Defence Minister Rajnath Singh apprised Rajya Sabha on situation in Eastern Ladakh, and said that India and China have agreed on a disengagement plan for North and South Pangong lake.
Rajya Sabha will debate on Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 while Lok Sabha is set to take up Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021
Here are the updates:
Lok Sabha has been adjourned till Friday, February 12, 2021
Dr DNV Senthilkumar of the DMK speaks. He says the frontline workers during the lockdown have been let down because no tax rebates have been given to them.
Anto Anthony of INC Kerala speaks. He talks about the unemployment crisis in the country and the women are worst affected by it. He says petrol prices are skyrocketing. He says this budget has ignored NRIs. He talks about farmer suicides, says the budget has done nothing to waive farm loans.
He says the govt has indulged in crony capitalists. He says is anti poor and anti farmer.
Anubhav Mohanty of the BJD (Odisha) is speaking. He says the budget doesn't do justice to the railways in Odisha. He points out how the State has been exposed to natural disasters more than any other State and the economic consequences. He says Odisha has never received enough from the Centre in the areas of tele-density, highways, other infrastructure for a State so rich in iron ore reserves.
BJP MP Jaskaur Meena is speaking now.
She says the budget will take every citizen of the country towards self reliance and progress.
She requests for a Sainik school in Daus, her constituency.
Budget looks like an election manifesto: DMK MP
D.M. Kathir Anand, DMK MP , says the budget looks like an election manifesto.
“It is more like an election propaganda. It mentions nothing about labour and creation of employment.”
Saptagiri Sankar, Congress MP from Odisha asks for a special package for the State to strengthen disaster management system.
About the budget, he says it has not provided any income tax relief to tax payers.
Lok Sabha proceedings extended until midnight.
Prime Minister perhaps want to withdraw farm bills but does not know how: Hanuman Beniwal
Hanuman Beniwal of RLP is now speaking.
"This Budget came after unprecedented disruptions. Everyone was looking at this Budget. But the Budget was disappointing. The farmers, youth got nothing in return. The Prime Minister perhaps want to withdraw the farm bills but does not know how to do it. These people are the people who gave 120 seats to the BJP-NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Don't think these people will tire out."
I appeal to the government to take back the laws. People have expectations from the Prime Minister.
He is now raising the issue of high fuel prices.
Dr S.T. Hasan, Samajwadi Party points about the various difficulties people faced during lockdown.
Farmers were in distress. He expressed disappointment that there was nothing for the poor, no income tax concession.
What did the people who walked about 1,500 kms in the lockdown get in this Budget? He said the whole world is laughing at the way we are treating our farmers.
3.18 lakh families given free rations through provisions in Budget, says Smriti Irani
Few hours back, there was a speech that forced everyone to think how far can go to build structures of lies, says BJP MP Smriti Irani.
"He called a constitutionally passed laws as black. This Budget will make India self reliant (Atma Nirbhar) and to connect our country. Those who supported the JNU protests can never support this budget. The person who has contested from another seat, he never speaks about the system in that State. I would like to speak about the condition of the Lok Sabha constituency that he lost. He can never digest the fact Modi ji helped people with free ration. I want to put on record that 3.18 lakh families were given free rations through provisions made in Budget. Without naming Rahul Gandhi, she lists out the lack of infrastructure in Amethi. This man refused to discuss the Budget and displayed childish stubbornness"
She mentions how only 500 farmers got benefit of MSP in Amethi area.
She alleges that land was taken by promising factories, setting up inter college for women but eventually set up a trust. When the administration demanded the land back, they went to court against farmers.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury objects but Ms. Irani replied in Bangla that she can give proof.
Ms. Irani compliments Nirmala Sitharaman for setting up an AK 302 factory. She said promises of a rail project has been going on since Nehru time but only Modi government got the detailed project report.
RSP MP N.K. Premachandran says Budget seems like that India is showcased for sale.
The dream of the economic advisor of a V shaped recovery is unrealistic, he says.
What did demonetisation finally achieve, asks Imtiaz Jaleel of AIMIM
Now, Imtiaz Jaleel of AIMIM speaking.
He starts the speech with the objective of demonetisation and what it finally achieved.
"Is anyone here capable of telling the PM that his decision is wrong? I also want to ask the secular parties here, among which I am seated, why is it that I am asking the question about a ₹1024 crore cut in the minority Budget."
He requests for a Sainik school in Aurangabad, his constituency.
Pratima Bhoumick of BJP (Tripura West) praising PM for making the country aware of all the States in the North East. Earlier, only Guwahati would be known to be people, she says.
Budget focused on poll-bound States: Congress MP
Dr. Mohammad Jawed , Congress MP from Bihar says the Budget is disappointing. It has nothing for Bihar and only for election bound States.
He asks the Finance Minister to spell out if she is talking about Australian or Canadian dollars while talking about 5 trillion dollar economy.
He raises the issue of lack of funds for Kishanganj campus of Aligarh Muslim University.
He further says that more funds are needed for Bihar to deal with floods in the region.
Vaccination drive to help revive service sector, says Anupriya Patel
Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal is now speaking.
Ms. Patel compliments the government for pushing ahead of vaccination on the one hand and saving livelihood on the other. She speaks about prediction of a V shaped recovery.
"Special focus of this budget is on infrastructure and MSMEs. Vaccination will help revive the service sector and will put the country back on track"
No infrastructure project for J&K in Budget, only for election-bound States: National Conference MP
Hasnain Masoodi, National Conference MP, Anantnag starts by saying silence is not peace, referring to Kashmir situation.
He recites a line from Amanda Gorman's poem.
Mr Masoodi said the Budget couldn't have been better under the circumstances. He raises an issue of agriculture cess.
"No infrastructure project from Jammu and Kashmir, only for election bound States. Tourism sector has been devastated last year. There is nothing on employment."
He also alleges discrimination against Kargil.
BJP's Ajay Mishra Teni says the Budget was wonderful despite the challenges because of COVID.
