Parliament proceedings | Rajya Sabha passes SEZ (Amendment) Bill, Lok Sabha clears Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill

Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal speaks in the Rajya Sabha on June 27, 2019. Photo: RSTV

Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal speaks in the Rajya Sabha on June 27, 2019. Photo: RSTV  

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Rajya Sabha has a short-duration discussion on effects of climate change in the country.

After obituary references to S. Rajendran, Vishwa Nath Shastri, Paripoornanand Painuli, K.J.K. Ritheesh Sivakumar, S.P.Y. Reddy, V. Viswanatha Menon, R.N. Rakesh, Hariom Singh Rathore, M.K. Subba, Kamlesh Balmiki and Sheela Gautam, the Lok Sabha discussed and passed the Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill.

The Rajya Sabha had a short-duration discussion on climate change and then it discussed and passed the SEZ (Amendment) Bill that was cleared by the Lok Sabha the previous day.

Here are the live updates:

 

Lok Sabha | 6 pm

 

AAYUSH Minister Shripad Yesso Naik replies: The constitution of the council got delayed because some states had not updated their registers. As soon as that is done, fresh elections will be held. After 2014, 32 new colleges for homeopathy have been established.  The country has so many bogus doctors and institutes that run on paper. To weed out such malpractices, the ordinance was issued. The requests for recognition for all the 237 colleges will be processed by July 15 and the Ministry will make all efforts to improve the quality of homeopathy education.

After the Minister’s reply the House passes the Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) 2019 Bill.

The House is adjourned till 11 a.m. tomorrow.

Rajya Sabha | 5.50 pm

 

Rajya Sabha passes SEZ (amendment) bill

The House negates statutory resolution moved by Elamaram Kareem. Then it takes up clause by clause passing of the bill.

The Chair calls Mr. Goyal to move the bill be passed as it was done in Lok Sabha.

The legislation was passed by voice vote.

Time for special mentions. 

Deputy Chairman Harivansh asks members to read only the title. Just lay kar de, the Chair says. After rushing through the special mentions the House is adjourned till 11 a.m. on June 28, 2019.

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Lok Sabha | 5. 40 pm

 

Pragya Thakur (BJP, Bhopal, Madhya  Pradesh) says that homeopathy has no side effects and should be promoted. PG scholarships for homeopathic courses must be at par with those for allopathic courses.

Rajya Sabha | 5.10 pm

D. Raja (CPI, Tamil Nadu) says unlike the BJP, the Left parties are consistent with their stand on SEZ. He says why is the tearing hurry in resorting to the ordinance route. He quotes from the text of the bill “after the words ‘local authority’, the words ‘,trust or any entity as may be notified by the Central Government’ shall be inserted” to seek an explanation on what is the role of the State government. He further questions the power of the “trusts” and seeks to know whether such “trusts” can buy electoral bonds and change the course of politics.  “We have serious apprehensions,” he says. While the financial sector crisis is deepening in India such opening up is not good and seeks the legislation should be referred to select committee for further scrutiny.   

Piyush Goyal (Minister of Commerce and Industry) rises to reply. He has words of praise for Mr. Raja saying that nobody has any doubt the latter's commitment to national interest. And immediately jabs: “But the left can never be right.” Peels of laughter. And House indulges in word play involving Left and Right when someone points of Mr. Raja sits on the right side of Mr. Goyal but he is not right. He says post 2010-11 unstable policies from the government brought in a lot of stress in the SEZ sector and a lot of investors were lost interest due to the withdrawal of income tax benefits. And that explains the lot of unused land, he says. SEBI had brought out detailed guidelines of SEZ investment and the UPA supported by Communists and Trinamool brought in the guidelines into law, he says. He explains the ordinance route was taken to not to lose investment opportunities for two months. On the words “trusts and entities” he says these were included to accommodate new forms of investments and investment vehicles in the future. “We need not have to come to Parliament for everything,” he says. While most of the SEZs were approved the Trinamool and left supported the UPA, he says.

Mr. O'Brien clarifies that the Trinamool opposed both the SEZ law and land acquisition law. Mr. Goyal retorts but you enjoyed the fruits of power by staying in government.

Mr. Goyal now turns to the definition of land to acquired for SEZ. Most of the land that was acquired was after 2010-11, he says. 

