Parliament proceedings updates | Modi govt. gets things done: Tejaswi Surya

Arvind Ganpat Sawant addressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Screengrab from Lok Sabha TV.  

The government and Parliament have great respect for farmers who are voicing their views on the three farm bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, and made it clear that those who want to continue with the old agriculture marketing system can continue doing so.

Replying in Lok Sabha to the discussion on the motion of thanks to the President's address to the joint sitting of Parliament, Mr. Modi staunchly defended the three contentious farms laws and attacked the opposition for "misleading" farmers, saying those who are disrupting the House are doing so as per a "well-planned strategy" as they are unable to digest that people can see the truth.

"Through their games, the trust of the people can never be won," he said, amidst protests by the opposition members.

During his over 90-minute address, the Prime Minister slammed the Congress as "divided and confused party" for its different stands in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on the debate.

TMC  and Congress MPs staged a walkout from Lok Sabha amid Prime Minister's speech.

Here are the updates:

Lok Sabha | 11.35 p.m.

PM Modi is one of the biggest social reformers of our times: Diya Kumari

Diya Kumari of the BJP in Rajasthan calls it an "extremely progressive and holistic union budget". The govt has done eveything for the elders, women and the needy.  She says there are around 25 countries waiting in line for the Made in India vaccines. She highlights the healthcare system. She welcomes the Jal Jeevan Mission and it will help Rajasthan in a big way. Poshan Abhiyan will help women and children.  She credits the govt for the largest representation of women in the parliament. Modi is one of the biggest social reformers of our times, she says.  She also praises the work done on the census.

Lok Sabha | 10.50 p.m.

 

Hema Malini of the BJP calls it a transformatory, visionary budget and praises the Finance Minister. She outlines the massive outlay for the health sector. She congratulates Nirmala Sitharaman for coming out with a special budget for women. The nation's jewellers are happy that the customs duty has been reduced on gold.

Lok Sabha

 

Lok Sabha has been extended until midnight.

Lok Sabha | 9.58 p.m.

Modi govt. gets things done: Tejaswi Surya

Tejaswi Suriya is speaking now. He says the budget will help Inida. "Push for digital payments, space exploration and other measures will help India be more efficient," he claims. Mr. Suriya says Indian model of handling coronavirus is being lauded around the world.

Gives examples of other developed countries and how India has fared better. "India has repatriated highest number of civilians from foreign countries. Also India has robustly produced and supplied vaccines to 25 countries," he says. "In new India, politicians do not take vaccine first. Instead, the frontline workers do," he claims.

"India kept poor by policy before and poverty was perpetuated as State policy," he states. Prime Minister has tried to reverse these policies to transform India's political economy, he says.  He says that this budget acknowledges disinvestment and promotes private investment for economic growth.

He claims the BJP govt is the most reformist govt in the history of India. "Narendra Modi is messiah of Indian people, he has alleviated the most number of people from crippling poverty," he claims. He says protecting farmers have been used as an excuse to stall farm reforms. "While Opposition was partaking in tukde tukde movements, the government was involved in many development works," he claims.

He lists some of these reforms: corporate tax rates, recapitalising public sector banks, lowering tax rates, changes in FDI policy among others. Govt. has done more electrification and trains are being improve too, he adds.

- The Hindu Net desk

Lok Sabha | 9.21 p.m.

Vaccine in Maharashtra would be made free if GST dues to State are cleared: Supriya Sule

Supriya Sule of NCP is speaking now. COVID-19 added to miseries compounded by the bad policies of the government, she says. She says the UPA govt had brought in important schemes and policies that have benefitted the country. She criticises the govt's handling of the farmers' protest. "Nirmala Sitharaman promised free vaccination in Bihar. Are they doing it there? If they are, then why not in Maharashtra?"she questions.

"GST compensation is pending to Maharashtra, if given, vaccination would be made free," says Ms. Sule. The FM has taken away ₹12 crores from evey MP (MPLAD fund). FM should take inspiration form State FM Ajit Pawar who has distributed ₹5 crore even among opposition members as a part of development fund.

"They had rejected Aadhar, GSTwhen they were in the oppositoom. Now they have embraced these policies," she says.

"Govt. has taken a U-turn on the PMC bank case affecting poor people. The govt is doing nothing to help them," she says.

She claims liquidation is not the solution. "No data released on Mudra loans. Govt. collects cess but nothing comes to State. The have started agri cess now. CAG report says cess collections are not entirely utilised."

- The Hindu Net desk

Lok Sabha | 9.11 p.m.

G. Ranjith Reddy asks govt to abide by Swaminathan Commision recomendations on MSP

G. Ranjith Reddy of TRS is speaking now. He says big ticket projects are going to States which have elections upcoming. He criticises the budget and asks FM to show magnanimity towards Telangana. He is talking about the importance of MSP. He asks govt. to abide by the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commision when it comes to MSP.

He says his govt. has adequately spent funds on Agriculture. He asks FM to consider capital formation to aid agriculture sector and to remove apprehensions of farmers. States should be given more time to reduce fiscal deficit, she said.

Telengana should also have a textile park in Warangal district, he says. He concludes.

- The Hindu Net Desk

Lok Sabha | 9.07 p.m.

The budget has been harmful towards poor people: Sangeeta Azad of BSP

The budget has been harmful towards poor people, especially migrants, says Sangeeta Azad of BSP. She says the pandemic has revealed the fragile nature of India's health infrastructuture. She claims that the govt is selling country's assets slowly but surely. She demands for increased spending in health budget. She criticises reduction in education buget.

She wants the old pension scheme to be rolled back. There has been increase in Railway budget, but my constituencies demand about a new rail line has not been fulfilled, she expressed. Ayushman Bharat has not been implemented properly, poor have been excluded.

She concludes her speech.

- The Hindu Net Desk

Lok Sabha| 8.56 p.m.

Jagganath International Airport should be opened in Odisha for improving tourism: Sarmishta Sethi of BJD

Sarmishta Sethi of BJD spoke about various Odisha govt. schemes that has helped the State. She demands the Central govt,. to remove financial hurdles for economic growth. She says roads and highways in Odisha have undergone decay and should be looked into. She demands higher allocation of funds for the same.

She brings up the topic of building Jagganath International Airport in Puri to boast tourism. She demands it be done immediately. Reduction of GST to 18% to 5% should be done, she says.