"Some people are always criticising because of jealousy. Opposition members have become like that and quotes Ramdhari Dinkar again."
Now he is talking about steps about helping agriculture, agri export, tea plantations, sugarcane farmers.
Rural education not given enough focus in Budget, says M. Selvaraj
M. Selvaraj of CPI says the Budget has disappointed everyone.
He raises the issue of privatisation of PSUs. How clubbing of Rail Budget has affected projects of southern railway?
He calls the government's formula of calculating MSP was an eyewash, claimed the MSME closing down during lockdown.
Mr. Selvaraj also talked about SOPs for Kerala and Tamil Nadu because of elections. He further said about rural education not being given enough focus.
India will become world leader as predicted by Swami Vivekananda under PM Modi, says BJP MP Sanjay Jaiswal
Dr Sanjay Jaiswal, BJP MP, mocks Rahul Gandhi's speech.
Mr. Jaiswal praises how PM Modi managed to present a commendable budget in the midst of adverse circumstances. He dedicates a few lines from Ramdhari Dinkar's poems to PM Modi. Mr. Jaiswal talks about expenditure on roads, rail and infrastructure and how it will help create jobs and take India to new heights of development.
"Health sector allocation reiterates government's commitment towards the poor by establishing critical care units in every district. When we promised free vaccines in our manifesto for Bihar elections, many asked me how will we manage. I had full faith in our PM."
"Not just Bihar. We have reiterated our moto of vasudhaiva Kutumbakam when Brazil's President thanked us with Hanuman ji's image"
Mr. Jaiswal is thanking efforts towards post graduate education. The Budget has earmaked ₹2.58 lakh crore for MSP. The farmers' agitation should have ended with this. We are witnessing an agitation in favour of arthiyas (traders). He blames Punjab government for having an adverse clause about contract farming.
He reads out several welfare schemes and ends by saying India will become a world leader as predicted by Swami Vivekananda under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Now, Dr. K Jayakumar of Congress speaks.
He says he never expected anything great from the Budget and now corona has become a blessing in disguise for the government.
Mr. Jayakumar further asks about job losses because of disinvestment.
What would be the timeline to achieve herd immunity in India, asks TDP MP
Jayadev Galla of Telugu Desam Party speaking now.
Mr. Galla starts by complimenting the PM and the cabinet for the most comprehensive lockdown that saved lives.
However, he targets the Andhra Pradesh government for carelessness.
Mr. Galla points out the lessons that need to be learnt to avoid issues like migrant workers and avoid repeat like demonetisation. He asks the government's way forward on the vaccination and argues for speed in vaccination. He wants to know what would be the timeline to achieve herd immunity in India.
He asks about the commitments for the Andhra Pradesh as per the AP Reorganization Act and starts reading out 18 points and how the demands have remained the same for the past six years.
Mr. Galla mentions how TDP and BJP went to elections together and how the electorate punished the TDP for BJP's failure. YSRCP gained from collective failures but even now they are in requesting mode.
NCP's Supriya Sule seeks a clarification on the State Government's role in Defence Budget.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman answering about the reduction of State's share in revenue on devolution of revenues. Ms Sitharaman's explains the technical details.
Defence sector has seen a lot of domestic manufacture: Anurag Thakur
I’m sad when I hear when opposition questions why PM Modi didn’t get the vaccine. If it had been your government your PM also wouldn’t have got the vaccine, only the first family of the Congress would have. PM Modi has ensured vaccines went out to priority workers and across the world, says Anurag Thakur.
"My only request is that if the opposition has any constructive suggestions we will take it on board. We took on board suggestions by a wide swathe of people including economists and all manner of domain specialist which is why capital expenditure went up by 35%."
"Defence sector has seen a lot of domestic manufacture. You all wanted to disinvestment too but it didn’t take off as your commissions couldn’t be set"
Mr. Thakur tells Opposition that they should become roadblocks in economic empowerment of the farmers.
Anurag Thakur ends his speech.
When he (Rahul Gandhi) talks of “hum do hamarey do” must be a reference to “didi, jijaji and two” (sister, brother in law and family), says Mr. Thakur.
MSP has risen over the years, Mr. Thakur provides figures.
"If Mr. Gandhi can contest from Amethi as well as from Wayanad but a farmer can’t sell his product out of his area. These laws free the farmer. "
"A Congress leader said that Mahatma Gandhi is an “andolanjeevi” , how could they compare the father of the nation to such people? How much further will congress fall? "
He gives details on government policies for farming sector.
"We brought GST , you did too, but you were not prepared to compensate states. We did that. In six instalments this year too FM Sitharaman gave ₹84,000 crores to States. If Rahul Gandhi takes the name of two companies, can he tell us, the State where he is elected from, who got the port in that state??? With folded hands the port was given to said company."
"It is funny that a party that ran the country for 55 years says “take back the port”, why should we, how could we? They are your two. Your leaders are on bail on corruption cases. They have encroached via trusts on farmers land."
Opposition only interested in using farmers for their own political interests: Anurag Thakur
Anurag Thakur (MoS Finance) says, I can understand that Honourable member may not have prepared his speech on the budget. He wasn’t here for other speeches. Some people remain very little both inside the House and indeed the country.
Rahul Gandhi has left the House.
Adhir Chowdhary says rule 207 says one can raise general points.
Anurag Thakur continues.
"It’s an optimistic budget and it will set the path for india to be an economic and manufacturing powerhouse. Some will oppose according to their views. Some raised slogans of gareebi hatao, five generations have ruled but poverty did not go. But the son of a poor man lifted many out of poverty. Some people only make electoral promises and not deliver. Atalji government and Modi government started and amplified highways and roads programmes. Modi government gave electricity, gas connections, housing, toilets , bank accounts, and now piped water. Modi govt also the one that implemented the Swaminathan committee report. Why couldn’t the Congress do it? What was your compulsion ? Your loan waivers in Rajasthan and Punjab for farmers have all been forgotten by Congress led government.
"They are only interested in using farmers for their own political interests. PM Modi has clarified yesterday the intent and content behind the laws. Can any MP say which mandi has closed."