Recalling a comment that trusts can be religious, he tells the Opposition not to be scared by seeing religion in everything.  And turning to BJP manifesto which according to some members opposes SEZ, the Minister dismisses them as selective reading and reads out from the manifesto.

It should be a matter of pride that if we produce power in SEZs to supply to Bangladesh where the minority community here is majority there, he says.

He says there was not a single application was approved during elections, though the government received hundreds. “It shows the world was confident about the BJP's return.”

On the issue of trade unions, the Minister says there was no ban on trade union activity in SEZs and concludes.

Lok Sabha | 5 pm

 

Suresh Kodikunnil (INC, Mavelikkara, Kerala) says that efforts must be made to enhance accessibility for homeopathic medicines through targeted policies. He also added that 2.8 lakhs doctors currently administer traditional and parallel forms of medicine and these must be promoted. Institutions which conduct simultaneous research and treatment should be encouraged and the government must create more employment opportunities for homeopathy graduates. The overall nomination procedure to the council should be made simpler, with consultation with the MHA. People from administrative, clinical backgrounds should be made a part of the council. Without having eminent experts and doctors, this body will be directionless.

K. Ram Mohan Naidu (TDP, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh) says we have already given them one year to reconstitute the council, why one more year? What is the guarantee that the state registers for homeopathy doctors will be updated in that time? When you are extending the existing board of governors, what’s the assurance that the same corrupt practices won’t be followed? A Rajya Sabha bill on homeopathy was sent to the standing committee in 2018. It needs to be clarified if those recommendations will be considered. He said that although he supports the bill, the medical situation in this country should be improved, and including homeopathic doctors in Public Health Centres can be given a thought.

Dr. Farooq Abdullah (National Conference, Srinagar J&K) says in homeopathy, dangerous effects are hardly noticed and that's an advantage over allopathic medicines. But today, homeopathy needs to be developed from basic medicines. Currently the medicines are imported from Germany. We need to promote homeopathy and give it maximum funding to conduct research that can beat western medicine.

N.K. Premachandran (RSP, Kollam, Kerala): The regulatory bodies for homeopathic medicine in the country are notoriously corrupt. So many recommendations in the Standing Committee report are pending. The 2005, 2015 Bills and the Standing committee report have been ignored. I would like to know what is the fate of these bills? The government of india should establish more state-run medical colleges which are very few as compared to the number of private medical colleges. A separate pharmacy council should also be established to develop the manufacturing process.

Rajya Sabha | 4.50 pm

 

P. Bhattacharya (Congress, West Bengal) seeks clarification on the mention of trust or entity in the bill. What do you mean by an entity, he asks. “Does the government has the long arm to bless anyone it is pleased with without any scrutiny?”

Quoting from the text of the Bill on the definition of the term "person" he seeks to know the who the “person” would be? The text of the Bill states: “As the trusts or entities are very common form of operating bodies in the financial sector, it has become necessary to amend clause (v) of section 2 of the Act. The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which seeks to replace the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 provides for the amendment of clause (v) of said section of the Act so as to include the expression ‘trust or entity’ in the definition of ‘person’.” 

Mr. Bhattacharya also wants protection against the use of cultivable land for SEZs. He asks why not the government make a provision to give jobs to agricultural labourers who could be evicted from the lands acquired for SEZs.

Sanjay Singh (AAP, NCR) seeks to know what plans does the government have about the land acquired for SEZs and not used. He quotes a report that much of the land acquired for SEZs is now with developers. What concern does the government have for the people who would be evicted from SEZ lands, he asks.  In contrast, he says, there are generous incentives properly listed for those who invest in SEZs. He says such incentives if extended to farmers and the poor it will be very good for the country.  He concludes with his earlier question if the govt has any plans to return to the farmers the land acquired for SEZ and still remain unused.

Ramkumar Verma (BJP, Rajasthan) speaks in support of the bill.  He says SEZs declined under the UPA rule due to bad policies and restrictions. Due to Opposition's negative attitude important bills could not be passed.

Lok Sabha  | 4.35 pm

 

Anurag Sharma (BJP, Jhansi, U.P.) thanks the government for recognising AYUSH for the first time since the independence. He also says that bodies which become independent without proper oversight always lead to corrupt practices. Colleges which were running without proper oversight, infrastructure, and staff, will be benefited from this ordinance.  He adds that homeopathy, Yoga and Ayurveda should be encouraged, these are powerhouses of knowledge and the original ‘Make in India.’

