Adityanath says he is committed to good governance in Lok Sabha speech

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar at the BJP parliamentary party meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar at the BJP parliamentary party meeting.

Top Developments
  1. The Rajya Sabha has passed the HIV-AIDS Bill, 2014.
  2. The Lok Sabha is discussing the Finance Bill, 2017.
  3. Opposition Members bring up the issue of the Finance Bill amending other existing laws, but the Speaker disallows their points.
  4. UP CM Yogi Adityanath attended the session for the first time since his swearing-in ceremony.
  5. The Upper House is discussing the Union Budget 2017-18.

The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the HIV-AIDS Bill, 2014, while the Lok Sabha took up the Finance Bill, 2017 for consideration.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath made a speech in the Lok Sabha promising good governance for all in the new UP Assembly during the discussion on the Finance Bill.

Here are the live updates:

5.30 p.m.: Lok Sabha

Mr. Khan says the government is lucky that the price of crude oil has fallen. He also says corporate funding to political parties must be banned.

M. Rajamohan Reddy of the YSR Congress Party speaks next and says the manufacturing sector has seen no growth.

K. Maragatham of the AIADMK speaks next. She says the government should assure MSMEs who fear the impact of GST. Pralhad Joshi is in the Chair.

Prem Singh Chandumajra of the SAD speaks now. He too says that farmers need more.

House is adjourned till 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

5.30 p.m.: Rajya Sabha

Mr. Mistry speaks about reduction in funding for many departments pertaining to agriculture. Chair asks him to conclude.

Narendra Budania of the Congress speaks next.

Naresh Gujral of the SAD begins his speech by congratulating the government for limiting fiscal deficit to 3.2% of the GDP. He brings up the issue of giving powers to the IT department to conduct raids. Chair asks him to conclude.

Discussion on the Budget is not completed as two more Members are yet to speak.

Special Mentions are laid on the table.

House is adjourned till 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

5 p.m.: Lok Sabha

Mr. Adityanath hails the NDA government for its schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Stand Up India etc. He says he is a year younger than Rahul Gandhi and a year older than Akhilesh Yadav. "It looks like I've come between them." He doesn't comment on the Finance Bill.

Kavita Kalvakuntla of the TRS says that the unification of the Railway Budget with the Union Budget is a good thing.

Badaruddoza Khan of the CPI(M) speaks next.

5 p.m.: Rajya Sabha

Mr. Mahatme says he believes this Budget is revolutionary even more after listening to other Members speaking about it. He then goes on speak on electoral bonds.

Madhusudan Mistry of the Congress speaks next. He raises the issue of unemployment.

4.30 p.m.: Lok Sabha

Mr. Kirtikar lists the needs of Maharashtra.

Rammohan Naidu Kinjarapu of the TDP speaks next. He mentions the capital gains tax exemption for farmers who have given their land for the building of Amaravati. "But the exemption has been granted for two years. To avail the full benefit, we request that the capital gains tax exemption be granted for the first sale without any time limit."

His speech is interrupted with shouts of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'   and 'Jai Shri Ram'   as Yogi Adityanath enters the House.

Mr. Adityanath speaks next. He says the government is committed to development and good governance.

4.30 p.m.: Rajya Sabha

Mr. Gokulakrishnan says that Puducherry was asked to start a public account of its own. "The GoI and Puducherry were like a newly married couple living with the in-laws."

Chair calls on Digvijaya Singh to speak. He lists schemes begun by the UPA in its previous two terms, which the BJP had opposed then, but is taking up now. He calls the Budget an enemy of farmers.

T.K. Rangarajan is in the Chair now.

Vikas Mahatme of the BJP speaks next.

4 p.m.: Lok Sabha

Mr. Roy continues to speak. "We still haven't received figures as to how much currency has come in."

Tathagatha Satpathy of the BJD speaks next. He refers to the Emergency when the trains "ran on time."