One MP interjects that the Mandi law amended in 2006 led to only 10% government mandi being left.
Adhir Chowdhary dares government to debate on agriculture.
Those who wasted one whole week through adjournments, then debated the president address on farmers and now their leader who came unprepared to debate the budget spoke again. But not a single congressman can point a single mandi that has closed following these laws, says Mr. Thakur.
Rahul Gandhi cites old family planning slogan 'hum do hamare do' to attack govt., says 4 people are running the country
Many years ago Family planning had a slogan - us two, ours two , now it refers to four people who run the country - us two and ours two - every person knows who these people are, says Rahul Gandhi.
"Who will bear the loss? Small traders and hawkers, lakhs who work in mandis."
Continued ruckus in Lok Sabha.
Speaker says to stick to the budget.
Rahul Gandhi further says PM says he has given options to farmers - yes, first option is hunger, second is unemployment.
"Agriculture is a sector of ₹40 lakh crores. The intent of the second law is to give the monopoly of storing produce to one person, and prevent farmers from getting a good price , when that farmer goes to buy food his own produce will be sold to him at high prices. The idea is to break the spine of the farmers, break it into pieces and hand them over to these two friends of the government. "
Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi cites rule book on specific debate.
“Let him substantiate that Adani and Ambani have capacity for storing 40% of produce. Let him table the proof”
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says rule 214 says discussion of a general point is allowed. Agriculture is related to the Budget.
Saugato Roy (TMC) says rules prevent interruption when a member is speaking. So why is Rahul Gandhi being interrupted?
Rahul Gandhi says coming back to hum do hamarey do , what will happen after these laws are in effect, small traders, farmers will be out of business. Farmers will lose their land. Only “hum do hamarey do” will run the country. India’s good security will be destroyed and there will be widespread hunger and unemployment. This is not a new thing- PM had prepared the pitch through democratisation of taking money from the poor, and into the pockets of the two friends. And now again he attacks them. During COVID19 migrant labour begged for ways to get home but were forced to walk.
Speaker Om Birla says this is a discussion on the budget.
Rahul Gandhi says, "I’m getting to the budget , I’m making the foundation of my argument. First demonetisation , then GST then forced exodus of labour during lockdown. All this has destroyed our MSME, farmers, small shopkeepers and our ability to generate jobs. This is not just a farmers agitation, it is an agitation for the country. "
"The whole country will rise against “hum do hamarey do”. If you think by doles you will be able to make farmers retreat , that won’t be so. If you think by doles you will be able to make farmers retreat , that won’t be so. Coming to the Budget, and the president’s address we had asked for a separate discussion on farmers. That was denied. In protest I’m only going to speak on farmers and not on the Budget. These people did not pay homage to dead farmers. I will observe silence for them, please join me."
MPs of Congress, TMC, DMK, at Rahul Gandhi's appeal, stand to observe silence in Lok Sabha to condole death of farmers during protests, PTI reports.
Opposition stands, treasury heckles.
Mr. Birla says, I’m responsible for running the House, and for also leading the House on paying homage to those who have lost their lives in any tragedy. You are all senior MPs and this is inappropriate behaviour. You (Rahul Gandhi) can give me this in writing, and let me undertake the responsibility I have been given.
Intent of the first farm law is to end mandis: Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi (INC) starts speech on budget.
"Yesterday PM in his speech had said that the opposition is talking of aandolan but is not exercised over the content and intent of the three farm bills. So I thought let’s make the PM happy and talk of the content and intent of these bills."
"The matter related to farmers is related to the budget please respect them (to treasury). The content of the first law is that any person can buy grains, vegetables and fruits anywhere in the country. So who will buy in the Mandis? Thus the aim of the first law is to end Mandis. Second law says that big corporates can store as much produce as they want. This will end the Essential Commodities Act, and to increase hoarding. The third law’s content is when a farmer goes before a big corporate house to get a fair price for his crop, he will be prevented from approaching the courts."
Ruckus in the House.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents statement on supplementary demand for grants.
Zero Hour begins.
N.K. Premachandran points out that advertisement soliciting comments and suggestions from public and stakeholders by Supreme Court mandated committee on farm laws.
When parliament demanded a reference to a standing committee and was refused and bills were passed, why should SC interfere in the legislative process? SC can only look into the legislative competence of a bill.
"I seek the response of the government with regard to this issue."
Rajnath Singh makes statement on India-China face-off
Since last September, both sides (India & China) have maintained communication with each other through military & diplomatic channels. Our objective was to effect disengagement & maintain status quo along the LAC so as to restore peace and tranquillity, says Defence Minister in Lok Sabha, according to ANI.
"The agreement that we have been able to reach with the Chinese side for disengagement in Pangong lake area envisages that both sides will cease their forward deployments in a phased, coordinated and verified manner."
Opposition interrupts statement.
Satyapal Singh (BJP) requests for a service road or a diversion from the eastern periphery road to tourist spots in Baghpat especially a Jain pilgrimage spot.
Mr. Gadkari responds that he will look into it.
Rajendra Agarwal in the Chair says no adjournment notices allowed.
Question hour ends, papers being tabled.
What is being done to improve quality of ground water, asks BJD MP
What is being done to improve the quality of ground water, asks BJD MP Achyutananda Samanta.
Mr. Shekhawat responds that is a very valid worry. In 2019, under Jal Shakti abhiyan we had identify water stressed districts and to improve ground water levels, in 252 districts. This year all districts have been included.
We have declared the Atal Bhujal Yojana to improve ground water. World Bank has given ₹6,000 crores. This year finance commission has given ₹18,000 crores.
Imtiaz Jaleel (AIMIM) says, we get water once in five days in Aurangabad.
Mr. Shekhawat says it’s only this year urban areas have been included in the Jal Jeevan Mission , and I assure him that work will be done in his constituency.
Manickam Tagore (INC) says tap water supply is sporadic in Virudhunagar.
Mr. Shekhawat says we have made a telescopic metering for industry use of ground water.