- The Hindu Net Desk

Lok Sabha | 8.37 p.m

Cleaning of Ganga important: Dinesh Chandra Yadav of JD (U)

Dinesh Chandra Yadav of JD (U) is speaking right now. He lauds Modi govt. for economic and social aid extended by the govt to the poor during the coronavirus induced lockdown. He mentions various central govt, schemes that has benefited States like Bihar. He stresses on cleaning of the Ganga river. Silting in Ganga due to Farakka bridge should be looked into, he says.

"We demand a textile park be established in Bihar. A natural gas plant is also required in the state," he demands. He raises issues of unemployment and manufacturing activities in Bihar. He wants the State to be included in various central schemes. He says the govt. bought surplus grains from farmers at an unreasonable price, adversely affecting them. It is necessary to talk about this in the house, he adds.

He talks about the central pension scheme and says govt. should raise pension with this buget. He says the introduction of the Jal Jeevan programme will help the people of the country. 

He demands opening of Sainik Vidyalaya school in Bihar. He concludes his speech.

- The Hindu Net Desk

Lok Sabha | 8.18 p.m

Arvind Ganpat Sawant of Shiv Sena questions govt. handling of farmers' protests

Arvind Ganpat Sawant of Shiv Sena is speaking now. He congratulates the Maharashtra govt. for effectively dealing with the pandemic.  He questions the govt's handling of the Farmers' protest and criticises the Prime Minister for calling protestors andolon kaaris. "Govt. should have stopped the violent elements but was too incompetent to do so," he says. He says Mumbai's erstswhile flourishing textile industry has been on the decline. "Govt. should take steps to revive it."

He says wherever there is election, the govt . causes ruckus rather than taking a policy centric approach. Mr. Sawant says money is being given to States where there are elections.

He raises disinvestment of ports, airports, PSUs. "Have you thought of the social impact of the people who lose their jobs in middle ages," asks Mr Sawant to Ravi Shankar Prasad who is present in the House. Mr Sawant highlights the situation of fishermen in Mumbai and Gujarat who used to export fish to China, seeks solution. He raises queries about Maharashtra's pending GST.

He concludes his address.

- The Hindu Net Desk

Lok Sabha | 8.03 p.m.

MPLAD funds should be released: Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy of YSRCP

Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy of YSRCP is speaking now. He compliments the government for vaccination and allocation for Pollavaram project. Mr Reddy continues about Andhra Pradesh government plans on power projects and welfare projects. He says Railways in Anghra Pradesh needs more investment for improvement. "₹8,0000 cr MPLAD fund should be released immediately," he says.

He concludes.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha| 8 p.m.

Now, BJP's Nishikant Dubey gets up, backs P.P. Chaudhary and asks Ms. Moitra's membership to be cancelled. Trinamool members start protesting. Arguments break out between BJP and Trinamool MPs.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 7.50 p.m.

BJP's P.P. Chaudhary moves breach of privilege notice against Mahua Moitra

BJP's P.P. Chaudhary has moved a breach of privilege notice against Trinamool's Mahua Moitra for her speech during the Motion of Thanks debate and cites article 121 of the Constitution. Mr. Chaudhary says it does not make any difference whether a judge is a sitting judge or a retired judge. N.K. Premachandran (RSP) on Chair said the matter is under consideration of the Speaker.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 7.30 p.m.

Imposition of lockdown without prior notice was cruel: Saugata Roy

 
TMC's Saugata Roy addressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

TMC's Saugata Roy addressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Screengrab from Lok Sabha TV

 

Now Saugata Roy of Trinamool is speaking. He starts with Mahatma Gandhi's talisman of thinking about the poorest man. "This Budget fails on that score," he adds. He says Nirmala Sitharaman is selling of the assets of the country.  Fiscal prudence has been thrown out of the window, he says and crticises the FM for over-spending. "Just like we had a film Bend It Like Beckham, this Budget will be called Spend it Like Sitharaman. She will be part of the OLX team, selling off everything"

"The lockdown was announced four days late. BJP govt. was busy with toppling Madhya Pradesh government. Without notice, imposing a lockdown was cruel. Mamata Banerjee has said the same," he claims. 

"We have seen the sight of people walking home in Barkha Dutt's reportage," he says. "Nirmala Sitharaman can go to her party and say, you wanted to dismantle the public sector. Look I have done it by dismantling everything they built," says Mr. Roy.

"Ms Sitharaman announced two fiscal stimulus during the lockdown. Nobel laureate like Amartya Sen and Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee had suggested to put money into the hands of the migrants. But the cruel government didn't do it. Everybody was expecting that they would give tax cuts but they are cruel and won't give it," he adds. 

"Nirmala Sitharaman has spent and spent but the economy has not shown an upturn," he says. Now he quotes IMF suggestions for a green and a digital economy. "I would ask this Governmemt, let them make friends with the country," he states.  He starts quoting achievements of the Mamata Banerjee government and mentions many flagship schemes.

He concludes.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 7.01 p.m.

Why can't PM show compassion for farmers, asks DMK's Dayanidhi Maran

 
Dayanidhi Maran addressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Dayanidhi Maran addressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.  

 

Now DMK's Dayanidhi Maran speaking. He talks about hardship during lockdown, job losses and says 30% of MSMEs closing down. Maran says there is no income tax concession. Mentions about aviation, tourism and hospitality industry suffering the worst. "Maybe the govt didn't want to touch aviation sector because if they infuse funds, they will have to infuse funds into Air India and maybe it will revive," he says.

Now, he talks about hike in taxes on fuel despite a fall in crude oil prices. "At least, the Centre can reduce the excise duty," says Mr. Maran.  Maran expresses surprise that there has been a marginal increase in defence budget "We saw the PM show compassion at Ghulam Nabi Azad's farewell speech. Why can't he show the same compassion for farmers?" he questiones.

He says: "The government is claiming a massive jump for health sector. The devil is in details as it includes one time fund for vaccines. He demands a forensic audit of all these vaccines companies so that there is no back door entry into any political party."

"We know the PM likes the American model," he says. Mr. Maran demands a white paper on the results on the stimulus package. Now you want to sell our PSUs. Why can't cut down on expenses  on advertisement and put them in PSUs, asks Mr. Maran. He raises disinvestment of BPCL, LIC and Air India. Mr. Maran says this Budget is not for the common man.

