Parliament proceedings live updates | Rajya Sabha discusses water scarcity, Lok Sabha passes SEZ amendment bill

Replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the lynching of a Muslim man in Jharkhand “pained him”.

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:53 pm IST

Published - June 26, 2019 10:21 am IST

Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat speaks in the Rajya Sabha on June 26, 2019. Photo: RSTV

Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat speaks in the Rajya Sabha on June 26, 2019. Photo: RSTV

A day after the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address was passed in the Lok Sabha, the Upper House to passed the motion Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply . The Rajya Sabha also witnessed a short duration discussion on the water crisis across the country.


The Lok Sabha discussed an passed the SEZ Amendment Bill.

Here are the updates:

Rajya Sabha | 6.35 pm


House is adjourned till tomorrow after special mentions are made. 

Rajya Sabha | 6 pm


It's 6 pm. Chair wants to take the sense of the House, whether the session be extended. MoS Minister proposes that the House may sit till the conclusion of the Minister's reply. House agrees and someone adds there are special mentions too.

Mr. Shekhawat in his reply expresses gratitude that across party lines members have expressed need to come up with special plans to tackle this crisis.  Makes special mention of his party colleague Om Prakash Mathur who is leading by example on water conservation.

“We should be worried about the use of water for farming. 1 kg rice requires 5,600 litre. Says one cotton kurta requires 5,000 litres of water,” he says. Opposition benches raise a doubt. Minister stands by his facts.

“I have read the book by Anupam Mishra cited by the Deputy Chairman,” he says adding that the water consumed in his home and place have been harvested drop by drop throughout the year.

It's unfortunate that India is home of world's most contaminated water sources, he says. This is unfortunate that we had a culture of treating water above gods.

Opposition raises voice. Says we don't want to listen to stories. Minister says that if the issue is not understood we cannot resolve it, he says.

Chair reminds Minister to conclude in 7 minutes. Opposition wants Minister to stay on subject.  Still Minister goes on to do Modi hain to Mumkin hai. Chair reminds him that the Chairman has already said in morning that the elections are over and we should talk issues.

Minister too cites the Singapore model. And says I have studied Australian model too. “But the only model that will work here is the Modi model,” he says. This is despite the Deputy Chairman reminding the Minister.

Mr. Sharma raises point of order. Says water scarcity is the subject of the discussion not the Modi model.

Minister concludes that every one of us should contribute to tackle the issue.

RJD's Manoj Kumar Jha tells the Minister that the Minister should have spoken with scientific temper and he should come out of election mode.

Lok Sabha | 6 pm

The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is passed. House is adjourned till tomorrow 11 a.m.

Rajya Sabha| 5.54 pm

Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat replies to the debate. Anand Sharma (Congress) wants the Minister's reply be held tomorrow as it's a very important matter. And the House will adjourn at 6 pm.

Chair says the sense of the House has been taken and asks Mr. Sharma to let the reply to be completed.


Lok Sabha | 5.40 pm


In his reply, Piyush Goyal, Minister for Commerce and Industry, says, “So many progresive Bills have been blocked due to the disturbances and delays of both the Houses. Hence the Ordinance route has been adopted. In the Constitution, the President has been vested with powers to promulgate an Ordinance after analysing its merits.

Quoting the PM’s ‘Sabka saath, sabka vishwas’ slogan, he says the ‘trust’ element is in the draft.

On questions raised about inefficiency of SEZ’s he says, “Concessions given by the Vajpayee government for SEZ’s were withdrawn by the UPA in 2011. 67 requests were received to denotify SEZ’s in the UPA II alone.”

On the issue of land grab, he says, “States have been advised to consider barren land on priority basis for SEZ’s, and not more than 10% for crop 2 land if necessary. Why didn't the Congress oppose the land grab issue when the SEZ act was passed?”

On the Baba Kalyani committee report, the Minister says,“We have considered three recommendations, five I can do by administrative orders. Some other recommendations need discussions with other departments and shall be tentatively notified by November.