Villages in West Bengal's Murshidabad suffering from arsenic pollution: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
Unmesh Patil (BJP) asks, "What is the policy on waste water processing?"
We are also concerned with source sustainability, Mr. Shekhawat replies. We have requested state governments to think on processing grey water. The 15th finance commission has given funds for this.
Raghuram Krishna Raju (YSRCP) asks on increasing allocations for Polavaram.
Mr. Shekhawat says that under AP reorganisation Act, Centre would pay for polavaram project but project costs have now gone up. Finance Ministry has capped cost at 2014 levels but appropriate decision will be take at suitable time.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (INC) says that in Murshidabad many villages are suffering from arsenic pollution. We are suffering that water is a state subject.
Mr. Shekhawat says, "I agree with the MP’s concerns. We have sent funds to state governments for funds for quality improvement of water. For West Bengal - ₹1, 755 crore budgetary provision in the past but state govt had only spent 650 crores. This year too ₹583 crores is unutilised. It pains me that Bengal govt has spent less than half the money allocated. When I hold meetings, the concerned minister and officials from Bengal don’t attend, whereas when my secretary does , they attend.
MPs to be consulted on implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission projects in their constituency: Gajendra Shekhawat
Dr. Hina Gavit (BJP) question whether government plans to amend present rules to consult local MPs for preparation of DPRs of projects under Jal Jeevan Mission.
Minister Gajendra Shekhawat informs, "We have already written to states that local MPs must be asked for their views on Jal Jeevan Mission projects to be undertaken in the area. Even declaration of Jal Samriddh (100% coverage) districts to be declared only after clearing with MPs and also programmes be notified to local MPs."
Ms. Gavit asks for clarification whether Nandurbar district will be put on priority and funding pattern of 50:50 for Centre and state contribution be tweaked as it’s a tribal , hilly district.
Mr. Shekhawat says he had wide ranging talks with States. I assure MPs that targets will be reached . I will also discuss Nandurbar in particular.
Supriya Sule (NCP) says road from Pune to Satara has a chronic accident issue. An underpass or something is required.
Mr. Gadkari says there were four bridges to be made, one will be done in the next few weeks, the other three by June. Problem will be solved by then.
Roads from Goa towards Dharwad are in very bad shape and work was started three years back and still not completed, ask Francis Saldhana (INC).
Mr. Gadkari asks for a letter detailing the problem and will get it looked at immediately.
Tirath Singh Rawat (BJP) says the Chardham Yatra project is excellent , currently however the Supreme Court has stayed some road operations citing environmental issues. This is a border and for tourists, will you be appealing the Supreme Court stay.
Mr. Gadkari replies that Chardham Project is historic.
"It is a ₹12,000 crores project, with 53 packages, 13 packages under construction out of which 5 go through eco sensitive zones. That matter has come before the SC, and a committee was set up where the Chairman was on one side, and 21 members on another. The SC then reduced the breadth of the road. But the area also falls on the border area and Gen V.K Singh also presented a report on defence aspects."
"Transplanting of trees is a priority. We are trying to find a way between the project and environment sensitivity. Our department has decided to construct a New Delhi-Dehradun highway where the distance will only take 3.5 hours, it will be an elevated road for a bit and will skirt forest areas without hitting them."
Question Hour begins
Ram Das Chandrabhanji Tadas (BJP) questions on when the Rail over bridge in Wardha will be completed.
Nitin Gadkari says funds and time line was fixed but many issues were there in terms of land use change, removal of encroachment.
"About 82 Rail Overbridge delayed, 61of National Highway Authority of India. PM Modi formed a committee to expedite RoB projects, we tried to streamline but admit that much gets stuck at Railways and therefore I will go into it again. Will try to complete the work within 6 months. "
Mr. Tadas asks supplementary on whether it is a delay due to rail design specifications.
Nitin Gadkari replies this is correct and we are facing an issue on this. We will rectify this and enquire about delays, he says.
Balashowry vallabhaneni (YSRCP) raises same question with regard to Machalipattnam.
Mr. Gadkari assures work will be expedited.
Bhagirath Chowdhary (BJP) says flyover in Ajmer is particularly accident prone asks for an underpass. Also says Delhi-Mumbai freight corridors underpasses are usually flooded during rains.
Speaker says question pertains to Railways whereas its Roads and Highways minister’s question day. Mr. Gadkari says accident prone flyover is a cause of worry, will enquire and set right.
Lok Sabha resume proceedings.
MoS, Finance, Anurag Thakur speaks in the House.
He says he encourages debate and discussion on the Budget, but he is deeply hurt that the Opposition is branding Mahatma Gandhi as seditious. To link the Mahatma to aandolanjivis is wrong, he says.
The Opposition protests, saying that Mr. Thakur's claims are unparliamentary and false.
The MoS says that the budget has received positive reviews from all States.
The Congress MPs storm into the well.
Mr. Thakur says that the poor people have benefited the most from the policies of the Modi government. The Modi government has brought historic number of people out of the poverty line.
The Budget has also benefited Women and children, he says.
He counters the opposition charge that poor and vulnerable sections were ignored.
The house is adjourned.
K.C. Venugopal, INC, Rajasthan, expresses solidarity with the farmers and points towards unemployment as a major issue.
The same PM who had promised 2 crore jobs each year is now mum about jobs, he says.
He says that 21 million salaried employees lost their jobs according to reports. He says that there has been a loss of ₹1 lakh cr. in the Tourism industry.
He says that the budget is silent on employment generation.
Mr. Venugopal says that per capita income of India has fallen behind its neighbours like Bangladesh.
The Congress MP asks Centre - "where is the roadmap to address these concerns?"
Extraordinary situation demands extraordinary measures. But the budget is just ordinary, Mr. Venugopal says.
The Centre claims V-shaped economic recovery is in process, but how and where it is happening is not stated, he says.
Disinvestment is the only source of revenue for this government. The Airports Authority of India is becoming the Adani Authority of India, he adds.