"Let us allow the poor Indian to build up some reserve in their families. I would like to say that very surreptitiously, this government has imposed income tax on agriculture. The profession is being decimated. A hardworking farmer builds a home which he rents out in a tier II/III town, buys a car and gives it to his son to drive as a taxi. The farmer merely survives. This is now being clubbed with income from other sources."

He goes on to speak on electoral bonds and the amendment to FCRA.

He quotes Goebbels as saying that if you keep saying something, the public will believe it.

Gajanan Kirtikar of the Shiv Sena speaks next.

4 p.m.: Rajya Sabha

Ripun Bora begins speaking.

Basawaraj Patil is in the Chair. Meghraj Jain of the BJP speaks next.

N. Gokulakrishnan of the AIADMK lauds the government's effort to promote digital transactions.

3.30 p.m.: Lok Sabha

Mr. Singh continues to speak. He now praises the Fasal Bima Yojana.

M. Chandrakasi of the AIADMK speaks now. He hails demonetisation and measures to go cashless. He speaks about tax devolution between the Centre and States.

Saugata Roy says Mr. Jaitley added 33 clauses yesterday to the Finance Bill.

3.30 p.m.: Rajya Sabha

R. Lakshmanan of the AIADMK says that the Bill as it is presented in the House is not the same as it was earlier. He too objects to clause 14(1). "As a medical doctor, I welcome the Bill."

Mr. Nadda rises to respond to the debate. He says the government will upgrade blood banks, pay special attention to sex workers and men who have sex with men. "As far as the number ombudsmen is concerned, it is up to the states."

He addresses the issue of clause 14(1). He says the government has adopted the policy of tests and treatment. "India will treat anyone who tests positive." He says that the rules will ensure that nobody will be denied treatment. "If treatment is denied, the reason has to be recorded."

The Minister moves that the Bill be considered. The motion is adopted.

Clause by clause voting begins. The Minister moves that the Bill as amended be passed.

The Bill is passed. Chair congratulates the House. "This is how we should work."

House takes up further discussion on the Union Budget.

3 p.m.: Lok Sabha

Rakesh Singh of the BJP speaks next. He says we have never thought out-of-the-box. "We have never thought about archaic laws."

He calls this Budget a paradigm shift. "We have again told the world that we don't work for votes. We work for the country." Opposition benches jeer.

He says the government works for the people — the women, the poor and the farmers. Mr. Singh quotes the GDP figures and says it has been at 7% despite demonetisation. "This government is not Moody's," he says referring to the Moody's demonetisation report.

3 p.m.: Rajya Sabha

Mr. Siva says the timeframe within which the ombudsman must respond is not mentioned in the Bill. He also says that medication is very expensive.

M.V. Rajeev Gowda says it is very good that we are providing legal rights for people to fight discrimination, but that the stigma still exists. "One of the most vulnerable groups is men who have sex with men. But this is outlawed under article 377. We should look at repealing article 377 , as the Supreme Court has passed the responsibility on to us. You are doing a lot of progressive things, so consider this too."

Across party lines, there is objection to the phrase "as far as possible."

Vikas Mahatme of the BJP also supports the Bill, and also says that the contentious phrase needs to be taken out, without stripping the government of its feasibility to fund the treatment.

D. Raja says he agrees with the Bill broadly but also has reservations about clause 14(1).

Chair calls on Oscar Fernandes of the Congress to speak now. "We MPs, MLAs, legislators and panchayats have a big role to play in this," says Mr. Fernandes. He asks the Minister to pass on this subject to the Panchayati Raj Minister, and that this should be discussed at the panchayat-level. He says the country should spend more money on research on vaccine.

2.30 p.m.: Lok Sabha

Speaker disallows the point of order raised by Mr. Premachandran.

Deepender Singh Hooda asks why the RBI Act must be amended like this. Mr. Hooda quotes an Oxfam report on the distribution of wealth in India. He says the richest and poorest should pay the same percentage of indirect tax, referring to the way taxes are levied on petroleum products.

