK. He asks the Health Minister to consider increasing number of medical college seats to combat the low number of gynaecologists in the country.

Jaskaur Meena of the BJP welcomes the Bill. She seeks that implementation of the Bill in rural areas be especially attended to, since unsafe pregnancy terminations are unprecedented in rural areas.

Ravindra Shyamnarayan of the BJP calls the Bill progressive and supports it.

Lok Sabha | 7 pm

Opposing the contents of the Bill and saying that he is against the concept of unrestricted abortions, Dean Kuriakose of the INC speaks next. He says abortions are a crime against humanity.

The Bill will bring about socio-economic change and give a woman reproductive rights, Dr. Shrikant Eknath Shinde of the Shiv Sena says.

Lok Sabha | 6.45 pm

Dr. Amol Ramsing Kolhe of the NCP asks for abortion to be made a right and be made available for women upon request up to a particular gestation period.

Ritesh Pandey of the BSP says that currently, criminalising abortion is the norm and the MTP Act its exception. The Bill places the doctors in the centre of the decision for abortion and does not consider the right to abortion as a fundamental right of a woman. The choice is is part of the right to privacy, he says. quoting from judicial precedents. The law should apply to pregnant persons and not pregnant women alone- the Bill should change the language to a more inclusive one, he says.

Lok Sabha | 6.30 p.m.

Dr. Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar of the AITC (West Bengal) calling the Bill a step in the right direction, gives many suggestions. She says allowing that an anomalous foetus can be identified by ultrasound within 16-18 weeks itself, instead of waiting 24 weeks.

Goddeti Madhavi of the YSRCP welcomes the Bill.

Chandeshwar Prasad of the JD(U) says the Bill will ensure women will not employ quacks for pregnancy termination procedures and hence reduce unsafe terminations.

Rajya Sabha | 5.50 p.m.

Manas Rajan Bhunia of the Trinamool Congress says that 35% of problems of the human body are still not identified by researchers across the world.

Hence, he welcomes the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019, as it seeks to promote Indian medical systems like Ayurveda, he says.

Lok Sabha | 5.40 p.m.

Lok Sabha passes the The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

The House is now discussing the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Lok Sabha | 5.30 p.m.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri says with global fuel prices down, now is the time to get the States and the GST council on board to bring ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel) under the GST.

Rajya Sabha | 5.10 p.m.

The House now takes up for discussion the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019.

Rajya Sabha | 5.00 p.m.

Derek O' Brien of the Trinamool Congress says when there is a project that is successful, the Centre will take the credit, and unsuccessful projects will be blamed on State governments.

His comments trigger a protest from the members. The Chairman says that the remarks will not go on record. Piyush Goyal says although he does not want to politicise the issue, Mamata Banerjee's attendance in Cabinet meetings was the lowest.

Lok Sabha | 4.50 p.m.

Dr. DNV Senthilkumar of the DMK says that despite an earlier directive, aircraft announcements have not been introduced in regional languages.

Rajya Sabha | 4.40 p.m.

Replying to members' remarks about cleanliness in train coaches, Mr. Goyal says the Railway Ministry had got the 'Best Performing Ministry' award in 2019. He added that 99.5% of coaches now have bio-toilets and soon the trains will be 100% open defecation free.

He says the Centre plans to make the Indian Railways the first rail network in the world that is 100% electrified and electrified with solar energy. The Ministry has planned to set up solar power grids with a capacity of 20,000 MW to power this project, he adds.

Rajya Sabha | 4.30 p.m.

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, says that instead of spreading your resources thin, the goal is to complete projects quickly.

He refers to a project in West Bengal that started in 1974 but is still incomplete.

Mr. Goyal says if the State governments are willing to work with the Central government and provide land in their respective States, we (the Centre) will take efforts to fast track all such incomplete projects.

He further claims that by August 2022, the Railways will complete the Banihal-Katra and Kanyakumari-Baramulla lines.

As a tribute to the 'official unifier of India', Sardar Vallabhbhai  Patel, the Centre also plans to integrate the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue in Gujarat into the railways network, adds Mr. Goyal.


Rajya Sabha | 4 pm

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, begins his reply on the 'discussion on the working of Ministry of Railways.'

Calling railways an engine of growth for the country and a means of national integration, Mr. Goyal says the impetus that railways has received since the last five years was unprecedented. He adduces budget allocations of different years as proof.

Lok Sabha | 4 pm

Discussion on The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 continues.

Supriya Sadanand Sule of NCP (Baramati) says airlines' loans will have to be restructured - fuel prices, lack of adequate MROs- are some reasons for this. To stop airlines from bleeding, she says, these must be addressed.