Shrirang Appa Barne (Shiv Sena, Maval, Maharashtra) while supporting the amendment said that at least 10% of the population opts for homeopathy today. In government hospitals, there are a large number of homeopathic doctors. But a lack of oversight, expertise and efficient administration in this field stifles development.

A.M. Arif (CPI(M), Alappuzha, Kerala) says Kerala is an example of effective utilisation of homeopathy services, with dispensaries in almost all panchayats. Rural areas should be given a priority for establishment of homeopathy dispensaries and colleges. But corruption at the top level of the Homeopathy Council is rampant. The previous council had around 60 members elected by the central government. But elections were not conducted properly, and many members continued even after the expiry of their term.

Hanuman Beniwal (RLP, Nagaur, Rajasthan) says homeopathy has the means to treat severe illnesses, and these must be promoted against growing use of antibiotics, which may be harmful. In the last 50-55 years, nothing had been done to encourage homeopathy, and the present bill is a welcome step as it will benefit the backward sections of the society.

 

Rajya Sabha | 4.25 pm

Narendra Jadhav (Nominated) supports the Bill. He says unlike Jairam Ramesh he has no distrusts on trusts. He says currently SEZs are located only in certain pockets like Surat, Chennai etc. and this Bill could help expand such zones to other States as well.

Anil Desai (Shiv Sena, Maharashtra) supports the bill. But he says there are two sides of SEZs arrival in Maharashtra. While SEZs contributed to job creation on one hand, vast tracts of land which are acquired for SEZs kept unused.

Naresh Gujral (SAD, Punjab) says he supports the bill. He finds fault with Trinamool member Derk O’Brien's comment that no one invests in trusts. He says large finance sector entities take this trust route only, he says.  He wonders while there has been cries of unemployment under Narendra Modi, when steps were taken to address unemployment people create hurdles, he says targeting the Opposition. Forty years ago our GDP was higher than China's, but look at now, he says and blames myopic policies of the government of the time.  Since our government at the time saw CIA behind everything, blue collar jobs from the West that would have come India's way went to China, he charges.  He concludes saying it's imperative to pass this legislation to make FDI come our way and our youth to get jobs.

T.K.S. Elangovan (DMK, Tamil Nadu) recalls that it was his party member Murasoli Maran who conceived SEZs as Industry Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government. He joins the Opposition in questioning the urgency in pushing the law. He contrasts China and India. While China is concentrating job creating manufacturing sector, India is focusing on service industry which won't bring in more jobs. He highlights the proposed Naguneri SEZ in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district which still remains a tract of barren land. Without studying the issues involved the government is pushing the bill he says and it's condemnable he says and concludes saying he opposes the bill.

Shwait Malik (BJP, Punjab) finds fault with the Opposition which opposes what he calls a simple legislation for the sake of opposition. Sings praise of the Prime Minister and goes on to dub the SEZs as golden gate for the country.  Measures like GST and demonetisation which brought in change, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 4.15 pm

Ram Chandra Prasad Singh (JD-U) says SEZs must not be developed at the cost of agriculture. Almost 50 per cent land acquired for SEZ are lying vacant. They are not even being returned to farmers, he says.

Prasanna Acharya (BJD) asks while no trust has approached for developing as economic zone, what is the urgency of bringing the ordinance? China doesn't acquire agriculture lands for SEZ. Why are we acquiring such lands. Mr. Acharya also asks why trade unions are banned in Special Economic Zones.

Elamaram Kareem (CPI-M) accuses the government of ignoring various cries of revisiting the SEZ Act. Mr. Kareem says large swamp of lands are now owned by private players. He warns the amendments could cause confusion on who these trusts are.

Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD) says we must strive and make sure the land alloted for SEZ must be barren lands and not agricultural loans. Industries have taken loan on the basis of SEZ lands. Why there isn't any penal provision, he asks. People will regret tomorrow for the flawed economic policy of today.

 

Lok Sabha | 4:00 pm

B.V. Satyavati (YSRCP), who is also a medical professional says all forms of medicines must be promoted in the form of research and development.