"Advance tax collection in the fourth quarter of this year has seen the least growth in the last 15 years," says Mr. Hooda.

2.30 p.m.: Rajya Sabha

Mr. Kore wants the government to end discrimination faced by persons with HIV.

D. Bandyopadhyay of the Trinamool Congress says India is the third largest country affected by HIV. He claims that clause 14(1) of the Bill allows the government to get away without providing medical facilities.

What is clause 14(1) of the Bill?

"The measures to be taken by the Central Government or the State Government under section 13 shall include the measures for providing, as far as possible, Anti-retroviral Therapy and Opportunistic Infection Management to people living with HIV or AIDS."

Jairam Ramesh too objected to the use of the phrase "as far as possible" in the Bill.

Naresh Agarwal of the SP speaks next. He claims that truck drivers are the most vulnerable lot as far as HIV is concerned.

K. Somaprasad of the CPI(M) speaks about sex being a basic instict. "Sexual contact cannot be banned. But we can educate the youth." He says that sex education must be mandatory in schools.

Ashok Siddharth of the BSP says separate budget allocation must be made for HIV/AIDS, and that he supports the Bill.

Vijaysai Reddy speaks next. He speaks about clause 3(a) on discrimination in employment. He says that the Home Ministry does not recruit persons affected by HIV in security personnel. He also refers to clause 6(c) and says it needs a definition, and clause 19 on safe working environment. He supports the Bill.

What is clause 3(a)?

"No person shall discriminate against the protected person on any ground including any of the following, namely the denial of, or termination from, employment or occupation."

What is clause 6(c)?

"The informed consent for conducting an HIV test shall not be required for epidemiological or surveillance purposes where the HIV test is anonymous and is not for the purpose of determining the HIV status of a person provided that persons who are subjects of such epidemiological or surveillance studies shall be informed of the purposes of such studies."

What is clause 19?

"Every establishment, engaged in the healthcare services and every such other establishment where there is a significant risk of occupational exposure to HIV, shall, for the purpose of ensuring safe working environment,

(i) provide, in accordance with the guidelines,

(a) Universal Precautions to all persons working in such establishment who may be occupationally exposed to HIV; and (b) training for the use of such Universal Precautions; (c) Post Exposure Prophylaxis to all persons working in such establishment who may be occupationally exposed to HIV or AIDS; and

(ii) inform and educate all persons working in the establishment of the availability of Universal Precautions and Post Exposure Prophylaxis.

Tiruchi Siva begins his speech saying he supports the Bill.

2 p.m.: Lok Sabha

House reconvenes. Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai is in the Chair.

Arun Jaitley rises to move that the Finance Bill, 2017 be taken into consideration.

N.K. Premachandran says he is opposed to the Finance Bill under rule 219(1) and Article 110. He says the Finance Bill can only provide for a particular year. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is in the Chair.

What is Rule 219(1) that the Member refers to?

In this rule "Finance Bill" means the Bill ordinarily introduced in each year to give effect to the financial proposals of the Government of India for the next following financial year and includes a Bill to give effect to supplementary financial proposals for any period.

What is Article 110?

This Article in the Constitution defines a Money Bill, one which can only be debated in the Lok Sabha.

"For the purposes of this Chapter, a Bill shall be deemed to be a Money Bill if it contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters, namely

(a) the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax

(b) the regulation of the borrowing of money or the giving of any guarantee by the Government of India, or the amendment of the law with respect to any financial obligations undertaken or to be undertaken by the Government of India;

(c) the custody of the consolidated Fund or the Contingency Fund of India, the payment of moneys into or the withdrawal of moneys from any such Fund;

(d) the appropriation of moneys out of the consolidated Fund of India;

(e) the declaring of any expenditure to be expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or the increasing of the amount of any such expenditure;

(f)the receipt of money on account of the Consolidated Fund of India or the public account of India or the custody or issue of such money or the audit of the accounts of the Union or of a State; or

(g) any matter incidental to any of the matters specified in sub clause (a) to (f)."