Mr. Maran talks about massive wealth growth of Adani, Ambani and Anil Aggarwal even during the pandemic. These people never created any new product but gained because of their closeness to the BJP, says Mr. Maran. Now, Maran talks about announcements in Tamil Nadu and how they have been only on paper. He talks about a rail project in his constituency and how it is going on in snail's pace.

Mr. Maran says Ravi Shankar Prasad talked about giving 4G to BSNL and even today it has been not been given. He now attacks BJP over it's alliance with the AIADMK that is being referred to as the most corrupt government.

He ends his speech

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 6.41 p.m.

When UPA was formed, Sensex went -5.83%: Meenakshi Lekhi

Meenakshi Lekhi says: "Showing you a highlighter, you can produce this wherever and sell it wherever, but a farmer has to sell only in his district mandis. How fair is it? What does the farmer get? Some products like milk or fish were kept out and they did well. Does it look good if you put obstacles in things like this?. When UPA was formed, Sensex went -5.83%. This time, it has gone up massively"

Now, she talks about massive allocation in sanitation and drinking water. "Water itself has got ₹17,000 crore, Big bull Rakesh Junjhunwala has given 10 out of 10 for this Budget. Almost all sectors have seen double the allocation in every sector. I will reiterate that our government is committed is to the Health sector," she claims.  She is talking about Swach Bharat Abhiyan and said India was declared open defecation free by 2019.

When the Oppostion members talked about Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, Ms. Lekhi quipped, "It was Nirmal Bharat but Nirmala who did it".

Taking a dig at Mahua Moitra's courage and cowardice speech, Ms. Lekhi said,"Courage is to pass these laws while cowardice is to hide behind 18-year-olds".

"Farmers used to commit suicide for ₹10,000-₹20,000. That's why the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi was brought in. Even candles and incense sticks used to come from China and now they (pointing towards Congress benches) are teaching us how to run MSMEs," she says.

She talkes about improvements in Railways, vista dome coaches and automatic. She ends her speech with a poem of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

She concludes.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 6.22 p.m.

Goal to supply tap water to every household via Jal Jeevan mission: Meenakshi Lekhi

 
Meenakshi Lekhi addressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Meenakshi Lekhi addressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.  

 

Meenakshi Lekhi is speaking now. She congratulates the FM on the budget and lauds PM for the vision of a double digit economy. She says the first budget of this decade is a bit different because of the pandemic-stricken times. "This is the first budget of this decade and will determine the path India will travel during the next few years," she claims.

She says: "On economy I look at what Gita Gopinath but opposition goes to Mia Khalifa for it. You are weaponising a child who has Asperger, OCD and depend on her to talk on farmers' protest. A.P.J Abdul Kalam had the vision of PURA (Providing Urban infrastructure in Rural Areas) and that is what this government is doing. Via Jal Jeevan mission, modernising Mandis, digital payments, electricity, housing etc. Water Sanitation and Hygiene was also prioritised to improve women’s health, infant mortality rates, maternal mortality rates. Now the goal is to reach tap water supply to every household via jal Jeevan mission."

"Capitalism is needed for economic development of the country. For instance getting new technology like 5G internet. I am not here to defend any capitalists but stand with those who stand with India," says Meenakshi Lekhi.

"What's the problem? Is it because jija, chacha and mausi (brother-in-law, uncle and aunt) not getting work?" she questions. She quotes UNCTAD figures to argue that there has been positive inflow of investment. She quotes former Finance Minister P. Chidamabaram's criticism on the budget and calls it laughable. "You keep saying Nehru, Nehru, Nehru who gave the PSUs. What did you do after that. They are a burden on the consolidated fund of India," she complained. 

She says PSUs need to be redrafted.  She talks about 5800 factories closing down in Bengal and asks what did the Left do to revive it.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 6.10 p.m.

Government’s mediocrity in public policy disappoints citizens: Shashi Tharoor

"Our citizens have been left repeatedly disappointed by our government’s mediocrity in public policy, says Shashi Tharoor. He raises issue of high fuel prices. "No relief in tax rates for middle class. As for the poor, young, aspirational they too have been failed. MGNREGA allocation slashed by 35% at a time of record unemployment levels.  Education budget sees a 6% cut. Sainik Schools are in desperate shape," states Shashi Tharoor .

"Any dreams Indians had of good days, was cremated at the altar of the disastrous decision of demonetisation," he concludes.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.49 p.m.

Govt. has deceived people with the latest Union budget: Shashi Tharoor
Sashi Tharoor adressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday

Sashi Tharoor adressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday   | Photo Credit: Screengrab from Lok Sabha TV

Shashi Tharoor of Congress begins his address by refering to Brisbane victory of  the Indian cricket team. "I was hoping that union budget would be something as miraculous But alas this was not so. Instead of Focussed leadership , usual combination of high rhetoric , underwhelming allocations to crucial sectors. FM was comprehensively stumped. Instead of Brisbane victory we got the Chennai collapse. Health, fiscal stimulus, defence anc agriculture have been particularly let down," he says.

"Government has deceived us in terms of health care allocation. FM said the allocation was 137% on the previous year nut she didn't keep her word. Betrayal of our health care workers who worked tirelessly through the pandemic." On Fiscal Stimulus, he said: "We expected one for MSMEs and informal sector. Nothing of the sort happened. Only deception and slashing of funds. Providing cheaper credit to businesses will not help until there is a demand stimulus and that can’t be if people don’t have spending money. Bharat should be aatmanirbhar but not Bharat waasis. This budget tells citizens you are on your own"

On Defence, he says: "This government has a duty to make sure our armed forces are protected and well supported not Rj pretend things are not as serious as they are. We have a minister who is helping China make the case that they are more sinned against than sinning. Budget allocation this year is only 0.4% over last year. It’s a matter of shame that we have a govt that has proven consistently that it’s unwilling to support our armed forces. It is, to use their own phrase, truly anti- national."

On Agriculture, he says the budget does little to reassure farmers on MSP. "A quarter of the budget for MSP has been cut Even worse is the plight of fishermen. This budget has denied them any relief. No fiscal support, no diesel subsidy. The govt. has ignored thousands of tea workers in TN and Kerala," he claims.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.49 p.m.

Discussions on Union budget begins

Speaker puts amendments to vote, declares them defeated. Voting begins on Motion of Thanks to the President to both Houses of Parliament. Motion was passed. Matters under 377 to be submitted to the table. Union budget discussion begins.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.42 p.m.