He criticises the government's move to increase excise duty on fuel. "The Minister has misled people on crude oil prices," he said.
"You claim to be nationalists, but not a mention of Defence in FM's speech. We saw the nationalism by BJP. The information on Balakot incident was leaked by one of your media friends," the Congress MP said.
Our annadata are struggling on the steets. But PM is saying we are all aandolanjivis. But we saw since 2014, in Delhi, was that also instigated by aandolanjivis? What does he mean by aandolanjivis? India got freedom because of aandolan. Mahatma Gandhi, by that logic, is also an aandolanjivi, he says.
TDP MP K. Ravindra Kumar says, that the budget provides no hope for people of Andhra Pradesh. He opposes privatising the Visakhapatnam steel plant.
He says that the government has been suppressing political opponents and dissent by filing false cases. He asks for support from the Centre for AP reorganisation Act and lawlessness in the State.
Farmers will go home only when they can say 'fateh, fateh, fateh': Naresh Gujral
SAD MP Naresh Gujral says the questions of farmers being in debt arise. "My farmer is on the street because he feels that the market is going to be snatched away from him. Punjab, which included Haryana, came to the country's rescue when we were in need of food. FCI had been procuring wheat and paddy that he produced. The market was at their doorstep. Now they fear, with these laws, they will have to go to the private player and they will not get MSP. The PM himself said, these farmers have a market at their doorstep. They can take the production risk, but cannot take the marketing risk."
"Why not legalise MSP by putting it in the law. The day you do that, the farmers will return to their homes. I must tell the government's spokespersons stop defaming the farmers. And force will be of no use against the farmers. The farmers will go home only when they can say ,'fateh, fateh, fateh' (victory, victory, victory)."
DMK MP T.K.S Elangovan says that he sympathises with the Finance Minister for trying to present a budget during the pandemic. She has made an effort but I am not sure if it will bear any fruit, he said. However, the daily wage workers have not benefited from the Budget.
He said that the budget is based on a U.S. model. "The eagle can fly high because it is an eagle. The peacock can only dance. India needs care. The government must protect its people," he said.
Jharna Das Baidya, CPI(M) raises the issue of cut in budget for the midday meal scheme.
Sujeet Kumar, BJD MP from Odisha welcomes the green initiative of launching the Budget in digital Budget.
Mr. Kumar flags the concerns of marginal hike in defence sector. In comparison to Pakistan and China's spending on defence, India's is lower, he said.
He expresses his disappointment over the spending on Education.
It is concerning that the spending on education has decreased in the same time that the NEP is being introduced, he said.
He said that there was an urgent need to increase Railways spending in the State.
He said that his hometown of Kalahandi has come a long way. The 20-year journey is an example of development across the country.
M. Thambidurai, AIADMK, says that the India's vaccine is much sought after in the world. He appreciated the PM for visiting vaccine producing labs, 'risking his life' to ensure that the vaccine was produced in time. He requested the Centre to enhance funding to Tamil Nadu to combat the pandemic.
Mr. Thambidurai requested the Centre to connect the corridor between Trichy and Coimbatore. He also requested metro project in Madurai.
He requested the Centre to take up a project connecting Jolarpettai and Bengaluru via Hosur.
The AIADMK MP asked the Centre to give loan waver worth ₹12,500 cr. to farmers who borrowed from public sector banks during the pandemic.
MNREGA should not be ignored. To create more employment Centre should spend for employment in rural areas, he said.
He asked the Centre to resume funding for the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme. It will ensure that the MPs have an increased participation in development, he said. The MPLAD funds has been withheld for COVID pandemic.
Sukhendu Shekhar Ray, AITC, asks what is the basis of the government's claim that the economy will grow by 14%.
The govt., Mr Ray says is making empty promises in the name of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
The govt. believes that MSME sectors will restart their business after lending from banks. But the loans taken by MSME sectors are at an all time low
You claimed that you will double the farmers' income in five years, now you have extended the deadline to 2022. One year is left. Now bringing in the three farm laws you want to convert agriculture into playground for corporates, he says.
In April 2020, 12 crore people lost their jobs. Pandemic only added salt to the injury, the economy has been on a downside since demonetisation, he adds.
The TMC government has constructed more than 88,000 km of state roads in last 10 years, now the centee ahead of the polls is coming up with a lollipop of 675 km of road.
He complains that the state as per devolution of funds has got ₹10,000 lakh crore less than what the State were owed.
No money given for rehabilitation after Amphan cyclone.
Mr Ray says that fuel prices in India is far higher than the prevailing rate in our neighboring countries.
He asks why the government was decriminalising those who 'ran away' with the people's money in public sector bank. He says that criminal action must be taken against them, says that no one can do anything about it because 'everybody is sold'.
Arun Singh, BJP, pays compliments to FM Nirmala Sitharaman for not imposing any additional taxes despite the adverse circumstances.
Speaking during the debate on Union Budget 2021, Mr Singh talks about the corruption cases and lack of credibility in the UPA era.
Budget for the rich, by the rich and of the rich, says Chidambaram
P Chidambaram speaks in the Rajya Sabha.
"Let me first recall the last year, The former CEA Aravind Subramanium said that pre-COVID the economy was in ICU. Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee said that the economy was doing badly before the pandemic. The country has witnessed a slowdown of 8 quarters so far.
"The govt. was in denial about slowdown in economy. The govt believed wrongly that the problem in Indian economy is cyclical and not structural. 2 years of slowdown is a reality before coronavirus," he said.
"We pleaded, that while you address the basic issues of the economy, please do two things, one do cash transfer and second use your mountains of food grains to free ration to poor people. But economists continue to point out that the poor are getting no money and the rations have not continued," Mr. Chidambaram said.
He said that the govt. believes supply-side responses will improve the economy, but he could count on his fingers who these theorists were. "The Finance Minister, Prime Minister's speech writer, the Chief Economic Advisor and the distinguished economist who heads Niti Ayog are among them. I am still looking for 5th supporter," the Congress MP said.