“SEZ’s have failed because of the Congress, when it withdrew income tax concessions. But SEZs are safe in the hands of the BJP.”

He concludes.

Lok Sabha | 5.30 pm


Jayadev Galla TDP, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh: “SEZ’s have become land banks for people today. There must be a commitment for the number of jobs created, increase in local employment, tax revenue and educational intitiatives.  Land grab is a major issue, which entails double whammy of land price issue. People whose lands are taken aren’t compensated sufficiently, but land prices increase for their neighbors. He has also mooted the idea of Rural Economic Zones. Take every district where HDI is low, and jobs can be created. Instead of going to already developed zones.”

E.T. Mohammed Bashir, IUML, Ponnani, Kerala: “Recommendations of the SEZ Report havent been considered at all. Land is being handed over to developers, but it’s optimal use is an issue. But the conversion of agricultural land for industrial use under this Act must be resisted. China has particularly ensured this, but this government has not applied its mind and simply passed an Ordinance.”

Anupriya Patel, Apna Dal, Mirzapur, U.P.: “U.P. has not come under the priority of developers to establish SEZ. The developers have a natural tendency to focus on more prosperous regions, and  backward regions do not get any attention.  Under the 2018 report on SEZ, several recommendations were issued. How far these recommendations have been considered in drafting this ordinance?”


Lok Sabha | 5.20 pm


Supriya Sule (NCP, Baramati, Maharashtra) says how many recommendations of the Baba Kalyani committee have you taken into consideration. Are you taking SEZ’s forward in electronics, which require a huge infrastructure and logistics? Lot of companies are willing to invest in ports, airports, if it’s affordable. It’s not about your gov vs our government. When Nokia shut down in TN, over 5000 people lost their jobs. Will the honbl minister step in. Companies will come and go, but what will happen to the people. A grounded government should think about the bottom of the pyramid, the labour, and not about the rich.

Rajya Sabha | 5.15 pm


R.S. Bharathi (DMK, Tamil Nadu) cites alarming info given by his previous speakers that 21 cities will not have groundwater by 2020. He regrets the Prime Minister's speech did not mention linking of rivers despite mentioning the issue in the BJP manifesto. Inter-linking of rivers should be taken up on priority basis in South India.

DMK member R.S. Bharathi speaks in the Rajya Sabha on June 26, 2019. Photo: RSTV

DMK member R.S. Bharathi speaks in the Rajya Sabha on June 26, 2019. Photo: RSTV


He says people are ready to pay for good service citing his four-term chairmanship at Alandur municipality in Chennai. Water should be put in concurrent list while sending education to the State list.

Rajya Sabha | 5.10 pm


Vishambhar Prasad Nishad (SP, U.P.) who comes from Bundelkhand has been called to give pointed suggestions for paucity of time. Mr. Nishad also cites the loot of tankers in the region and wants concrete steps to deal with the issue.

Lok Sabha | 5.05 pm


Bhartruhari Mahtab, BJD, Cuttack(Odisha) says the idea behind adoption of the SEZ Act was that the technology coming from foreign investors will be duty free. Getting an ordinance route should be avoided. The urgency enshrined in the constitution does not suffice. The only thing mentioned in the Bill is you are making an amendment to bring trust and ‘any entity’ (it needs to be defined). But it should be notified by the Central government. A law on policy has to be non-discriminatory and without any discretion. In the last 10 years, more bungling has taken place with more discretionary power of the decision-making authority. The idea was that FDI will increase with the SEZ Act. But last year, the FDI came down. Will this provision of bringing ‘trust’ and ‘any entity’ under the new amendment encourage FDI? If yes, we support the Act.

Rajya Sabha | 5.05 pm


Before calling Husain Dalwai (Congress, Maharashtra) , Deputy Chairman takes his time to book on techniques to save water by Anupam Mishra .

Mr. Dalwai says MPLAD spending should give priority to drinking water issues. Mr. Dalwai cites P. Sainath's book Everyone Loves a Good Drought to drive his point home.