We must prepare for the new world order being shaped post-COVID lockdown: PM

"₹1.10 lakh crore set aside for infra. Mission mode on development of Eastern India. Border infrastructure was cruelly neglected since it didn’t serve any political purpose," says Narendra Modi. I believe in the youth, armed forces and in their courage. Quotes Ghazal: "Main jise odta bichchata hoon, woh ghazal sunata hoon".

"Similarly the opposition only talks of things that they have seen. I say we must prepare for the new world order being shaped post Corona. Middle class will also be looked at. Those who have a political agenda they are welcome to it while we take forward the agenda for the country. I once again urge our farmers to come for talks and resolve these issues," says the PM.

His speech ends.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.39 p.m.

TMC MPs stage walkout from Lok Sabha amid Prime Minister's speech.

Lok Sabha | 5.33 p.m.

Private sector important for India's development: PM

Narebndra Modi adressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday

Narebndra Modi adressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday  

Opposition is like “I won’t play, I won’t let you play and will spoil your game besides”, says Narendra Modi

"I want to remind the Congress that while public sector is important the private sector is just as important. Increased mobile production, cheapest data available in India. Pharma industry is also largely private," adds Mr. Modi.

He says: "Must the trust the youth of our country. To abuse them and to term them as automatically dishonest is not right. Wealth creators are as important. We cannot hand over the country to bureaucrats alone/ When arguments don’t stand on facts this happens (points to empty Congress benches)."

"I consider the farmers agitation as pure but when andolan jeevis join them what happens? placards of rioters and those in jail for violence pop up in these protests. Toll plazas are public property, to capture them, is this part of a pure agitation? when telecom towers are broken in Punjab is that commensurate with the aims of farmers? This country must differentiate between andolan kari” and andolan jeevi," he states.

"These are the same people who talk of electoral reforms but oppose “one nation one election”. They talk of Delhi’s falling air quality, go to court, but then go in support of stubble burners. When we were in opposition we used to question the government on development issues, this opposition is not interested in such constructive issues. They talk of alternative power sources but oppose Hydel and other power projects. T.N. is a victim of this. Infrastructure is the need of the hour," he says.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.16 p.m.

Reform necessary in Agriculture sector: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says: "As our population rises, fragmentation of land also rises. Choudhary Charan Singh said that fragmentation may reach a level where to turn a tractor one may trespass into another’s land. At the time of independence 28% were engaged in agricultural, now its more than 50%. Many are forced to work on other people’s fields. We must therefore reform the sector to ensure that our farmers have options to sell and grow their crops."

"I strongly believe that our farmers will improve their situation but they need reforms and guidance to new markets. It will improve agro based industry and the economy of rural India," he adds.

"Our annadata should be prosperous and it’s our responsibility to give him the opportunity to do so. Till our small farmers don’t get rights and opportunities our independence will only be meaningful then," the Prime Minister claims.

"We have set aside ₹1 lakh crore for enhancing agricultural infra. Including for Self Help Groups led by women," he states. He talks of Kisan Rail and Kisan UDAN for accessing markets for agriculture products, started during the COVID-19 lockdown.

He cites numerous examples of products finding new markets

"Chaudhary Charan Singh wrote a book on India’s economy advocating that india be considered a single market for agricultural products. The steps taken by the govt like E-NAM etc are steps in that direction. It wasn’t that Those that ran the country earlier were unaware of the situation and the need for reforms," he says.

He reads out Sharad Pawar’s letter to show that the previous governments also wanted reforms and wanted to break the nexus between Mandis and hoarding. "Even opposition ruled states have tried agri reform. I believe progressive reform and not regressive," he adds.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.03 p.m.

To concede things when demanded and not as part of policy is feudal: PM

"For any modern society, change is important.  We have seen protests and agitations in the past, like Raja Ram Mohun Roy, Dr Ambedkar all protested again the norm. A larger interest needs to be served," says Narendra Modi. Congress MPs stage a walkout.

"To concede things just in demand and not as part of progressive policy is a feudal thought. No one demanded Kisan Samman Nidhi, toilets, good connectivity," Mr. Modi continues.

"Citizens cannot be supplicants, Citizens are to be empowered. Still waters are a site of disease, running water is full of joy giving life. Status Quo mentality will destroy the country. The youth cannot wait much longer," he says. He cites example of a pensions commission in Tamil Nadu.

"We must work to reform. For fear of being unsuccessful not to strive to reform is unacceptable," the Prime Minister claims.

He says: "Agriculture is the basis of much of our culture and economy. Agriculture is the basis of much of our culture and economy. I spoke at length in the Rajya Sabha about small farmers. We cannot neglect them and we must do something."

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 4.52 p.m.

Farm laws not coercive, only offer options: PM

Prime Minister's speech disrupted again by protests. Lok Sabha Speaker on his legs. "I have allotted enough time for all and made sure people spoke without interruptions, now PM deserves same," says the Speaker.

"This uproar is a pre planned strategy to keep the truth behind the real situation of the three laws hidden. I want to ask farmers has anything been snatched that was available earlier? What has happened is an alternative option has been provided. That is the arrangement under the new laws," continues Mr. Modi.

PM asks Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary to calm down. "These laws are not coercive. They only offer options. There are no restrictions on the old Mandis. And the current budget gives additional funds for modernisation of mandis," the Prime Minister assured.

He says: "There is however a new type of agitation, of creating fear on mythical options. That’s the difference between the andolan karta and andolanjeevi".

"For the first time I heard a new logic of “why a new law that no one asked for”, this law is not compulsory. So the question of asking and giving does not arise. No one demanded Anti-Dowry, anti-Triple Talaq law, rights for daughters in property, right to education but a progressive society demands it and thus we’re laws made," he states

He is again disrupted by sloganeering opposition MPs in the House. He resumes speech, talking about EPFO and women empowerment.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha  | 4.43 p.m.

Protesting farmers are victims of rumour-mongering: Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi says: "We abrought in three laws regarding agriculture. This was part of a response to the crisis facing agriculture sector. I noticed that the debate here, especially Congress, talked more of the colour of the laws rather than it ms intent and content. If they had, possibly farmers would have benefitted. Let us understand, as far as the protests are concerned, our farmer brothers at Delhi borders have been a victim of various rumours etc. "

Opposition raises some issues. PM sits. Speaker tries to get opposition to allow PM to speak. PM resumes.

