Parliament proceedings updates | July 29, 2021

A view of the Rajya Sabha during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Thursday, July 29, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Both Houses of Parliament on Thursday cleared important bills without debate amid continuing protests by Opposition members on the Pegasus snooping issue and the three contentious farm laws, against which farmers’ groups have been protesting for months.

Here are the live updates:


Lok Sabha | 2.15 pm

The House takes up Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The minister moves the bill for passage.

Lok Sabha passes the AERA amendment bill by a voice vote.

Now, Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal moves The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 for passage.

Dr Solanki reads out the name of the members who had given amendments and takes the name of N.K. Premachandran of RSP.

The Chair asks him if he will move the bill or not. Mr. Premachandran says the bill is very important and cannot be passed in din. He refused to move the amendment.

The Chair clubs all amendments and asks the minister to move for passage.

The AERA bill is passed by voice vote.

Lok Sabha adjourned until 11 am Friday.

Lok Sabha | 2.00 pm

Lok Sabha resumes.

Dr Kirit Premjibhai Solanki is on the Chair.

He reads out that the members who want to place their matter under Rule 377 can do so in 30 minutes. Dr Solanki requests Opposition members to return to their seats.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyodiraditya Scindiya speaks on consideration and passing The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2021 as the Chair asks him to move the Bill.

Mr. Scindiya says those who wear Hawaii sandals can now travel by air. "Prime Minister Modi is someone who truly democratized travel. In the midst of the spread of coronavirus and when there is sloganeering, our government is committed to the development of the poor and the farmers."

Mr. Scindia cites the example of how Darbhanga (Bihar) had an airstrip as far back as 1947 but the place was wiped from civil aviation map since 1962. Our government started civilian flights since November 9, 2020.

The minister cites the examples of such airports in Belgaum (Karnataka), Dhubri (Assam), Kishangarh (Rajasthan).

When Opposition members were shouting, Mr. Scindia says, "Let them shout but let us do our work. Let the country listen what great work the Prime Minister is doing. Let the country also see what they are doing."

In a democracy, you have to listen if you want to make us listen, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 2.00 pm

Rajya Sabha resumes.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moves Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for consideration and passing. Opposition shouting slogans against the government on the Pegasus issue.

The Bill will help the MSMEs of this country, she says.

TRS MP K.R. Suresh Reddy says we support the Bill, but what really worries me is that the Bill should have been comprehensive in benefiting MSMEs. These piecemeal Bills will not really benefit MSMEs. Atma Nirbhar Bharat package was good on paper, but very minimal benefit to MSMEs in reality.

Nirmala Sitharaman responding to Mr. Reddy, says the Bill will increase the number of NBFCs available to MSMEs from seven to 9,000. You can imagine the number of MSMEs that can benefit from this, she says.

RS passes Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021. Opposition members continue shouting slogans and booing in the House.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar introduces the Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

House adjourned till 11 am Friday.

Lok Sabha | 12.30 pm

Lok Sabha resumes.

Rajendra Agrawal, who is chairing the proceedings, takes up papers to be laid by ministers.

Opposition members continued their protest over Pegasus and other issues.

Chair requests protesting members to go back to their seats.

House adjourned till 2 p.m.

Rajya Sabha | 12.10 pm

Members discuss variation in budget estimate and expenditure as Opposition members shout slogans.

A member blows a whistle again. Deputy Chairman Harivansh says it shows disrespect towards the House.

Tribal migration, malnutrition in the country were discussed when members storm the well of the House.

TMC(M) member G.K. Vasan asks if there is any special scheme for pregnant women and children to get enough nutrition. He also asks about drinking water facilities for anganwadi children.

Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani lists the measures taken for anganwadi women and children. Beneficiaries are digitally mapped, she says. "Even during pandemic, children and lactating women were provided for."

Opposition starts booing as Ms. Irani answers a question on malnutrition.

Every anganwadi has been provided with drinking water in collaboration with the Jal Shakti Ministry. She lists the various measures taken for the first time ever, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Opposition shouting gets louder as Deputy Chairman Harivansh reads out a resolution of the Rajya Sabha on not disrupting Question Hour.

House adjourned till 2 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 12 noon

Speaker has turned down all the notices of adjournment motions on various issues. Papers being laid on the table of the House.

Member Nishikant Dubey expresses displeasure over the manner in which a TMC member addressed him in a parliamentary committee meeting.

"I want to draw attention of all members of this House. This is my 13th year as an MP and I was addressed a certain way by a woman, by Trinamool Congress, I have not seen this in my life," Mr. Dubey says, amid din in the House due to protests by opposition over Pegasus and farm bill issues.

"What is our mistake? Our mistake is in developing this country. We have worked as labourers, as Hindi-speaking people whether from Uttar Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh... we have worked hard. We have learnt sessions from Lord Ram," Mr. Dubey says. However, Mr. Dubey did not name the TMC member.