Rajya Sabha | 5 pm

Om Prakash Mathur (BJP, Rajasthan) says the ponds of Rajasthan was not dug only by the villagers themselves, but the ruler of the time, for example in Jaisalmer, also went did physical work to make the pond possible. And he grateful that a bipartisan debate is happening on this very important issue.  He wants the Jawai Dam in the State should be given importance.


Lok Sabha | 4.55 pm


The Lok Sabha continues its discussion on the SEZ bill.

Kaushalendra Kumar (JD(U), Nalanda, Bihar) says SEZ’s have been ignored in Bihar by successive governments. I support the bill in the hope that this will bring more employment and industrial growth to Bihar.

Rajya Sabha | 4.55 pm


D. Raja (CPI, Tamil Nadu) expects the Centre to settle the inter-State river disputes as except one, all of Tamil Nadu's rivers are inter-State one and the State is a lower riparian one He says there should be a national consensus on the issue and urges on preservation of water bodies on a priority basis. While tackling encroachment of water bodies, he says, corporates and land mafias should also be dealt with as firmly as the poor people are dealt with.

Rajya Sabha  | 4.50 pm


Anil Desai (Shiv Sena, Maharashtra) urges the Jal Shakthi Ministry to give priority to unfinished irrigation projects in Mahrashtra especially Marathwada region.


Rajya Sabha | 4.50 pm


Vinayak B. Raut (Shiv Sena) says for creating employment, SEZ’s need to be protected and laws must be relaxed. Maharashtra has the highest level of taxation which repels industry. Hence the concessions introduced under the present bill are welcome. However, farmland grab must be desisted from and barren land should be used for SEZ. Foreign investments must be encouraged through this Act. India has an aggressive trade Union culture which discourages industry, however it has reduced now.


Rajya Sabha | 4.45 pm

Prof. Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD, Bihar) says the water crisis would lead to food crisis and it should be prevented by intruding even penal provisions to prevent water misuse. Concludes his speech telling the Chair not to ring the bell. Earns praise from the Chair.

Rajya Sabha | 4.40 pm

’Gold is cheaper than water in Chennai’

T.K. Rangarajan (CPI(M), Tamil Nadu) says Chennai is the first major Indian city to go dry. Gold is cheaper than water in Chennai, he says. IT sector employees have been asked to work from home. Restaurants are closing down, he says adding this is because all three rivers running through the city have become gutters.

Mr. Rangarajan says Chennai a very very urgent intervention from Centre and other States have also a responsibility to save Chennai as it is a cosmopolitan city.


Lok Sabha | 4.35 pm


D.N.V. Senthilkumar (DMK, Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu) asks what is the urgency for passing an ordinance for the SEZ Act now? A large chunk of trusts owned by minorities have been shut down under the previous Act. There are suspicions that the gov has a hidden agenda to favor a selected few who are close to the government and have vested interests.

T.N., once an automobile hub, now has automobile industries shifting to neighboring states. The ease of doing business for the State has gone down under the present government.


Rajya Sabha | 4.30 pm

Prashanta Nanda (BJD, Odisha) begins his maiden speech. While he wants to make it his maiden speech, Chair is reluctant to extend time as it is a short duration discussion. Mr. Nanda says the discussion is confusing between groud water depletion and safe drinking water adding that the former is the most pressing issue across the world. 

The Chair reminds him to conclude and gives him the option of making his uninterrupted maiden speech later. Chair and Mr. Nandra agree.  Mr. Nanda presses on prevention of chemical contamination of ground water among other issues. And he too cites his party government's scheme back in Odisha.

Rajya Sabha | 4.25 pm


Prakash Banda (TRS, Telangana) is called to speak , with a reminder that he has 4 minutes. While reeling out stats, Dr. Banda, talks about the Mission Bagheeratha of the Telangana government. He charges that not enough allocation promised by the Centre arrived for the programme. He wants the newly inaugurated Kaleshwaram project as a national project and seeks an allocation of Rs. 25,000 crore.