"The sentiments of all agitating farmers are respected by the House and the government. This is why the agriculture minister has been in talks with farmers groups with full honour and dignity accorded. Talks have been going on for a while including way back when the agitation was in Punjab," states the Prime Minister.

"We concede that if there is any lacunae or shortcoming in the laws we are willing to amend. The changes should be practical and convincing," he assures.

"After the implementation of the laws no Mandi closed, MSP Remained, government procurement was high," he states emphatically.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 4.41 p.m.

Indian economy to witness double digit growth: Narendra Modi

"You will be surprised that many couldn’t as their systems were jammed. In India however, reached relief and rations to 75 crores Indians for 8 months. ₹2 lakh crores was dispersed tk people via Jan Dhan, Aadhar and digital payments," the Prime Minister said

"Let us also recall who it was who went to Supreme Court against Aadhar?" he questioned.

"The result of this is that tractors, automobiles are registering high sales. GST collections are breaking records. Analysts have said we will have double digit growth," assures Mr. Modi.

"I’m confident we will come out of this crisis. We also brought in three laws regarding agriculture. This was part of a response to the crisis facing agriculture sector. I noticed that the debate here, especially Congress, talked more of the colour of the laws rather than it ms intent and content," he adds.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 4.35 p.m

India faired better at tackling pandemic than many developed countries: Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi says: "Nearly all members spoke of Coronavirus. It’s a matter of pride that we were able to overcome the doomsday predictions for our country. Many strong countries with strong health systems faired badly, but the determination and discipline of 1.3 billion Indians should be credited with resisting the worst case scenario. We need to speak about this. And accept it both here and talk of it abroad."

"Manish Tewari said it was by the grace of God that the worst was spared us. I agree that the grace of God spared us- that grace was embodied in the many doctors and nurses who served tirelessly, it was embodied in the safai karmacharis braved death to serve COVID19 patients. It was embodied in ambulance drivers," the Prime Minister states.

"Thus it was the grace of God in his myriad embodied who saved us. And the more we praise these people we will emerge stronger and energetic. This year was a year of being tested. The bigger countries decided to send direct income support to their citizens," e added.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 4.30 p.m

Aatmanirbhar Bharat to help India emerge as a strong global player Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi says: "U.N. was set up, multi lateral institutions were set up for a rules based order. But the experience was different. It seems though everyone spoke of peace everyone boosted their own military strength. Post Corona too a new world order is coming up. A new cooperative order is taking shape."

"We can’t live cut away from the world, we have to emerge as a strong player. Not just based on our population, but through our prosperity and strength. We can do that only through Aatmanirbhar Bharat. It is important therefore that we strengthen the concept of Aatmanirbhar Bharat," he adds.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 4.30 p.m

PM Modi replies to debate on motion of thanks on President’s address

PM  Narendra Modi rises to speak. "I rise to respond to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President for his address. The President’s address is symbolic of the determination of 1.3 billion people of India and the way they deal with a crisis. His every word creates confidence in Indians. Therefore we cannot thank him enough," he says.

"I also thank our members, especially our women colleagues who participated in large numbers. They enriched the debate," he adds.

"The 75th anniversary of our independence is around the corner and Indians are anticipating it with joy. Before  we reach 2047 , the centenary of our independence we have 25 years to decide which way to take the country. When the British left us they said India was an amalgam of many nations, it cannot be one country. Indians broke that idea and proved that we are one nation and as a beacon of hope," he states.

"Some people said india was a miracle democracy - we have broken the myth, we live, breath and are organically democratic. Democratic values have been established amidst the diversity of our cultures."

He says: "When we talk of India now we recall what Swami Vivekananda said- that every nation has a message to deliver, ambition to fulfill and destiny to reach. During the crisis of Coronavirus the way India managed for itself and gave hope to the world - it was a lesson for all. Sarve santu sookhina, sarve santu niramaya. When WWII ended, humanity and its values were in crisis , pessimism was rife- a new world order took place , a pledge to keep peace was made."

- Nistula Hebbar

Read more
 

Lok Sabha | 4.20 pm

Hasnain Masoodi (NC) raises the issue of fake encounters and right to dignified burial.

Kodikkunil Suresh (Congress) speaks on increasing COVD-19 cases in Kerala. He says: "Kerala and Maharashtra need expert assistance in dealing with COVID19. Kerala is moving towards a crisis whereas the rest of the country is moving towards recovery"

"Kerala government’s efforts were more talked about but cases are alarming," he adds.

Papers being tabled in the House.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 4.10 pm

Tirath Singh Rawat (BJP) speaks on the glacier burst.  "My constituency is where the avalanche occurred," he says.

Rishi ganga and Tapovan projects have both been affected and 176 people are still missing. 30-34 workers at these projects are stuck in the malba filled tunnels. I commend PM Modi and relief forces for quick response, he adds.

He thanks the government for all the help.

Hibi Eden (Congress) wants excise duty to be reduce.

Lok Sabha | 4.00 pm

Lok Sabha assembles. Speaker Om Birla is in the Chair. Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury highlights former minister V.K. Singh comments on LAC aggression.

"If you have transgressed the LAC, it is okay. You don't have to brag about it," he says.  Why are we giving the Chinese the opportunity to weaken our diplomatic position?, he asks.

DMK Leader T.R. Baalu speaks on attack of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy.  He also raises the issue of Kendriya Vidyalayas in Tamil Nadu not teaching Tamil.

Rajya Sabha | 2.55 pm

Subhash Chandra Bosi Pilli (YSRCP) speaks in Telugu.  He speech is paused. He will continue his speech tomorrow.

House adjourned

Rajya Sabha | 2.40 pm

SC Bench in Hyderabad: TRS' suggestion

K.R. Suresh Reddy (TRS) wonders if India withstood the pandemic due to our genetic and cultural habits, wherein we have developed higher levels of immunity.

He says the leadership of the country stood with the people during the pandemic.

He compares the Budget with Hyderabadi biryani. It's not just the guests in the house, but the neighborhood gets to know what's being made. The flavour of the biryani lies in serving it. There was good preparation of the Budget. We will be looking in the coming year how the flavours will be served to states.

On welfare and other subsidies, Mr. Reddy says if you adjust the inflation, there is hardly any hike.

On agricultural credit, Mr. Reddy suggests a bottom-up approach. Let the districts decide on credit, he says. Let Swaminathan's suggestion be taken in letter and spirit, he says.

