Parliament proceedings live | Rajya Sabha is adjourned after Opposition raises slogans against Rao's "statistical Shaheen Bagh" comment

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.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Budget Session of the Parliament resumes after Thursday's session, when former CJI Ranjan Gogoi took oath as a Rajya Sabha member and the Lok Sabha passed the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020.

Bills passed:

The Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2019

The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020

Here are today's updates:

Lok Sabha | 5.45 pm

Ritesh Pandey of the BSP moves a Private Member's Resolution - Welfare measures for anganwadi workers and helpers. He seeks that anganwadi workers' and helpers' honorarium be discussed and increased. He says that anganwadi workers and helpers are overworked and this also demands discussion. The infrastructure that anganwadis function out of are dilapidated and need improvement, he says.

He recommends that anganwadi workers and helpers be identified as workers and not as volunteers, given minimum wage and social security benefits like pension, gratuity and maternity leave. He also suggests that they be retained and not be hired as contract work.

House is adjourned till 2 p.m. on March 23.

Rajya Sabha | 4.45 pm

Private Members' Business is in process. G.V.L. Narasimha Rao of the BJP speaks abut the current situation of unemployment and future action plan to address the same. He dismisses the "45 year high unemployment" data raised by the Opposition and calls it a statistical aberration. He further calls it "statistical Shaheen Bagh". The House erupts in disagreement. Opposition Members (Manoj Jha and others) seek that Mr. Rao's words be expunged, even as the Speaker Rajeev Gowda says he will examine it.

More Members from the AAP, Congress and RJD, express dissonance with Mr. Rao's use of "statistical Shaheen Bagh". Mr. Gowda announces that nothing is going on record. Members begin sloganeering inside the House and troop into the well.

House is adjourned till March 23, 2 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 4.25 pm

Private Members' Business is in progress. Discussion on construction of canals through Ken-Batwa river-linking project to overcome the problem of water scarcity and stray cows in the Bundelkhand region.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Jal Shakti Minister, speaks about judicious use of water, water table rejuvenation and river linking. Along with supply-side management, demand-side management is also necessary to solve the problem of water scarcity in the country, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 3.30 pm

Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav (SP): "I am not against MNREGA. Half of the money to MNREGA could go to farmers, then all 365 days farmers will be paid. According to World Hunger Index, we are at the 112th place, but we are talking about coming up to the top few economies. We are battling unemployment. The govt needs to make policies to bring more employment."

K.K. Ragesh (CPI-M) says, "Farmers are simply abandoning the agriculture sector. Agriculture provides employment to a vast number of population but is in a deep crisis. Many cottage industries, factories, are closed in India. The situation of public sector undertaking in our country is in decline. Almost 1 lakh BSNL workers have lost their jobs and it is because of your retirement policy. What is going to happen in Air India? You're going to privatise railways also. I am talking about the secured employment, I am not talking about pakoda jobs. You're saying that jobs were generated, but what is the fact? Selling peanuts and pakoda are not jobs."

Lok Sabha | 3.25 pm

LS discusses The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Thol Thirumaa Valavan (VCK) speaks in Tamil. He asks govt not to spy on people with Aadhaar. He says it is been proved that the govt has been using face-recognition software and violating privacy.

Dr. DNV Senthilkumar (DMK) speaks about Tamil Nadu schools that included computer science many years back. But TN wasn't allotted budget allocation regarding the same.

Anubhav Mohanty (BJD) speaks about the need for a common syllabus throughout the country. He asks if the govt plans for a IIIT in Odisha.

Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank speaks about the Bill.

The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 is passed.

Rajya Sabha | 2.30 pm

Private Members' Business (resolutions) - regarding to make a comprehensive and holistic report as to the current situation of unemployment and future action plan to address the same.

Binoy Viswam (CPI): "In the society of capitalists all over the world, unemployment is on the increase. The govt reaching for the poor and labouring for the rich. For this country, due to the fear of Ambanis and Adanis, we feel that there should be a change. There is MNREGA, one of the biggest steps taken by the UPA govt.