Rajya Sabha | 4.20 pm

Kahkashan Perween (JD(U), Bihar) is called to speak. Water crisis is a result of climate change, she says.  She also cites Singapore. Chair intervenes saying Singapore to ho gaya and you should conclude.


Lok Sabha | 4.20 pm


Discussion of SEZ Amendment Bill 2019

Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP, Saran, Bihar) says,“We have fulfilled most of the recommendations of the SEZ. No fertile area should be acquired for SEZ. Additional compensation, rehabilitation for displaced farmers and the poor. We believe in our nation, in our PM, that our efforts will be for the welfare of the nation, not a community or a people. Out of 48,000 hectare land allotted for SEZ, only 5.5 hectare has been utilized.

Shashi Tharoor (Congress, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala): “As per article 123, an ordinance can be promulgated only when President deems it necessary in ‘emergency situations’ and when issues of ‘extreme urgency arise and when it’s not possible to wait for the Parliament to convene’. 

“We have failed as members of the parliament to keep a check on the misuse of this Article. There is no cogent reason given for this Emergency situation.

“PM must not treat this House as a rubber stamp for his political agenda.

“Unfortunately we are yet to realize the vision of SEZ Act 2005. Far from creating jobs, we have reached 45-year high level of unemployment. In the last 5 years, exports have barely increased by 10%. 115 SEZ’s are still non-operational.

“What structural reforms will you undertake to ensure the advance of this policy?

“Congress is proud of India’s economic growth, but we urge this government to stop with the ordinances and bring bills to this Parliament for debate and discussion.”


Rajya Sabha  | 4.10 pm


Ravi Prakash Verma (SP, U.P.) cites reports of looting of water tankers in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh to say that it's not the issue of Bundelkhand alone, he says, adding it's the issue of the entire nation. Even if we claim ourselves as a developed nation in whatever index, we cannot be one unless we address the drinking water issue, he says. Every Ministry has a water footprint and we need to come out with a national blueprint on the water issue, he adds. He concludes by saying the country needs an audit system for use of water. Chair reminds him to conclude. Mr. Verma continues. Cites a Singapore example of recycling of water. Chair wants him to conclude. Mr. Verma is forced to conclude. 

Rajya Sabha | 4 pm


Manas Ranjan Bhinia (Trinamool Congress, West Bengal) says the issue is the need of the hour. Per capita water supply has come down from 5000 cubic metre to 1400 cubic metre, he says. He cites a NITI Aayog observation that 60 crore people are facing an acute water crisis. And that 75% people (84% in rural households) don't have running water facility in their premises, he says. In the World Water Index, India is ranked 120th in a list of 122 countries, he says.

Mr. Bhinia goes on to explain the benefits of the Jhal Dharo, Jhal Bharo scheme of the Mamata Banerjee government. 

Chair urges to him to conclude. Mr. Bhinia urges the Minister to come out with a statement to address the serious issue facing the country.

R. Vaithiyalingam (AIADMK) says Tamil Nadu faces double whammy of floods and drought. He says the State has tapped every possible ground water resources.

We are following a 'bucket culture.' Instead of taking shower, we take bath using less than a bucket of water, he says.

A cordial approach between Centre and State alone can end water crisis, he says. He suggests surplus water from Godavari must be diverted to Cauvery.  He speaks about Cauvery, Mullaperiyar and all inter-State disputes but his speech is cut short. AIADMK members protest.

Mr. Vaithiyalingam continues to read his speech even after the Chair calls another speaker.

Amee Yagnik (Congress) says the water crisis was waiting to happen because available source of water could not be used. She speaks about polluted water bodies and sewage treatment plants .

She also says rain water harvesting must be ramped up. Is there a policy for groundwater recharge, she asks.

She suggest water segregation must happen at a municipal-level. She also talks about recharging small dams.

The Minister asks her to elaborate on recharging dams, she speaks about how villagers create their own storage facilities.