Mr. Premachandran claims that the Bill amends 40 other existing Acts. "I strongly oppose the moving of this Bill for consideration and passing." Saugata Roy says the Bill has amendments to 30 Acts.

Mr. Jaitley responds quoting G.V. Mavalankar's 1952 ruling, on the word 'only' in the Constitution in this regard. He says that the Finance Bill as it stands now needs to be a Money Bill to bring in electoral bonds. "Section 13A of the Income Tax Act and clause 11A of The Finance Bill, 2017 deal with electoral bonds. For this provision, RBI and Representation of People Act is amended."

2 p.m.: Rajya Sabha

House reconvenes. Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien takes the Chair.

Calling attention to the discussion on Special Category Status has been postponed due to the non-availability of the Minister. Tapan Sen of the CPI(M) says that a call attention should be taken up every week.

House takes up The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014 for consideration and passing. J.P. Nadda rises to move that the Bill be considered.

"This Bill, which was introduced in Rajya Sabha in February 2014 has gone through a very exhaustive process. The Bill has provisions to strengthen the hands of the people working to curb HIV."

The Minister says that the AIDS Control Programme in India has been successful, and the HIV deaths declined by 54%, which is higher than the global rate.

Jairam Ramesh cites Sonia Gandhi's speech at the UNGA when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. "The only state that has constantly shown a decline in HIV patients has been Tamil Nadu."

Mr. Ramesh says that the money allocated for blood banks is not being used. He supports the Bill.

Prabhakar Kore of the BJP speaks next about the prevalence of young girls ending up as sex workers in Karnataka.

12.30 p.m.: Lok Sabha

The lower House continues peacefully. Arvind Ganpat Sawant of the Shiv Sena is speaking now. Sanjay Jaiswal of the BJP speaks about salaries to anganwadi workers being very low.

Ram Vilas Paswan rises to respond to a statement on MSP.

Neelam Sonkar of the BJP speaks next.

P. Karunakaran of the CPI(M) brings up the inauguration of Passport Seva Kendras in post offices being delayed due to lack of facilities. K.V. Thomas speaks about NRIs being affected by demonetisation. Ajay Misra of the BJP speaks next about Krishi Vigyan Kendras.

Ranjeet Ranjan speaks about the PMGS fund.

House is adjourned till 2 p.m.

12.30 p.m.: Rajya Sabha

Ram Jethmalani speaks. Treasury benches jump up in protest. Chair expunges his statement, after calling it unparliamentary. Ministers continue to protest.

"Ministers can't protest," says the Chair.

Mr. Jethmalani speaks about black money abroad. Ruckus begins again. "I'm 94 years old. These young men don't have the courtesy to let me speak."

"You must expel all of them if you want the House to function," says Mr. Jethmalani. Chair says it is an interesting suggestion but cannot be implemented. "The German government offered to disclose information on account holders stashing black money. Did you make any effort to avail of the offer made publicly by the German government?" asks Mr. Jethmalani.

Mr. Jaitley says that the question relates to HSBC accounts. "Under different treaties, the information and some evidence was in Switzerland. Of the 628 persons named, all have been investigated. 409 cases' assessments have been completed. 119 prosecutions are being initiated. No Member of this House should think that others are not serious about black money."

Vijaysai Reddy of the YSR Congress raises a question about shell companies. "What is being done about shell companies incorporated outside India?" The Minister says that the government is in negotiation with Mauritius, Cyprus and Singapore.

Ripun Bora of the Congress says that black money holders were not apprehended during the process of demonetisation. Mr. Jaitley says that one of the objects of demonetisation was to disincentivise the use of cash. "Independent action is being taken. The impact of this will be felt in the long run."