Anubhav Mohanty (BJD) requests for a Homeopathy institute in Kendrapara, his constituency, and says homeopathic medicines will be an affordable healthcare option for the backward classes. He also asks what actions have been taken against corruption and will the new Homeopathy Central Council take measures to check it?

Kaushalendra Kumar (JD(U)) says that the oldest homeopathic university in India was in Bihar, until its recognition was revoked, due to which a large number of students have been disadvantaged.

He also says in states like Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha, which have high levels of poverty, homeopathy will be an affordable and welcome option. Hence the branch of medicine must be developed through research.

Rajya Sabha | 4.00 pm

Derek O'Brien (Trinamool) also asks the government to avoid ordinance route. He also seeks to scrutinise Bills through Standing and Select Committees.  The Trinamool Congress is opposed to the concept of Special Economic Zones. The first SEZ in Mumbai was a flop show. Under Manmohan Singh government, SEZ became a land grab scam. Mr. O'Brien reads the 2009 manifesto of BJP that opposed the SEZ. "You know better. You sat with both of them," says Mr. Venkaiah Naidu. "We stood and they sat on us," Mr. O'Brien says.

Rajya Sabha | 3.50 pm

Jairam Ramesh (Congress) starts with a statutory warning, he is not a supporter of SEZ. The SEZ in India is based on China's model. But China has 10-12 special economic zones, but we have pooled land in the name of SEZ across the country.

When elections were due, what is the urgency of bringing this Ordinance on March 2. How many trusts have applied for starting trusts, he asks. "Who are these trusts? Are you checking them?" he asks.

Supporting the Bill, Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) seeks to know what conditions have been laid by the Centre to approve these trusts.

S.R. Balasubramoniyan (AIADMK) says there are 232 SEZs across India.

Lok Sabha | 3.40 pm

Manoj Rajoria (BJP) is the next speaker. Dr. Rajoria is a homeopathy practitioner.  He uses the opportunity to speak on government's health and welfare initiatives. Dr. Rajoria says the government plans to set up 12,500 wellness centres under AAYUSH ministry.

He agrees with Mr. Chowdhury that every primary centre must have a full-time doctor and Dr. Rajoria says these centres must have an homeopathy doctor too.

Rajya Sabha | 3.35 pm

In Rajya Sabha, the SEZ Amendment Bill, that was passed in Lok Sabha yesterday, is being taken up. Communist MPs D. Raja, Elamaram Kareem and Bijoy Viswon have moved statutory motions against the ordinance route.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal moves the Bill that seeks to give permission to trusts to develop special economic zones.

Mahesh Poddar (BJP) speaks in favour of the Bill. He says the SEZs will help achieve India's five-trillion-dollar economy goal.  He calls SEZ an economic power house. He urges other members to support the Bill.

Lok Sabha | 3.15 pm

The Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019, seeks to amend the Act to reconstitute the Central Council within two years from the date of its supersession. For the interim period, e central government constituted a Board of Governors, to exercise the powers of the Central Council. This Bills seeks to replace an Ordinance in this regard.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury opposes the Bill and hits out at the government for taking the ordinance route.  He says the Central Council failed after its president Ramjee Singh was arrested on graft charges. Had this government been serious on the minimum government, maximum governance, it would have sacked and replaced the president instead of dissolving the Council.

Mr. Chowdhury seeks to know the number of Homeopathy colleges opened in the last five years. He requests the government to develop homeopathy.

Rajya Sabha | 3.15 pm

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar responds. India's contribution to emission is only three per cent, but we are bearing the brunt.

We have 150 cars per 1000 people. It's above 800 (per 1000 population) in developed nations. We worked with several nations in Paris and that is why the amended draft was taken up there, he says. Lifestyle changes and climate justice were added to the Preamble of Paris agreement due to India, he says.

Mr. Javadekar assures the House that the government will no give in to external pressure in the issue. Growth and environment protection can go hand in hand, he assures Jairam Ramesh.

"We are moving to BS-VI. These vehicles will be rolled out from next year. From today as many as 7000 trucks have been stopped from entering Delhi. Baghalpur plant has been shut down as it didn't meet emission standards," he says.

Tackling climate change is a continuous action. Population is also growing... as Mr. Javadekar says, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu intervenes "That is also a continuous action".

Waste Management Rules were formed after discussing for three years. It will be implemented soon. Railways and Highways department has plans to plant and maintain trees in its land, he says.