Dr. Satyanarayan Jatiya (BJP) says that there should a national educational policy to avoid disparity. He adds that in the current economic scenario, the solution is to change the system. The universities shouldn't exist only to get a degree; there should be a good quality education, only then students will get 'educational justice'.

Lok Sabha | 2.30 pm

Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) says, "India's engineers have made a lot of impact and the we are trying to encourage the private players as well, in the IT industry. I support The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill. It also needs to have appropriate financial plan in place. Indians' weakness is that we are giving more focus on software and so, most of the hardware is imported. When we are increasing the number of institutions now, how much money are you going to give for R&D? We need a better footing."

Dr. Sukanta Majumdar (BJP) speaks about higher education in India. He says that we aren't investing in the basic science field which helps innovative thinking.

Lok Sabha | 1.15 pm

Manickam Tagore, INC, speaks in Tamil.

Anil Firojiya, BJP, says Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. He says no work could be done there till the existence of Article 370. He commemorates Syama Prasad Mukherjee.

Gautham Sigamani Pon, DMK, speaks in Tamil.

Sanjay Bhatia, BJP, speaks on road accidents.

Jasbir Singh Gill, INC, speaks on the impact of the coronavirus.

Mahua Moitra, TMC, speaks on the dumping of biomedical waste in forest areas. Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, responds, saying the issue is being taken very seriously.

The Lok Sabha passes the Rajya Sabha amendments to the Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2019.

The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 is undertaken.

Ramesh Pokhriyal, Minister of Human Resource Development, delineates the provisions of the Bill.

N.K. Premachandran is in the Chair.

Suresh Kodikunnil, INC, supports the Bill. Students belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and those belonging to weaker sections suffer insult and harassment in the field of higher education, citing examples of such incidents. He suggests that the Bill contain mechanism to prevent caste-based harassment of students. The institutions must also reduce dropout rates among Dalit students, as well as students belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes.

Ram Kripal Yadav, BJP, says students in Bihar are financially weak, yet they compete in national-level examinations on the basis of merit. He asks that the Minister develop the IIT in Patna.

Sougata Ray, AITC, also supports the Bill. Having more IITs in the country is a welcome step, he says, as a forward to IT education in the country.

Rajya Sabha | 1 p.m.

House is adjourned till 2.30 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 12.45 p.m.

Dr. Kalanidhi (DMK) speaks about Tamil students stranded in Philippines. Their colleges are closed, hostels are shut and they don't have food.

Shankar Lalwani (BJP) speaks in Sindhi.

Dr. Chellakumar (Congress) 64 lakh retired EPS pensioners are demanding a raise in their monthly pensions.

Kanimozhi (DMK) says only some companies and factories have allowed their employees to work from home.

Rajya Sabha | 12.30 p.m.

Mansukh Mandaviya, MoS Chemicals and Fertilisers says there is no shortage of masks or hand sanitisers in India.

Ravi Prakash Verma (SP) asks about revamping PM Fasal Bima Yojana.

Amar Patnaik (BJD) asks why a 90:10 ratio should not be extended to disaster-prone States. Kailash Choudhary, MoS Agriculture says that States also have to participate in this.

Jaya Bachchan (SP) asks what the government is doing to ensure that providing insurance under the PMFBY is beneficial to insurance companies.

Lok Sabha | 12.15 p.m.

Zero Hour is on in the House.

Hibi Eden (Congress) says that at a time like this, the Centre has increased the excise duty on petrol and diesel by 3%. He asks the government to withdraw the decision and bring petrol and diesel under GST.

K. Shanmugasundaram (DMK) says a new dam is being constructed on the TN-Kerala border. This violates the Supreme Court's order on the Kaveri river water dispute, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 12 noon

Special Mentions are being made. Ajay Pratap Singh (BJP) speaks about loose cows destroying fields. Deputy Chairman Harivansh is in the Chair.