Economists say there is a need to stimulate demand but the govt. is still not learning the lessons of the last 12 months, he said.
"We are back to where we are 2017-18. Three years of incompetent economic management will mean that we will be exactly where we were in 2017-18. I can't use harsher word that incompetent in Parliament," Mr. Chidambaram said.
28 million people actively seeking jobs: Chidambaram
He pointed out that about 64 million dropped out of labour force and 22% of them are women. He also said that 28 million people are registered today actively seeking jobs but MSME units have shut down.
"There is no demand in the bulk of india. Even in advanced states like TN, imagine how it will be in backward states like U.P., Bihar and Odisha," he asked, "You have ignored bulk of India. Who is this budget for?"
Major numbers are suspect in this year's budget, Mr. Chidambaram said. The total additional capital expenditure is ₹51,000 crore. Where did the rest of the money go? He asked.
"On the revenue side your expenditure increased by over ₹4 lakh crore and a revenue shortfall of over ₹3 lakh. Mark my words, the revenue projections for next year are ambitious and there will be a shortfall," he said.
The Congress MP said that not enough was being spent on Capital expenditure. "The numbers will unravel and there is no excuse this year," he said. The money you borrowed will only be used to fill the gaps, he added.
"Let me point out another number that will unravel. You have projected nominal GDP growth by 14.8% and still say that growth will be 11%. The maths is bewildering," he said.
"Dr Gita Gopinath has said that to reach pre-Covid level will take three years. This years' growth will only be 8.4-9.4%, which is a natural and mechanical growth after the coronavirus-induced slowdown. Don't boast about the numbers. It will take you 2-3 years to get to a stable GDP. Take the advice of well meaning critics, address the structural issue of the economy and support the poor," Mr. Chidambaram stated.
I have to complement that for the first time there was no mention of defence in the budget speech. The Health sector is completely shot down in the budget, he said. What you have done by imposing the cess is to deny the States of revenue, he added.
"I want to point out that the text of the speech is prosaic and bureaucratic. What is the pretext of the speech? We have a pandemic. Let me tell you that we don't hold you responsible for COVID pandemic. And we won't give you credit for it leaving India," Mr. Chidambaram said.
This is a budget prepared for the rich, of the rich and by the rich, he said. This budget has done nothing for the poor of India, migrant workers, those who have waiting for ration.
"We must therefore record our strongest protest and dissent. And because of this dissent we will be called andolanjeevi ," he said.
We reject this budget in the name of the people and appeal to you to provide cash transfers, ration and succor to the poor, the Congress MP added.
If there is no improvement soon, the poor will wake up and in a non-violent peaceful manner show the govt. what should be done and how it should be done, Mr Chidambaram concluded.
Birendra Prasad Baishya, AGP, Assam, hails the budget. Under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi ji government is working in the right direction. He appreciates government for production of COVID vaccine. He said that it is a great example of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat that the vaccines are not only being produced but also exported to other countries.
He expresses concern about capital expenditure, says that it has led to inflation. He says he is happy that ₹34,000 cr. has been allocated for building of National Highway in Assam. He says that the Budget has successfully drawn attention to the people of the State.
Railway electrification is a dream of the northeastern people, he says. There is need to connect the northeastern region through railway lines, and this will go a long way.
He asks for a bullet train to be installed between Guwahati and Mumbai in the interest of migrants.
Vandana Chavan, NCP, says this budget is the first document that sets the road map for ahead post the pandemic. She says that there has been no mention of the impending danger of climate change.
Business Advisory Committee met and decided that discussion and reply on Budget will be completed by Friday. The house will not sit on Saturday, says Venkaiah Naidu.
This means that the first part of the Budget session will now end on Friday, 2 days ahead of the schedule. It was to wrapped up on February 15.
Revisit MGNREGA: Manoj Kumar Jha
Prof. Manoj Kumar Jha, RJD, Bihar speaks in the House.
He says that there has been a tendency of late that the Ministers say we are ready to listen to people but have the attitude of "my way or highway".
"You claim you want to listen to criticism but have earplugs on. The Budget he claims is directed for a few special people, not the common man. He points to the Articles 38 and 39 of Constitution, and asks what the Budget will do for the people of India? Let it be an aam (common man's) Budget, not a khaas (special) budget," he says.
"Don't manufacture the numbers - acknowledge the worrisome numbers," he said.
I wish Bihar elections were also held in April or May at least we would have to get infrastructure projects, Mr Jha said. He was referring to infrastructure projects announced in the budget for election-bound of states- Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Assam.
What kind of country are you building, where assets are concentrated with select few? He asked.
"The inequitable distribution of assets will only amplify your problems," he said. Mr Jha criticises government for reduction in government expenditure on education. He points to the digital divide and says it's not possible to provide quality education without addressing the issue.
Please revisit MGNREGA, he said. He asked for increase in wages and number of days of employment. He says that the scheme is intricately linked to hunger.
About the Railways and the goal of 100% electrification in the sector, he asks if is it a priority during the corona times.
He says that he has made a report called 'Gaon connection'. It points to how less we know about the villages. He says that he will send the report to the Ministry of Finance. It will help in making it an 'aam budget', he says.
Budget like 'sales advertisement', Make in India replaced by 'Sell India': Elamaram Kareem
Elamaram Kareem, CPI(M), Kerala, says that the budget is disappointing and does not address the needs of people. There is no vision, he says and adds that it has only increased the burden on the economy that was already in decline even before the coronavirus pandemic.
The Budget is filled with proposals to privatize. It has not heeded to the advice of renowned economists that government should out the money in the hands of the people to increase demand. No plans for those who have lost their jobs in the pandemic. He says that the Budget panders to Indian and foreign corporates.
He says that the Budget is like a "sales advertisement". Make in India slogan is replaced by Sell India, he says.
Government expenditure is less than last year, he said. Budget for key sectors has been cut including education and agriculture. Projects who have already been underway in Kerala has been added in this budget, he said.