Lok Sabha | 3.00 pm

Lok Sabha reassembles. Dr. Kirit Solanki is in the Chair. Members make submissions under Rule 377.

Shripad Naik, AAYUSH Minister, introduces the Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Rajya Sabha | 3.00 pm

Sushil Kumar Gupta (AAP) says pollution-related deaths are on the rise even in the National Capital Territory. He also talks about pollution due to stubble burning.

Ram Gopal Verma (SP) says the environmental rules are being floated. Trees are being cut relentlessly. He also notes how cars are sold despite there is no space to park them. Is there a way to monitor the plant saplings given away through government?

Pradeep Tamta (Congress) says if there is a plan to preserve Himalayas. He hits out at construction of dams in the Himalayan region.

Subramanian Swamy (Nominated member) says its pointless to teach environment to India, we worship them. He asks if government is encouraging research on new technology.

Rajya Sabha | 2.50 pm

Ram Nath Thakur (JD-U) wants to know if the government plans to plant trees along railway lines, steps taken to protect water bodies and plans to safeguard farmers from climate change.

Ahmad Hassan (Trinamool Congress) speaks in Bengali.

Bhupender Yadav (BJP) applauds the government for its stand at the Paris summit on Climate Change. Mr. Yadav wants to know if the government has given a thought on growing population in cities, especially due to migration. He asks about the action taken on State Action Plan. He also speaks about need to protect the rights of forest dwellers.

Tiruchi Siva (DMK) says even though the contribution of emission is higher in developed countries, the developing countries are also expected to reduce emission to the same level as them. Mr. Siva joins the issue of mangrove forests with Vandana Chavan. He suggests a better way to recycle e-waste.

Rajya Sabha | 2.40 pm

Jairam Ramesh (Congress) recalls the climate change debate 10 years ago. We are continuing with the same policy. How can you be serious on climate change by adopting a liberal environment clearnace. The job of environment is not to clear projects but to protect the environment, he says.

There is no country in the world that is more vulnerable to climate change than India. Our glaciers are melting. We are facing floods and drought. In the name of ease of doing business you are diluting environmental laws. I hope the Minister stands up against this, he says.

Narendra Jadhav (Nominated member) says the current heat wave is a testimony of climate change. How can we make a new India without addressing the problem of 400 million poor people of the country. He pitches for sector-wise research and an immediate action plan.

K.K. Ragesh (CPI-M) asks the Minister if any advocate steps taken by the government to tackle climate change. CSR notifications have been diluted. Real Estate and infra works are allowed in inter-tidal zones affecting the coasts. Tribal lands are being snatched away in the name of corporate developments. Agricultural lands are making way for SEZ. We need to revisit our development model, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 2.30 pm

Vijila Sathyananth (AIADMK) says main reason for global warming is carbon emission due to diesel and petrol motor vehicles. Does the government plan to promote bicycles? All schoolchildren must be encouraged to use bicycles.

She wants to know about the solid waste management plan and generate fuel from segregated waste.  She wants to know the fund allocated for tree planting.

Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD) quotes Karl Marx and John Bellamy Foster says global capitalism is the cause of climate change.  We have to look at the root cause of the problem, he says.

D. Raja (CPI) says developed nations are trying to blame developing nations for climate change. We shouldn't buy these arguements. The stand of USA must be seen as a warning, he adds. He has a question — what's the government's plan on waste management, including medical waste and electronic waste. Mr. Raja speaks on Sterlite issue in Thoothukudi, hydrocarbon exploration in Tamil Nadu.

Rajya Sabha | 2.20 pm

Vandana Chavan (NCP) says environment clearances are being granted left, right and centre. Aren't we not concerned at our ecological balance?

Is there a system in place to ensure there are no settlements in vulnerability-prone areas?

How does the government plan to engage civil society? How does it plan to reach the grassroots?

Rajya Sabha | 2.15 pm

Rewati Raman Singh speaks. He says the country is facing the brunt of climate change. Mr. Singh says he has never seen floods in Kerala in his lifetime, until last year. Chennai had floods, it is facing drought now. North India has not received the pre-monsoon showers yet. The Himalayan glaciers are melting.

Mr. Singh says it is difficult to see tree cover along highways. Thousands of trees are being cut for expanding roadways. He asks if these trees are being replaced?