He seeks a board to look into Gulf workers.  He suggests the government to set up an SC Bench in South, preferably Hyderabad. He also seeks Bharat Ratna for Narasimha Rao.

Rajya Sabha | 2.30 pm

Why were TN tea garden workers ignored, asks DMK MP

Anthiyur Selvarasu (DMK) speaks in Tamil. This is his maiden speech. He thanks his party and 'Kalaignar' Karunanidhi for the opportunity. He also thanks Periyar and Ambedkar, because of whom a person like him, from a remote village made it to the Upper House, he says.

Mr. Selvarasu points out the works for AIIMS, Madurai hasn't taken off yet. HE accuses the Budget favours 'big industrialists.' Industrial towns of Tamil Nadu like Tiruppur and Erode have been ignored, he says.

LIC should not be seen as a profit-making firm. It is the faith of people, he says. National Education Policy is a bid to destroy regional languages, he says.

Why have you not extended the benefits of tea garden workers of Assam and Bengal to the people of Tamil Nadu? Is it because you know your prospects in the State is bleak, he asks.

He claims the food subisdy will close down universal PDS followed in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. He also demands the three farm laws be repealed.  He seeks the government to scrap 6-lane Chennai-Salem Highway, which has seen several protests.

Rajya Sabha | 2.15 pm

Orissa is losing because of good performance: BJD

Amar Patnaik (BJD) recalls Gandhiji's talisman. The talisman was the vision of the Odisha's government, Mr. Patnaik says listing out steps taken by the state government during the pandemic.

The good thing about the Budget is it has boldly surpassed FRBM target, he says. He lauds food subsidy being brought it within the ambit of budget document.

There could have been more empathy for the poor, he says.  Orissa is losing because of good performance. We are not getting grant because we didn't have a revenue deficit, he says. He also rues lack of railway development in the State.

Rajya Sabha | 2 pm

Proceedings of the Rajya Sabha extended till 3 p.m.

S.R. Balasubramoniyam (AIADMK) seeks the government to reconsider the agri cess on fuel. He seeks Metro Lite in Coimbatore and Tiruchi.  He also appreciates Budget announcements for Tamil Nadu.

At a time the crude prices have it rock bottom, petrol prices have breached Rs. 100, he notes. He appeals the government to takeaway "too much" duties.  There should be no abrupt fiscal correction should be attempted in 2021-2022, he says

Rajya Sabha | 1.30 pm

UPA could not implement GST because of their arrogance: Sushil Kumar Modi

Sushil Kumar Modi of BJP, in his maiden speech in the House, thanks the Prime Minister for saying that GDP growth will recover from the losses it faced during the pandemic, but lives cannot be brought back.

"The stock exchange has welcomed this Budget. Stocks and shares soared post the announcement of the Budget," he says. Comparing India and the U.S., he says, "there was immense delay in giving stimulus cheques to the people in the U.S. In India, there was immediate direct transfers into women's Jan Dhan accounts during the pandemic."

Despite a decrease in revenue collection, the government has not increased taxes, he says.

In the last 4 years, the government has invested Rs. 2.71 lakh crore to recapitalise public sector banks, says Sushil Kumar Modi in response to the Opposition raising questions about the state of banks.

"UPA could not implement GST because of their arrogance," Mr. Modi says.

Rajya Sabha | 1.10 pm

'Vote bank politics in the Budget'

"Mr. Sibal says,"The Finance Minister said the government's policy is "spend, spend, spend" to revive the economy, but the truth is, the government does not have the money to spend, so it has borrowed, borrowed, borrowed.

He says, "People are hungry for employment. You did not mention unemployment in the budget speech."

"Farmers are asking for a minimum, for an MSP, and the government is not ready to give them that," Mr. Sibal says. Minister Anurag Thakur interjects and askes for Mr. Sibal to yield, which Mr. Sibal does not agree to.

"In the budget this government engages in vote bank politics. Outside the budget it engages in note bank politics," he says, referring to the financial outlay in the Budget to States going into elections.

Rajya Sabha | 1 pm

Discussion on the Union Budget

Kapil Sibal started the General Discussion on Union Budget in the Rajya Sabha on february 10, 2021.

Kapil Sibal started the General Discussion on Union Budget in the Rajya Sabha on february 10, 2021.   | Photo Credit: RSTV

 

Kapil Sibal of Congress congratulates the Finance Minister for presenting her third Budget. "The Minister spoke of self-reliant India and we all want that. But are we moving towards that? Are farmers, Dalits, minorities, MSME sector self-reliant? You will have to answer this question," he says.

The Budget is a contextual exercise, Mr. Sibal says, adding, 'It is in the context of the situation prevailing before it that you present the Budget. You have been in power for 6 years. No more excuses."

He cites economic indicators before COVID-19, and asks, "can Indians be atma nirbhar after COVID-19?" "You have forgotten the people of India in this Budget." How does this government justify what it has done, he asks, after citing indicators after COVID-19.

"You are establishing an oligarchic economic order," he alleges. "In 2019, 1% of people owned 73% of assets, up from 58% within a year." "There are 4 to 5 big boys in this country who own all assets. And one very big boy is everywhere- ports, gas distribution. I will not name him." "The truth is that the plane you used to fly in, you have had to give an airport for it."

Rajya Sabha | 12.55 pm

Major Ports Authorities Bill passed

Deputy Chairman announces that 84 votes were received in favour of the Bill and 44 against.

Rajya Sabha passes the Major Ports Authorities Bill, 2020 by Division vote.

The 12 major ports in India would get a boost through the new law, Mr. Mandaviya has said about the Bill. "Disputes with private companies and PPP operators had been cropping up, but the existing law had no provisions to deal with them. The new law would also help in improving infrastructure," he had said.

Rajya Sabha | 12.25 pm

Major Ports Authorities Bill moved for passing by the Minister

Minister Mandaviya moves that The Major Ports Authorities Bill, 2020 be passed.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh orders lobbies to be cleared for a Division vote.

Desh Deepak Verma, the Secretary-General explains the changed procedure of voting, owing to the change in seating arrangement in keeping with the COVID-19 norms. Voting will done through division slips and not through the electronic system, he says. "Electronic voting system cannot be used as members are not seated in their usual seats due to social distancing."

Voting process underway.

Rajya Sabha | 12.10 pm

Minister Mandaviya's reply

MoS (IC) Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya speaking about the Major Ports Authorities Bill, 2020 in the rajya Sabha on february 10, 2021.