Ram Chandra Prasad Singh (JDU) speaks on budget
He said that the Budget reinforces the idea of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. Nobody has died of hunger during corona times, he says.
An MGNREGA works 100 days and he gets ₹24,000, how much does Kapil Sibal charge to appear for few minutes in court? What kind of equality is this? He asks.
The NDA government's philosophy is Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. Why wasn't a central University opened in Leh when Mr. Sibal was the Education Minister? He asks.
The opposition protests. Anurag Thakur weighs in, says Mr. Sibal's time would be precious that he charges lakhs of rupees to appear in a case for few minutes. He should have been present in the House after opening the budget discussion yesterday
He says while Mr Sibal was in Delhi, he was in his village overseeing that everyone was getting ₹500 and ensuring that those stranded got ₹1,000. He said that the poor got free foodgrains to support them through the pandemic. ₹5,300 was spent on each migrant who returned to Bihar.
You are worried about industrial growth when the matter is of life and death, he says.
Chairman Venkaiah Naidu resumes duty. He tells treasury benches that absence of cabinet minister during the discussion on Union Budget is not good.
Mr Singh counters Kapil Sibal's statement yesterday. Mr Sibal had said that the government doesn't care for the poor. Mr Singh said that the union budget ensured that there were no new taxes and government expenditure has gone up.
Deputy Chairman takes up the seat.
Vishambhar Prasad Nishad, SP MP from Uttar Pradesh says there has been no Budget allocation towards infrastructure in the State. He says that the roads in the State are dilapidated and must be replaced.
He asked for the 'illegal' cases against the farmers to be retracted. He also said that illegal sand mining has been going on in U.P.
"I am from Bundelkhand, thousand cows dying in gaushalas, as no facility of fodder and water for them," he said.
"Caste census was last held in 1931, they do not get proportionate representation in governance, we demand caste based census in 2021," Mr. Nishad said.
This Budget is hollow - no money with them to give to central government employees. Demonetisation and GST has broken the back of economy, he says, adding that employment has decreased.
"The budget is an account of lies," he said.
The farm laws is a ploy to make the country a slave of the corporates, he said. The farmers are not getting proper MSP on crops, especially on wheat and corn. Mr. Nishad said that even aanganwadi workers are suffering.
He asked for animal-induced crop destruction to be covered under PM Kisan Bima Yojna.
He said that the disinvestment has led to job losses and even sainik schools are being privatised. Banks are privatised and private banks are being promoted. This budget increases the gap between the poor and rich, he said.
In July Olympics are going to be held and budget for sports has been reduced by ₹230 crore, he said.
He asked for an apportion budget for cancer treatment, free treatment for poor people.
"Matter of national security": Chairman shoots down Opposition's request
When Rajya Sabha members ask for an opportunity to seek clarification on Defence Minister's statement, Chairman Naidu denies their request saying "this is a matter of national unity and security."
"Discussions have been going on for the past 48 hours, and you want to create controversy? It is not good," he says.
"It was decided in the morning that we will continue the Budget discussion. Members can meet the Minister on-camera. I will explore this option," he adds.
Opposition continues to create ruckus.
Chairman says: "I know the convention. I also know what Jairam Ramesh has reminded me. Rajnath Singh met and told me that discussions are going on with the neighbour, and things are at a delicate stage, so let us wait. He met me again yesterday and said I want to take the House into confidence today. This was a fairly elaborate statement."
"I want to appeal to the House that since this is a matter of national interest, let it be seen that we are speaking in one voice," he adds.
China claims 90,000 sq km of land in Arunachal border, says Defence Minister
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addresses the House on the ground situation in Eastern Ladakh.
"China amassed troops in Eastern Ladakh in April 2020. They transgressed and were given befitting answer by our forces. Twenty soldiers laid down their lives in the process. Both sides established military and diplomatic contacts, keeping with our efforts to restore peace and tranquillity," he says.
"China occupied 38,000 sq km after 1962 war and 5,180 sq km given illegally by Pakistan to China in Ladakh," he says.
"In Arunachal Pradesh border, China claims 90,000 sq km of Indian land. India has not accepted this unjustified demands," says the Defence Minister.
"We have maintained that bilateral relations can prosper only if there are efforts from both sides. Peace and tranquility at border affects bilateral relations with China, so China and India's relations have been affected by these events," he says.
"Last year, I informed that China has amassed troops and armaments. India gave a befitting reply. We are occupying strategic heights... even in heavy snow, troops are protecting our borders. We have an edge in these areas," says Mr. Singh.
"In dialogue with China we told them that LAC should be respected, no unilateral move to change the status quo, all decisions to be implemented by both sided. Our strategy based on approach that not an inch of land will be ceded, and we have reached a consensus," he says, adding that "a mutually acceptable disengagement process has been worked out."
"Disengagement agreement at north and south banks of Pangong Tso has been reached. Senior commanders will meet within 48 hours after disengagement from Pangong. Troops will be removed in a phased, coordinated and verified manner," says Mr. Singh.
"India will move to Finger 3 at DS Post on north bank and China will move east side. Similar arrangements at south bank. Status quo will be restored," he says.
"Patrolling in Finger area of Pangong has been suspended till further decision is taken by military commanders based on diplomatic talks," he says, adding that "we have not lost anything through this agreement."
"Some outstanding issues remain, but both sides agree that full disengagement should be done," says the Defence Minister. "The House stands in unity for country's sovereignty."
Come and work in India, but you will have to follow India's laws, says Minister
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says that Koo, framed as an Indian competitor to Twitter, has become a "big success."
Speaking on steps taken to curb fake news and messages, he says: "we respect social media. It has empowered common people. We respect criticism... you can criticise even the Prime Minister. But if social media is used to propagate hate, then aciton will be taken."
"We respect India's electoral process and if anyone uses social media to influence elections, strict action will bet taken," he says. "Whether it is Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, I have a message for all of you — come, work in India, earn money but you will have to follow India's laws."