Rajya Sabha | 2.00 pm

Rajya Sabha reassembles. Deputy Chairperson Harivansh is in the Chair.

The Communist members have brought a bunch of statutory resolutions in Rajya Sabha against the Ordinances promulgated when the House was not in the session.

Rewati Raman Singh brings call attention motion on Environment Minister on climate change. Minister Prakash Javadekar responds. Even though India is not a part of the problem, we have be taking steps and engaging with nations. India has ratified the Paris Agreement, he says.  He lists out the steps taken by the Ministry to tackle climate change. States have come up with Climate Action Plan.

We are ahead of our goal. Our forest cover has increased, we are replacing bulbs with LEDs. We are planning to eliminate single-use plastics by 2022., Mr. Javadekar says.

Lok Sabha | 1.00 pm

As yesterday, Lok Sabha Speaker postpones his lunch and continues session to extend Zero Hour proceedings.  A member says the Chair is lenient with first-time members. "You should give equal time to older members too," she says. "That's why I have allowed you to speak," the Speaker says.

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Lok Sabha adjourned till 3 pm

Rajya Sabha  | 12.50 pm

On skewed child-sex ratio

Senior Congress leader and economist Jairam Ramesh has a follow-up on yesterday's question on the child sex ratios of different States. "We all know child-sex ratios were adverse in Pinjab, Haryana etc for a long time. But from yesterday's answer, we saw new States joining this list. Prosperous, urban States like Gujarat. This is an alarming trend - will the Minister look into it?," asks Mr. Ramesh.

Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani answers this by saying that the past four years have shown better prospects for the girl child in our country. "The idea that skewed child gender ratio exists only in poor States is a fallacy that has been debunked by multiple studies commissioned by both the current and former governments," she says. She also points out various schemes that are being run to address this issue.

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 p.m.

Rajya Sabha  | 12.25 pm

 

In Rajya Sabha, Smriti Irani, former HRD Minister and current Minister of Women and Child Development, answers questions on Gender Inequality Index, the women's representation bill, among others.

On women's representation Bill

INC's K. V. P. Ramachandra Rao asks the Minister on what measures are being done to improve India's ranking iun the Gender Inequality Index, and asks if the Minister is satisfied with her government's work so far on passing the women's representation bill. "Does the current government inted to pass it, at least?" he asks.

Minister Smriti Irani begins her response by thanking all members of the Upper House for their support during her seven years in the House.

With regard to the women's representation Bill, Ms. Irani says the issue does not fall in her legislative purview, but the govt. is following a gender-sensitive budgeting and cites figures to support her argument. She also lists the measures taken to improve the issues in India as flagged in the Gender Inequality Index and cites the Mudra scheme, and says that 70% of its beneficiaries are women.

 

Lok Sabha | 12.10 pm

 

In Lok Sabha, matters of urgent public importance are being heard. Prof. Saugata Roy of AITC, West Bengal, brings up the issue of children's death in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, and says that the Health Minister has not issued any statement on this important issue.

Others issues brought up include the Tamil Nadu water crisis, income spent on advertising, among others.

Rajya Sabha | 12 noon

On extension of the RTE Act

Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank rises to answer, in his first speech as a Minister, says that India is the only country which has such a huge scheme for education.

Mr. Pokhriyal Nishank says in response to a suggestion by Derek O Brien in Rajya Sabha that the government will increase the time for the public to submit inputs on the draft National Education Policy by a month.

Also read: Interview with Dr. K. Kasturirangan, chairperson of the NEP drafting committee

V. Vijaysai Reddy of the YSR Congress asks if the govemment is doing anything on the delay of books, under Sarva Shiksha ABhiyan.

 

Rajya Sabha | 11.45 a.m.

Zero Hour comes to a close and special mentions are being made now.

Lok Sabha | 11.45 a.m.

On charging of arbitrary fares by airlines

Anil Firajiya of the BJP says that arbitrary fares have not come down. Mr. Puri begins speaking in English, but the Member asks him to respond in Hindi. Mr. Puri, in Hindi, says that the government does not decide airfares, but only asks that airlines openly advertise their fares. Mr. Firajiya asks if the fares can be reduced by the government.

Question Hour comes to a close. Speaker says that he has received adjournment notices, but he is not taking them up.