Question Hour begins. Husain Dalwai (Congress) asks about cold storage. Giriraj Singh, Minister for Fisheries says this question was already answered. For some places, the Centre could not get land clearance and environmental clearance. But, many cold storage centres have been set up, says the Minister.

Oscar Fernandes (Congress) asks about where fishing harbours have been sanctioned in Karnataka. K.J. Alphons (BJP) asks about Kerala. Mr. Singh says two projects in Karnataka have received approval. He says he does not have any information about Kerala.

P. Wilson (DMK) asks about proposals for Tamil Nadu. Mr. Singh says there are four proposals in the works.

Viplove Thakur (Congress) asks for clarity on the reduced child care leave for women in Railways. Suresh Angadi, MoS Railways, says the facility is given upto two children.

Anil Desai (Shiv Sena) asks if there is a provision for a sabbatical. Mr. Angadi says the concerned higher authority will take a call on this. Piyush Goyal clarifies that CCL is applicable for all minor children and not just for women who have just given birth to a child. He says this has been expanded to single male parents too.

Lok Sabha | 11.45 a.m.

Syed Imtiaz Jaleel (AIMIM) says the FDA in India is not functioning how they should be. Does the government plan to give this body more powers, he asks.

Dr. Harsh Varshan says the powers of the body is as per international standards. There are separate bodies for food and drugs.

Mr. Jaleel asks about pan and gutkha and asks what the FDA will do in this case, where it does not have enough manpower.

The Minister says that India follows the WHO's protocols on tobacco products.

The next question is on export of textiles. Smriti Irani says the ministry is in constant communication with all the stakeholders. The Budget announcement will set up the first-ever National Textiles Mission.

Rajya Sabha | 11.30 a.m.

Vandana Chavan (NCP) speaks about recognising climate change as an emergency and using sustainable methods to conserve the environment.

Satish Chandra Dubey (BJP) speaks about Indian nationals stranded in Philippines due to the travel ban.

Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD) brings up Ram Manohar Lohia.

Dr. L. Hanumanthaiah (Congress) talks about acute water shortage in Karnataka, and the Yettinahole Intergated Drinking Water Project taken up by the State government. This scheme is in lieu of the Netravati-Hemavati river link scheme.

Ripun Bora (INC) speaks about the widening of two national highways.

Narain Dass Gupta (AAP) brings up the issue of risk of accidents in Delhi and the lack of medical facilities. AIIMS is already overburdened, he says.

Lok Sabha | 11.15 am

Dismiss misinformation around coronavirus: MPs

Managment of the novel coronavirus is being discussed.

Shripad Yesso Naik, MoS (Ind.), AYUSH, answers an MP's question saying the department is coordinating with the Health and Family Welfare Depratment.

Nalamada Uttam Kumar Reddy, INC, says the AYUSH Ministry having issued an advisory was counterproductive as it was already declared that there is no known cure to COVID-19. He also says that the government has not made any efforts to dismiss misinformation like that of cow dung curing the disease. Satabdi Roy, AITC, also makes a similar allegation.

Mr. Naik says the advisory has not prescribed medicines but the products mentioned in it can boost the respiratory system.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan responds to a Member's concern, saying whoever is being tested, is being tested with perfect scientific rationale.

Manish Tewari, INC, asks if the government will be in touch with the WHO to ensure that the coronavirus is "naturally-occurring" and not the result of any "scientific experiment which has gone astray". Mr. Vardhan says the government is in constant touch with the WHO and such apprehensions are unfounded.

Rajya Sabha | 11.00 am

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy goes into self-quarantine

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu is in the Chair.

Mr. Naidu informs the House that AITC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy has requested to remain absent for the remaining part of the session in view of the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country. Mr. Roy has decided to self-quarantine. With the MPs' agreement, Mr. Naidu grants permission.

Lok Sabha | 11.00 am

Speaker Om Birla is in the Chair.

Question Hour begins.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 8:48:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-live-march-19-2020/article31115424.ece

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