Satyanarayan Jatiya (BJP) says growing population meant increased demand of water. He lauds the government for creating a Jal Shakti Ministry, calls it timely.

Water is a State subject, but all of us have a responsibility. We have been talking of river linking for a long time. But we have largely neglected the aspect of clean water.

On one hand we pray rivers, but the purity of river lies in its cleanliness, he says.

Pitching for river linking, Mr. Jatiya says this could help the southern States.

Lok Sabha | 3:30 pm

Lok Sabha reassembles. Union Minister Piyush Goyal introduces the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

The Bill seeks to replace Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019. The

The Bill seeks to amend sub-section (v) of section 2 of the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005, to allow a trust or any entity notified by the Central Government will be eligible to be considered for grant of permission to set up a unit in Special Economic Zones.

Seven Special Economic Zones were established under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, under NDA I more facilities were added to improve and encourage more investments, says Mr. Goyal.

Plug and play, single window clearance, easy import and export, export competitive production, etc were some features of the SEZs. In 2005, a comprehensive SEZ legislation was passed.

"To attract both domestic and international investors, the Prime Minister, wants to keep up with the evolving business environment. To this effect, we want to add AIFs or Alternative Investment Funds trust in the definition of persons," says Mr. Goyal, seeking the Bill to be passed.

Rajya Sabha | 3:20 pm

Rajya Sabha now takes up short duration discussion on water crisis in the country.

AAP member Sanjay Singh initiates the debate. Citing a media report on depleting water resources, Mr. Singh says 55 per cent in Delhi used to get potable water. The Delhi government has increased it to 88 per cent. But our share of water has come down, he says.  The Capital gets just 900 MCD of water, he says.

Mr. Singh speaks of Bundekhand's land mafia. He accuses these these mafia on encroaching lakes and water bodies, thus causing water crisis in the country.

Rajya Sabha | 3:15 pm

Motion of Thanks to the President's Address is being taken for vote. Chhaya Verma withdraws her amendments. D. Raja's amendments are negated through voice vote.

Subbirami Reddy says he wants the Prime Minister's response on A.P. Reorganisation Act. "Otherwise I will move all the 72 amendments," Mr. Reddy says. "Mr. Reddy is very smart," says Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu.

T.K. Rangarajan and Ripun Bora also withdraw their amendments.

The Motion is passed without any amendments.

Rajya Sabha | 3:00 pm

222 districts are reeling under water crisis: Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.


Mr. Modi says as many as 222 districts are reeling under water crisis and the government is exploring various options including using MNREGA and MPLADS. The Jal Shakti Ministry will look into this.

Mr. Modi says about three lakh crore was deposited after the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill. On federal structure of the government, Mr. Modi targets the Rajya Sabha. He says since the government doesn't have numbers here, Bills are not getting passed here. This is also part of federal structure, he says.

Mr. Modi assures the constructive opposition will be considered. With that he ends the speech.

Rajya Sabha | 2:50 pm

I still believe had Sardar Patel been made the first Prime Minister of India, Kashmir issue would have been resolved. Sardar Patel lived and died as a Congressman. When we are paying tributes to the great leader, Congress has a problem, he asks.

On Ayushman Bharat, Mr. Modi says cutting across partylines, MPs write to the Prime Minister seeking help on behalf of poor for medical treatment. Mr. Modi says he is willing to look into shortcomings if any, but asks the Opposition not to write off the entire scheme.

On manual scavenging and children deaths due to malnutrition, he says the government is viewing these issues seriously.  He also says aspirational districts are being monitored.

Rajya Sabha | 2:45 pm

On the issue of lynchings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says entire Jharkhand cannot be blamed for a lynching. Condemning the violence, he says the perpetrators must be brought to law.

All violence, be it Jharkhand or West Bengal or Kerala, must be condemned, he says.

Targetting Congress, Mr. Modi says the perpetrators of anti-Sikh riots are in constitutional posts.  Mr. Modi has a word for his MPs too — maintain dignity while speaking.