Mohammed Ali Khan of the Congress asks the next question on papers being leaked in Army recruitment exams. Subhash Rao Bhamre responds.

Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena asks what the Army's intelligence has been doing about this. Mr. Bhamre says that the Army is conducting an inquiry to identify the procedural lapses and the persons behind the leakage of question papers. Digvijaya Singh alleges a conspiracy.

House is adjourned till 2 p.m.

12 noon: Lok Sabha

Papers are laid on the table. Matters of urgent public importance are taken up next. First, it is on Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, by Yelliah Nandi of the Congress. He also raises the issue of lack of opportunities for SC/STs in Telangana.

Shrirang Barne of the Shiv Sena speaks next. He makes his speech in Marathi, for giving the language the status of a scheduled language.

Ashwini Choubey of the BJP speaks about immigrant labour and trafficked individuals in Saudi Arabia.

Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai is in the Chair.

Ninong Ering of the Congress speaks about social security and Aadhaar. Naba Kumar Sarania from Assam speaks next, in Assamese.

Bhartruhari Mahtab of the BJD speaks about IPS cadre having vacancies in Odisha. Kaushalendra Kumar of the JD(U) brings up the issue of MGNREGA.

Jayadev Galla of the TDP raises the issue of a list of crimes by immigrants being created by the authorities in the U.S.

12 noon: Rajya Sabha

Chairman Hamid Ansari takes the Chair.

Question Hour begins. The first question is asked by Shankarbhai N. Vegad of the BJP on the certification programme for ASHAs. Faggan Singh Kulaste, the Mos for Health and Family Welfare responds.

K.C. Ramamurthy of the Congress asks if the government has made any provision for ASHAs to upgrade them to nursing care. Tapan Sen of the CPI(M) asks a supplementary question. Mr. Kulaste says the government is looking into it.

Digviyaja Singh asks about performance-based incentives for ASHAs. J.P. Nadda, the Minister for Health and Family Welfare says that the government actively associates with ASHAs, and they act according to demands from states.

D. Raja of the CPI asks the next question on remedial measures taken to control MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate) and IMR (Infant Mortality Rate). "India's MMR is worse when compared to several other countries," he says.

Mr. Nadda says that the pace of decline in MMR and IMR is faster than the international rate. Mr. Raja says that the PM said pregnant women will get Rs. 6,000. "But the government says it has been implemented in only 52 districts. How long will you take to implement this?"

Arun Jaitley answers a question on the amount of black money that has come in to the system , asked by M.V. Rajeev Gowda of the Congress. Mr. Gowda says the Minister's answer does not give any numbers. He then asks how much black money has come back from abroad.

Mr. Jaitley says that government has taken series of steps, referring to the Lichtenstein accounts and HSBC accounts. "Further action in relation to the Panama accounts is also being taken."

11.30 a.m.: Lok Sabha

Jose K. Mani of the Kerala Congress (M) asks a question as to why a profitable unit is going to be privatised.

Mr. Geete says this is not an issue that has been happening only in the last two years, but sick units have been happening for many years now. Congress MPs protest. Speaker calms them down.

Shashi Tharoor asks a question on Vellayani Lake in Kerala. Prakash Javadekar, HRD Minister, says that the note has not come from the State government through proper channels. N.K. Premachandran asks if there is a central scheme to protect Sasthamkotta lake in Kerala.

The next question is asked by Sadashiv Lokhande on custodial deaths.

Baijayant Panda of the BJD asks a question on restricting hydro-fluoro carbons (HFCs) according to the Kigali Agreement. "Today's Indian economy size is where China was 20 years ago. Is only a four-year gap (India has committed to restricting it by 2024, China by 2020), enough?"

Mr. Javadekar says that the principle is not a four-year gap, but a 10-year period.

11.30 a.m.: Rajya Sabha

Other Members try to interrupt Ms. Baidya. Chair chides them.