"We have flagged Twitter, and is in dialogue with them. Why is it that when police has to act in U.S. Capitol Hill they stand in support, but when a similar action is taken at Red Fort, they oppose it? Freedom of speech is there, but with reasonable restrictions. Why double standards? You cannot spread hate messages such as 'PM harassed farmers'," he says.
"Prakash Javadekar and I are revisiting the social media guidelines," continues Mr.Prasad. "When you become a platform, you make your own law and India's laws will have no place in it? That is not how it works. You bring money and do business, but you have to respect the law of the land," he says.
On being asked to take action against fake news by media channels, he says: "My department takes action from time to time on this issue. This government is led by leaders who have fought for the freedom of media. We fought during Emergency, be it PM Modi or Rajnath ji. Our commitment to individual freedom and judiciary is intact."
"I have a message for social media platforms — freedom is important, but showing revenge sex video, street fights, porn videos, family issues on social media...? Revisit unbridled exposure of double-standards of your own guidelines," he says.
Quota for Muslim converts
To a question raised by Congress's Digvijaya Singh whether a scavenger committee of Muslims can be included in the Scheduled Category, as per Ranganath Committee report. Mr. Prasad said the government had huge reservations about the Ranganath Mishra committee report. "If they were promised they would be equal after getting converted, then why this?," Mr. Prasad asked.
Courts have given multiple judgements on quota to Dailt Christians, he said. The Supreme Court had said that "till the time you agree that you don't face the same discrimination then benefits cannot be granted to you".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Rajya Sabha today. Thursday's Question Hour is directed at Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and Prime Minister's Office (PMO), which is headed by the Prime Minister. Respective ministers have to be present in the House to answer the question from members.
On the lapsed Judicial Accountability Bill
Speaking on the lapsed Judicial Accountability Bill, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says: "While we are having this discussion, a reminder that the Bill was brought in by UPA govt., and there were some reservations about it. We are in dialogue with the judiciary. The architecture of law needs a clarification from the judiciary."
Shaktisinh Gohil (Congress) demands that the Bill be brought back. "Why dont you make an enquiry on interference of corporates in judiciary?" he asks. Mr. Prasad replies "we are committed to judiciary's independence under the leadership of PM Modi."
On killing of Tamil fishermen
M. Thambidurai (AIADMK) asks Prime Minister Modi to condemn Sri Lankan navy for killing Tamil fishermen. Union Minister S. Jaishankar says that India had expressed strong protest to Sri Lanka on the killing of four fishermen on January 18. "They have initiated an enquiry, and we are waiting for it's report," he says, adding that India has a procedure with which to avoid such cases in future.
"Right now, there are no Indian fishermen in custody of Sri Lanka. Earlier, nine Indians were released. There are 62 Indian boats in their custody which we are trying to get released," he adds.
On under-utilisation of Poshan Abhiyan funds
Speaking during Question Hour, Union Minister Smriti Irani says that Poshan Abhiyan is a Jan Andolan campaign, and that it is the State's responsibility to implement it. "I personally participated in video conference with States. Most States could not perform its duties as aanganwadis were shut due to pandemic."
She was responding to a wuestion about under-utilisation of 52% of funds under Poshan Abhiyan. Ami Yagnik of Congress acknowledges the answer, but adds "I am unable to understand the reference to Jan Andolan campaign."
Priyanka Chaturvedi of Shiv Sena asks about the massive drop in ICDS from 2014 to 2020. Smriti Irani replies that ICDS is implemented by States. It is the State's responsibility to identify beneficiaries. "We have ensured digitisation of records and States have corrected anomalies," she adds.
Question hour begins in the House.
On forest products
Banda Prakash (TRS) asks if there is any comprehensive survey on forest products in the country. Union Minister Arjun Munda replies that some products in this category are included in a country-wide list.
Another question comes up on when was the last time the MSP of forest produce essentials was revised?
The Minister replies that in 2017-18, a scheme was initiated for the same. "Even in lockdown, we monitored it well because the markets were closed. They made a lot of profit," says the Minister.
Provide ₹25 lakh compensation for flood victims, says Sanjay Singh
Sanjay Singh (AAP) asks for an update on efforts by NDRF to rescue people from Tapovan tunnel. He says that around 170 people are still missing, and requests ₹25 lakh compensation to next of kin of those killed in the Uttarakhand flood.
Sampatiya Uike (BJP) raises a demand for protection of Gondi language spoken by lakhs of tribals.
Restriction on constructions near military posts
Elamalal Kareem (CPI-M) brings up onbjections to the restriction on construction work near military establishments in Kerala.
He says that there are 193 stations where a No Objection Certificate is required to construct anything within 100 metres. "Kozhikode in Kerala is not included in the list, and yet no construction is permitted," he says.
G.V.L Narasimha Rao (BJP) asks for a national research centre for chilly crops.
Issue of M.P.'s Sahariya community raised
Digvijaya Singh (Congress) asks that the Sahariya community in Madhya Pradesh be included in the Extreme Backward Category. As of now, they get benefits only in Chambal and Gwalior divisions. He demands that benefit be provided in other parts of the State as well. Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot responds to this, and says that the Centre has not received any such proposal from the State government.
D.P. Vats (BJP) raises a demand for more government jobs for widows of war soldiers.
L Hanumanthaiah (Congress) calls for an independent institute for classical language in Karnataka.
Rajya Sabha proceeding start.
Motion for election of one of the members to committee for Official Languages is adopted.
Zero hour begins.
Harnath Singh Yadav (BJP) demands that Supreme Court and High Court verdicts be provided in Hindi and other regional languages.
Jharna Das Baidya (CPI-M) demands a railway network for two tribal-dominated districts in Tripura.
Narain Dass Gupta (AAP) raises a request to open more gates at metro stations in Delhi. Currently, in adherence to COVID-19 restrictions, only one gate is open. This is leading to long queues, and causing inconvenience to the public, he says
General Discussion on Union Budget 2021-22
Bill for Consideration and Passing:
- Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020
Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address
Highlights of the President’s Address 2021
General Discussion on the Union Budget for 2021-2022
Bill for Consideration and Passing
- Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021