Lok Sabha | 3.30 pm

The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 is taken up for discussion.

Pinaki Misra (BJD) says there have been drastic cuts in budgetary allocation to the industry.

Rajya Sabha | 2.30 pm

In the Rajya Sabha, the discussion on the working of the Ministry of Railways continues.

Ram Narain Dudi (BJP) says that some railway lines have still not been built in his home State of Rajasthan.

G.C. Chandrashekhar (Congress) says only ₹30,000 crore allocation has been specified in the Budget.

Kahkashan Parween (JD-U) says that sanitation is very poor in some Rajdhani trains running through Bihar.

Jugalsinh Lokhandwala (BJP) says that railway stations across the country are clean now.

Lok Sabha | 2 pm

Zero Hour continues in the House.

Mahua Moitra (Trinamool) speaks about the BADP (Border Area Development) blocks and how some panchayats don't fall under BADP blocks.

T.R.V.S. Ramesh (DMK) speaks about the shortage of drinking water facility in his constituency of Cuddalore.

Bharati Praveen Pawar (BJP) says that people in Nasik have stopped eating chicken because of fears over coronavirus, as a result of which, the poultry industry is suffering. She asks the Ministry of Health to provide clarity to citizens.

T.N. Prathapan (Congress) says Kerala should have permanent preventive measures for epidemics.

Rajya Sabha | 1.15 pm

Discussion on the working of the Ministry of Railway is undertaken.

K.K. Ragesh, CPI(M), says there is an urgent need to modernise the railway facility in the country. Kerala has become a dumping State for old coaches, he says.

Binoy Viswam, CPI, says the social responsibility of railways to provide employment to youth has been forgotten. Rail lines, trains are now for the private sector, he alleges. He says the BJP government is of the rich, for the rich and by the rich.

Praful Patel, says resources need to be raised for railways without which additional facilities would not be possible.

Neeraj Shekhar, BJP, thanks railway employees as well as those who function at airports, health professionals for continuing to serve amidst the coronavirus threat. There is an attempt to misguide regarding the railways just as there are similar attempts around the CAA, he alleges. Capital expenditure in railways has increased, he says.

Lok Sabha | 12.30 pm

Anurag Thakur, MoS, Finance rises to introduce the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020, on behalf of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Bhartruhari Mahtab, BJD, objects to the Bill's introduction. He asks that the Bill be sent to a standing committee for comprehensive examination.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, INC, also opposes the introduction of the Bill. This government is trying to decriminalise several offences under the Companies Act, he says. They are trying to decriminalise the corporates so as to "loot" the common man with impunity, he alleges.

The government is an appeaser of the corporate sector, he alleges.

Mr. Thakur responds, saying CSR obligations are not being diluted but the procedure is being eased.

Rajya Sabha | 12.10 pm

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says a lot of response appreciating high quality treatment at quarantine facilities has been received.

He responds to a MP's question saying ICMR  scientists are in touch with scientists all over the world regarding retroviral drugs.

Death of children due to negligence in treatment is discussed.

Suresh Kodikunnil, INC, says the government should take steps to recover AGR dues from telecom majors immediately.

Lok Sabha | 11.30 am

Arvind Kumar Sharma, BJP, says Hindi should be made the official language of India.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana is being discussed.

Arvind Sawant, Shiv Sena, says all farmers in the State have not received the money under the scheme and those who have received it have not got it fully.

Amendment of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is being discussed next.

Kailash Choudhary, MoS, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, responds to a West Bengal MP's question, saying the State government has not furnished any data under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana and hence the State has not received any benefits.

An AITC MP protests, saying a scheme "far better" than the central scheme is functional in the State.

Zero Hour begins.

Leader of Opposition Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, broaches the issue of raise of excise duty on petrol and diesel . He alleges that the government has cheated the common man. Dayanidhi Maran of DMK makes a similar allegation, saying a "serious loot" is taking place.

Rajya Sabha | 11.00 am

Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu is in the Chair.

Ashok Bajpai, BJP, speaks on the treatment of children affected by type 1 diabetes in rural areas.

Manas Ranjan Bhunia, AITC, says the Socio-Economic Survey list should be reviewed by the government and a fresh survey should be ordered.

Amar Patnaik, BJD, discusses what measures should be taken in case there is community spread of COVID-19. Only 63 facilities under ICMR are not sufficient. Health-care expenditure should be prioritised, he says.

Viplove Thakur, INC, says the government should frame a tourism policy for those States who  suffer losses as they depend on revenue from the tourism industry, especially for hoteliers in Himachal Pradesh.

Lok Sabha | 11.00 am

Speaker Om Birla is in the Chair.

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