Rajendra Agrawal, chairing the proceedings, adjourned the House till 12.30 p.m.

Rajya Sabha | 12 noon

Rajya Sabha resumes. Question Hour starts, Opposition protesting in the well.

Protesting MPs raising slogans against the farm laws and holding signs against the government on the Pegasus issue.

A member blew a whistle. Deputy Chairman Harivansh says he will have to name the member.

Relationship with the U.S.

Answering a question, EAM Jaishankar says that comparing India and China on human rights is not accurate.

Swapan Dasgupta asks EAM what steps and strategy does India envisage in cooperation with other nations that Afghanistan does not become a terror haven. Mr. Jaishankar says in his discussions with U.S. Secretary of State, it was made clear that there should be a negotiated political settlement and no military takeover.

Lok Sabha | 11.50 am

On SMART cities

Continuing with the Question Hour, MP Prathap Simha says Mysuru does not figure in the list of cities for projects under Smart Cities Mission. Is there any proposal for extending the list, he asks. 

Minister Hardeep Singh Puri says the scheme was announced in June 2015 in order to use technology to introduce ease of living and promote sustainable development. "A system of competitive bidding was announced, and all cities that wished to compete were invited to submit specific projects to be implemented over a period of five years. The Centre gives ₹500 crore per year to each of the smart cities. The smart cities in Karnataka have done exceptionally well. They have been sanctioned ₹1,721 crore. Today, we are seeing the results. Mysuru was not included, as it was the question of putting forward a project...we will need to see if the list of smart cities have to be extended," he says.

Member Annasaheb Shankar Jolle asks if public representatives can be included in the Special Purpose Vehicles under the Smart Cities Mission. The Minister says there is at present no proposal to extend the scheme to other cities, it is our expectation that the experienced gained or demonstrated will result in other cities following suit, learning by example and thus, implementing them. MPs are part of the city level advisory forum and they should participate in giving advice.

Responding to a query from Sunil B. Mendhe, Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia says, "Under UDAN scheme, 780 routes have been awarded...359 of which are currently operational. In all, 59 new airports have been included under the UDAN scheme. Gondia in Maharashtra is also being considered under the scheme. However, there are certain issues which have to be resolved."

Question Hour comes to an end.

Lok Sabha | 11.30 am

Lok Sabha resumes.

Protesting members are seen in the well of the House waving placards. Meanwhile, the Question Hour is underway.

On promoting sports in MP

MP Sandhya Ray asks if any new proposal has been made for promoting sports in her constituency of Bhind in Madhya Pradesh.

Minister Anurag Thakur begins his response by saying that it is a matter of pride that Mirabai Chanu won Silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic on the first day of the event. He goes on to say that sports is a State subject. "Still if there are any proposals, we consider them. There is no such proposal for Bhind from the State government," says Mr. Thakur.

Ms. Ray replies with a request for a sports centre in Bhind. Mr. Thakur says 272 sports projects have been sanctioned by the  government under the Khelo India programme. Such initiatives have been taken up in 13 States, he says, adding that the Khelo India excellence centres have also been notified.

Listing the sport events organised by the government in the past seven years, Mr. Thakur says if National Sports Federation and Indian Olympic Association send any proposal for holding any event, it would be considered.

Rajya Sabha | 11 am

Rajya Sabha proceedings start.

Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu says he has not accepted any of the notices to raise issues under Rule 267 as the issue doesn't fit the bill.

Rajya Sabha adjourned till noon after Opposition starts protesting.

Lok Sabha | 11 am

Lok Sabha proceedings start.

Speaker Om Birla expresses displeasure over the happenings inside the House on Wednesday.

"Papers were torn and thrown," says Mr. Birla. He says that the members would have to collectively think about maintaining the dignity of the House.

The incidents which lower the dignity of the House should not be repeated, and if it is done, I will have to take action against the member concerned, he says.

Leader of Congress Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says all members are cooperating in maintaining the dignity of the House. In terms of productivity, this House under the Speaker's leadership has set a new example, he says.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi says big bundles of papers were thrown inside the House. Don't you want to apologise for that? he asks.

House adjourned till 11.30 a.m.


Lok Sabha

Bills for Consideration and Passing

- Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2021

- Inland Vessels Bill, 2021

Rajya Sabha

Bill for Consideration and Passing

- Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020


Government officials skip House panel meet on Pegasus

In a complete washout, the Standing Committee on Information Technology headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor could not deliberate on “Citizens’ Data Security and Privacy”, as none of the officials of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MEITy) and the Department of Telecom came for the meeting, citing various reasons for their absence.

A discussion on data security and privacy would have entailed questions on the alleged Pegasus cyberattack on more than 300 persons in India.

The BJP members, on the second consecutive day, staged a walkout refusing to sign the attendance register, forcing the meeting to be cancelled in the absence of quorum.

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