MoS (IC) Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya speaking about the Major Ports Authorities Bill, 2020 in the rajya Sabha on february 10, 2021.  

 

Minister Mansukh Mandaviya gives his reply to the Members.

"Would a patriot oppose this Bill? This Bill is not for privatisation of ports," he says.

"Have Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra governments not given ports to private companies for development? Did that happen in the tenure of Narendra Modi?" he asks the House on the allegation that the Bill is a means of privatising ports of the country.

"We developed the Kolkata port on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. We paid the liabilities for all pensioners. The loss making port is now profitable. This is because of reforms," he says, illustrating the benefits of the model.

The Modi government believes in the federal structure and "State government representatives will not be removed," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.40 am

SC and ST representation needed on the port board: Ramji

Fauzia Khan of NCP says there is an example of deliberate disintegration of the federal structure in this Bill.

Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar of TDP says the problem is with implementation of the Bill. He says it was high time that infrastructure at Visakhapatnam port was developed.

Anil Desai of Shiv Sena says the autonomy granted in the Bill will end up privatising the ports.

Binoy Viswam of CPI says, "there is an unseen hand and unseen brain behind this Bill." "The Minister is innocent and helpless. Our land will become the land of Adani. That is why we oppose it," Mr. Viswam says.

Narain Dass Gupta of Aam Aadmi Party opposes the Bill and says MPs should be allowed to become members of port boards. "It is intended to benefit a few selected people."

Ramji of BSP says there is no provision in the Bill for SC and ST port employees to raise their voice. "They should be represented on the Boards," he says.

G.K. Vasan of the TMC(M) supports the Bill and says the Bill gives powers to major ports and will lead to economic development.

M. Thambidurai of AIADMK expresses objection to the reduction in number of board members in the Bill.

Jugalsinh Lokhandwala of BJP, the last speaker in the discussion the Bill, says ports must be given autonomy to ensure development. "Centre and States will continue to own the ports," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.30 am

'By reading the Bill, you can tell who is behind it'

Elamaram Kareem of CPI-M strongly opposes the Bill. He says the Bill is an attempt to convert the ports into corporate entities.

The land is acquired by State government and given to Port Trusts and by converting them into Port Authorities it will become a landlord model. This Bill does not protect employees and retired people. There is a chance of leakage of secrets to anti-national elements, he adds.

Manoj Kumar Jha of RJD sarcastically says "This government is very transparent. By reading the Bill, you can tell who is behind it."

No political establishment is forever so whenever you make a legislation, don't look at the prevalent media channels, look at how it will be seen by history, he says. The Bill reduces participation of States and does not include representative of labour unions, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.20 am

Don't give away ports at throwaway price: Yadav

Banda Prakash of TRS says government shouldn't privatise ports. He also says workers do not have representation in the Bill.

Ayodhya Rami Reddy of YSRCP supports the Bill.

Ram Gopal Yadav of SP accuses the government of being in a selling spree. "Only two years ago Varanasi airport was renovated at a cost of ₹800 crore. Now biddings are being invited for this airport. This government is gradually selling all public assets."

"Before selling, at least evaluate the value of the property. Ensure you are not giving away the port at a throwaway price," he says opposing the Bill.

Ram Chandra Prasad Singh of JDU supports the Bill

Rajya Sabha | 11.10 am

Environmental impact of expanding ports is devastating: Wilson

BJP MP Suresh Prabhu speaks on the Bill. "Ports have not developed the way they should have. Link multi-mode transport to port management," he says.

Sukhendu Sekhar Ray of TMC says, "this government has become a seller. They are copying Singapore to ultimately privatise the ports. This is a step in that direction. Parliament is being taken for a ride. It makes major change in land use and the State government has no say in it. If the land is sold, the share must come to the State governments. I strongly oppose this Bill."

Subhash Chandra Singh of BJD says he supports the Bill, but, "India is 16th largest maritime country in the world. But look at Paradip port. 60 years have passed but no infrastructure has been developed. No development in the hospital at Paradip for the last 30 years. There was no CSR provision mentioned earlier for Paradip."

P. Wilson of DMK says the word "trust" has been taken away through this Bill. "This Bill has been brought to serve Adani's interest. This bill supersedes the State's master plan. A board to settle all disputes should be constituted comprising a retired SC judge and the Chief Secretary of a State. Retired persons are not competent to resolve disputes. Other than the SC judge, replace the other two members with technical persons."

He alleges that the government wanted to sell even the Chennai port. He brings up the environmental impact of expanding port, "expansion by Adani impacts flora and fauna also."

Rajya Sabha | 10.30 am

Major Port Authorities Bill taken up

Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya moves the Major Ports Authorities Bill, 2020 for consideration and passing.

"In 1908, the British enacted the Ports Act. In 1963, Port Trust Act was implemented. Only the major ports were covered under it. This Bill has been brought to make important changes in the ease of doing business in the port sector, and to encourage healthy competition between major ports and private ports," Mr. Mandaviya says moving the Bill.

Shaktisinh Gohil of Congress says legislations impact people. "The Bill has weaknesses and lacuna that benefit a certain friend. Has this Bill been brought in to help a friend? Airports have been named after that friend, now the intention seems to hand over the 12 sea ports to a particular friend," Mr. Gohli says.

"Out of the 13 board members, seven are private members, and yet you say you are not privatising? Their qualification, expertise, experience has not been stated. What will their qualification be, then? 'Yes Boss' and 'Yes Ministers' will occupy the Board," He alleges.

"The workers are not adequately represented in the Board. Only two members from the working class have been provisioned in the board."

Mr. Gohil says there should be clarity on port-related and non port-related use.

"The 12 ports are national property and to protect it is our responsibility. There are so many windows in the laws that big businesses will lend some help but soon it will be taken over. Send the Bill to the Standing Committee."

"It was sent to Standing Committee earlier, but that Bill lapsed due to the dissolution of the previous Lok Sabha. There was once a Gujarat model of Mahatma Gandhi. This Bill is a copy of the model that came after 2002."

"I wont praise Mansukh bhai because his wings will be clipped- unlike our party's internal democracy where anyone can be praised and there are no consequences," Mr. Gohil says.

"Asia's biggest ship wrecking yard is in Gujarat's Alang. A 2019 law brought to help the yard has not been implemented yet. Many people got employment there. You have 2.5% custom duty there. How will it compete with a port that has 0% custom duty?"