Ram Nath Thakur of JD(U) speaks about the lack of facilities in AIIMS centres around the country.

Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu of the Congress, from Jharkhand, raises the issue of tribal lands being taken away.

Tiruchi Siva of the DMK speaks next about fishermen from India languishing in prisons abroad. "37 of them are in Iranian prison for straying into their waters."

D. Raja of the CPI speaks about farmers from Tamil Nadu agitating in Jantar Mantar. "TN is in the grip of severe drought. Agriculture is in deep crisis and distress."

Smriti Irani rises to wish Parsis for Nowroz.

11 a.m.: Lok Sabha

House reconvenes. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is in the Chair.

Question Hour begins.

The first question pertains to misleading advertisements. Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan says it is an important issue. "There are four kinds of such ads — those with celebrities involved, different products supplied, involving newspaper and TV ads and spurious products."

"Consumer protection act provides remedy by consumer courts. We do not have any power for taking action directly. The Amendment Bill was brought in 2015," says the Minister.

"The standing committee has sent its report. It has prescribed stringent action. Two year jail for celebrities for first offence and five years for the second has been proposed. It was amended 80 times. Now we have introduced new Bill under which manufacturers, celebrities and publishers to be punished. Consumer would have the right to complain before, during and after purchase of products."

Uday Pratap Singh seeks a body to clear advertisements, like the Censor Board.

"We have studied the consumer protection laws in various countries, and the law has to be amended for more stringent action," says Mr. Paswan. MP Sunil Mondal says despite the law being in place, there have been discrepancies in checking adulteration, in connivance with unscrupulous officials.

"The consumer court is used to take action,"says Mr. Paswan. "We have now set up a consumer protection body. Hallmarking will be made mandatory, including in gold products. For consumables, we along with other ministries are examining the issues."

Ashok Kumar of the AIADMK asks a question on misleading advertisements by practitioners of Ayurveda and allied fields. MoS Consumer Affairs C.R. Chaudhary says that the 1986 law address the issues related Ayush drugs.

"The departments concerned are monitoring the ads. The government on confirmation of offence will recommend action through the regulatory authority."

The next question is on reviving closed PSUs and industrial units , asked by Shyam Charan Gupta. Anant Geete, the Minister for Heavy Industries responds. "Naini has three industrial units, about which MP has specifically asked. One has been handed over to defence. The second unit — the issue is pending in the court."

Gaurav Gogoi asks a supplementary question on the Rungta Committee report on revival of industries. The Minister says the government is looking into it. "We have presented the paper for revival to the Cabinet."

11 a.m.: Rajya Sabha

House reconvenes. Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien is in the Chair. Committee Reports are laid on the table.

Zero Hour begins.

Mayawati brings up EVM tampering. Treasury benches protest. Chair refuses to take it up saying there will be a discussion on electoral reforms tomorrow.

Digvijaya Singh asks what the Chairman's decision was on his notice for discussion on the conduct of the Governors of Goa and Manipur. Chair says it is being considered.

Jairam Ramesh asks why the discussion on Aadhaar has been postponed after it was notified for Wednesday. "I asked the Secretariat as to why it was postponed, and they informed me that the Finance Minister is unwell. But he is present here and he looks hale and hearty. Why is a discussion that has already been notified been postponed?"

Chair assures Mr. Ramesh that it will be taken up tomorrow.

Sharad Yadav of the JD(U) speaks about Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Jharna Das Baidya of the CPI(M) brings up human rights violations by the West Bengal police.

10.45 a.m.:Listed business for the day

Rajya Sabha

- The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014 - Discussion on the Union Budget 2017-18 - Discussion on the working of the Ministry of Railways - Discussion on the working of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions - Discussion on the working of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises - Discussion on the working of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

Lok Sabha

- The Finance Bill, 2017


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Printable version | May 14, 2022 10:52:20 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-live-updates-march-21-2017/article62127573.ece