Rajya Sabha | 11.30 a.m.

Ashok Bajpai of the BJP speaks about the inclusion of Sanskrit in universities and higher education.

Nominated Member Swapan Dasgupta rises to speak on a stalemate in Vishwabharati and the Poush Mela. He says that over the past few years, the scope and scale of this fair has grown exponentially, and that the University is unable to manage the fair.

K.T.S. Tulsi says there is a huge shortage of human resources in the health sector. He also states that there is a disparity between States.

Lok Sabha | 11.30 a.m.

On completion of national highways

Gajanan Kirtikar of the Shiv Sena asks about national highways in the Mumbai-Goa stretch. Mr. Gadkari says that this project was greenlighted during the UPA term. The contractor was changed, and the Minister says that he is getting the blame for the work done by Chhagan Bhujbal who was the Minister then.

Opposition Benches erupt in protests.

On air connectivity to small cities

Congress Member Ramya Haridas asks about Central assistance for small airports in pilgrimage centres in Kerala. Minister Hardeep Singh Puri says the government has a 100 such proposals under consideration.

Lok Sabha | 11.15 a.m.

On sports universities

Vincent H. Pala of the Congress says that there has been no movement on setting up sports universities in the northeast. He asks if the Centre will be able to assist Meghalaya, which holds the National Games next, in creating infrastructure. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju says that these will function as national universities. He admits that we need to do much more for infrastructure. Mr. Rijiju says that the primary responsibility of creating sports facilities lies with the State, the Centre will encourage the corporate fraternity to come forward with investments.

Rajya Sabha | 11.10 a.m.

Mohammed Ali Khan of the Congress wants the Kaleshwaram project declared as a national project.

The SP’s Javed Ali Khan speaks about filling up vacancies for assistant professor and associate professor posts in central universities.

Binoy Vishwam of the CPI speaks about two people who went missing after agents promised to take them to New Zealand.

G.C. Chandrashekhar of the Congress speaks in Kannada. He wants bank examinations and other service examinations to be held in the Kannada language. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says she is seized of the matter and that she will look into it.

Lok Sabha | 11.10 a.m.

Lok Sabha takes up Question Hour.

On the construction of roads

Ramdas Tadas asks about construction of roads. He is asking if Wardha is part of Bharatmala project. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari says 26,000 km roads are being constructed under Bharatmala. There was a lag due to elections. Now, the works are back in full swing. On Wardha, he says the project will start soon.

Assam Member Thopan Kumar Gogoi asks about road construction and maintenance in his home State. Mr. Gadkari says that if any work has stopped, then the Member needs to find out why and follow up with the local authorities. A lot of land acquisition falls under the State government, he says.

11.00 a.m.

In Lok Sabha, Speaker Om Birla reads obituary reference.

In Rajya Sabha, Zero Hour proceedings are taken up. A Member says a typo in the Schedule Tribe list is stopping a community from getting benefits. Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot says he will look into it.

10.30 a.m.

List of business

Lok Sabha

- Obituary references

- The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, 2019 to be introduced by HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank

- The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to be intoduced by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Health Minister

- The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to be introduced by Dr. Harsh Vardhan

- The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to be moved for consideration and passing by AYUSH Minister Shripad Yesso Naik

- The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to be moved for consideration and passing by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Rajya Sabha

- Matter of urgent public importance: Climate change

- The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to be moved by Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal for consideration and passing

10.15 a.m.

Make promises that can be kept: Anand Sharma

The Centre should make only those promises that it could deliver on, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma suggested on Wednesday, observing that the government’s goal of turning India into a $5 trillion economy by 2024 required 12% annual growth.

Participating in the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha, Mr. Sharma said India was a two-trillion-dollar economy when the BJP-led government took over from the UPA in 2014 and over the next five years, it had expanded by $0.8 trillion.

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10 a.m.

Lok Sabha Speaker generous with time for first-time MPs

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla came in for much praise when he allowed first-time MPs extra time by extending the Zero Hour and even delaying lunch break to 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Speaker too opted to sit through the proceedings which prompted Trinamool leader Saugata Roy to say: “I congratulate you on how you have forgotten your hunger pangs so that younger members get a chance to speak. You are an example on how work should be conducted.”

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 6:59:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-live-updates-budget-session-june-27-2019/article28163142.ece

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