"This is to help a particular friend gain a backdoor entry to the major ports in the country."

"Revise the draft of the Bill. It provides enough backroom entry to private persons, we are not opposing for the sake of opposing," Mr. Gohil says, adding this in the interest of the country.

Rajya Sabha | 10.15 am

On age relaxation to SC/OBC under EWS quota, Union Minister Krishan Pal Gujjar says, "When OBC and SCs were given reservation, circumstances were different. Not many applications were received and relaxation in age criteria was given. Under EWS we receive adequate applications."

Manoj Jha raises the issue of lateral entry at Joint Secretary level and asks if the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) consulted the Social Justice Ministry on the decision.

Minister Krishan Pal Gujjar responds, "We receive information on recruitments by DoPT and State governments."

"Members sitting in the Rajya Sabha gallery are not being shown on Rajya Sabha TV. Please show us also," says BJP's Neeraj Shekhar.

Union Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar says a package of Rs. 27 lakh crore has been given under Aatmanirhar to help generate employment in rural sector. "There are 40 crore unorganised labour and 10 crore organised labour in the country," says the Minister. He says, "1 crore labourers engaged in the unorganised sector returned to their home States during COVID-19. But many have now gone back."

G.C. Chandrashekhar of Congress says the local language is not being used in Namma Metro signage in Bengaluru. Minister Hardeep Puri says he is not aware of this, but will discuss with the Member. Chairman Naidu says local language should be used in all signboards of Metros in all cities.

Question Hour ends.

Rajya Sabha | 9.50 am

K.C. Venugopal of Congress asks why the price of petrol is at an all time high despite crude prices being at an all time low. "How many times has the Centre increased excise duty?" he asks.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan says, "Today, the price of crude oil in international market is $61. Before coming here, he should have checked with friends in Kerala as many live abroad. For the last three years we have reduced excise duty. For almost 250 days we have not increased or decreased the price."

Vishambhar Prasad Nishad of SP asks why petrol was so expensive in "Ram's land when it is cheaper in Sita's Nepal?" Mr. Pradhan responds, "Should we compare ourselves with large economies or small economies? He took Nepal and Bangladesh's name, the mass consumption items are expensive in these countries."

Rajya Sabha | 9.30 am

Question Hour begins

Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in the rajya Sabha on February 10, 2021.

Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in the rajya Sabha on February 10, 2021.   | Photo Credit: RSTV

 

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri, responding to a question about opening up air routes to over 80%, says, "Our decision to raise the frequency of commercial flights beyond 80% depends on the behaviour of the virus and commercial decisions to be taken by the air carrier."

Mr. Puri, responding to AIADMK's Tambidurai's question on fluctuating airfares, says, "The sector is a deregulated sector. The government does not determine the price fixed by air carriers, it is the market that determines, can prescribe a band only in extraordinary circumstances."

"The question is on assumption of domestic traffic. Airline industry is difficult to define, it includes airports and air carriers as well," the Minister says when asked about the total losses incurred by airline industry due to COVID-19. "Nobody has an overall figure of the loss but it is reviving now."

MoS Home Nityanand Rai on fencing along Bangladesh border says, "33 land acquisition proposals are pending with the West Bengal government. Around 60 km cannot be fenced making the area prone to infiltration. As many as 2,548 were caught while illegally entering the country. 2104 FIRs have been registered, in which 4,189 have been named and 4,072 arrested. 1,134 chargesheets have been filed but conviction has been seen only in 212 cases. The BSF catches the suspects, hands them over to local police but the State police does not act in the manner it should."

Rajya Sabha | 9.10 am

Zero Hour begins

Vinay Sahasrabuddhe of BJP, speaking first in the Zero Hour, says "I do not know if U.S. President has taken a cue from our Aatmanirbhar call. Consulting is a huge business. Foreign agencies are engaged in it mostly, turnover in 2020 was Rs. 27,000 crore. Foreign-origin consulting agencies are grabbing the business. Public policy has become a lucrative domain, and talented students are opting for that. The government should adopt a policy wherein Indian consulting firms are given importance. Local firms are losing out due to the existing norms," he says.

Shaktisinh Gohil of Congress says, "As many as 1,100 fishing boats and 500 fishermen from Gujarat are lodged in Pakistan jails. Government should make efforts to bring them back."

K. Vanlalvena of Mizo National Front says trade along the Myanmar border is closed due to COVID-19. "Some businessmen have constructed seven unauthorised roads, thousands of good are entering India through these roads. They might turn into smuggling roads if necessary action is not taken. Reopen the border trade to avoid unnecessary situation."

Prasanna Acharya of BJD says a law must be framed for orphan children, to save them from exploitation.

Anil Baluni of BJP speaks about the ongoing rescue efforts in Uttarakhand. "Power projects and villagers have suffered losses. We can never forget the Kedarnath floods. The State is prone to glacier burst, cloudburst and earthquakes. I want to request the Centre to study the natural disasters affecting the State and devise a mechanism for the State," he says.

Jyotiraditya Scindia of BJP says education of the girl child was impacted due to COVID-19. "The period saw an increase in child marriages. As per an RTI reply, the child helpline recieved18,324 distress calls. I request Women and Child Development Minister to collect data on child marriages, mobilise anganwadi workers on mission mode so that the girls can go back to school."

Rajya Sabha | 9 am

Proceedings of the House begins

Chairman of Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu during the proceedings of the House on February 10, 2021.

Chairman of Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu during the proceedings of the House on February 10, 2021.   | Photo Credit: RSTV

 

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu reads out the obituary of ex-Member Mahendra Bahadur Singh.

Vaiko and K. Soma Prasad seek leave of absence from attending the Rajya Sabha proceedings.

Jairam Ramesh of Congress seeks time to increase the time allotted for Budget discussion from 10 hours to 12 hours. Mr. Naidu says he will take a call.

Zero Hour begins.

Agenda

Lok Sabha

Reports to be presented:

Reports of the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution;

Reports of the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural gas;

Reports of the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce

Motion of Thanks on the President’s address

General discussion on the Union Budget

Bills for consideration and passing:

The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Agenda

Rajya Sabha

Obituary reference:

Mahendra Bahadur Singh, ex-Member

Reports to be presented:

Reports of the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural gas;

Reports of the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution;

Reports of the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce

Bills for consideration and passing:

The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020

General discussion on the Union Budget

 

 

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