On NRC, Mr. Modi says the government was only following Supreme Court's instructions. He also says the NRC was part of accord signed by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Rajya Sabha | 2:30 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues his attack on Opposition. He accuses the opposition of outright dismissing every initiative of the government.

Mr. Modi says his government cut down red-tapism and increased the productivity.  He lists out reforms such as building toilets, giving LPG connection, providing electricity and adds "the country grows because of these smaller things".

The next five years will be fulfilling the aspiration of the common people.  Every decision of ours will reflect this aspiration, he says.

Mr. Modi accuses the Opposition of arrogance, the Opposition protests.

Our dream is to take India to 5-trillion-dollar economy club. He asks the Opposition to join hands to make this dream come true.

Lok  Sabha | 2:20 pm

"Karnataka capital, Bengaluru, has been in the news over the last few days for the wrong reason," says Shobha Karanlaje , referring to the IMA Jewels investment scam. She blamed the JDS and the Congress for shielding owner Mansoor Ali Khan attracting a commotion in the House.

"I congratulate you on how you have forgotten your hunger pangs so that younger members get a chance to speak," says Prof. Saugata Roy to Speaker Om Birla, who is sitting through the proceedings without breaking for lunch.

Speaking about the woes of fishermen in Maharashtra, Rahul Ramesh Shewale asks the government to waive loans for the fishermen.

Suresh Kodikunnil talks about the need for a revival package for the cashew industry.

"Massive tree plantation scheme of the government, which is close to your heart as well, is increasing the green cover in the country," says  Dr. Shrikant Eknath Shinde addressing the Speaker. He says forest fires caused due to human interference can be controlled if a Union law against such perpetrators is passed.

Lok Sabha adjourned till 3 pm.

Rajya Sabha | 2:20 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the BJP too once had just two MPs in the House. "We had faith in our karyakartas. We worked hard to reach here," he says and adds we never questioned the election process.

Only those who have lost elections, blame the EVMs. This will only demoralise your cadre, the Prime Minister says.

There was a time when headlines of newspapers after polling day would highlight booth capturing. But thanks to EVMs, we talk about increasing voting percentages, he says.

Pointing out the Election Commission's hackathon, and VVPAT matching, Mr. Modi says the Opposition is hiding their failure behind EVMs.

Pitching for simultaneous polls, Mr. Modi says reforms in elections are a continuous process.  Citing Odisha, Mr. Modi says the voters are smart and know whom to vote.

Rajya Sabha | 2:00 pm

Rajya Sabha reassembles. Prime Minister Narendra Modi responds to the Motion of Thanks to the President's address.

He thanks all members who participated in the debate, a special mention to CPI's D. Raja, he calls him "my friend Raja ji. "

He says the elections were fought by general public, who were the beneficiaries. Responding to a member's quote that the country has lost the elections, Mr. Modi says it is an insult of election process. "Did India lose in Wayanad or Rae Baraeli," he asks. Mr. Modi reminds Congress it couldn't win a single seat in 17 States.

He also accuses the Opposition of insulting the farmers.

Lok Sabha | 1.45 p.m.

Set up a silk farm in Arani, Tamil Nadu says M.K. Vishnu Prasad before ending with "So that people of my constituency also start smiling like you, Sir (Om Birla)."

Aurangabad is the only city in the country where two world heritage centres, Ajanta and Ellora, exist within a distance of 100 km.

"After Jet Airways stopped its operations, tourism in Aurangabad has been affected. I ask the government to pass orders letting either government or private airlines operate in Aurangabad," says Imtiyaz Jaleel.

Arun Sao asks for flight operations from Bilaspur, Chattisgarh be started soon.

Hibi Eden, Ernakulam asks for a special package for Kerala to help in rebuilding the State after the devastating August 2018 floods.

Geetha Viswanath, in her maiden speech asks for speedy completion of the Pithapuram-Kakinada road link.

Lok Sabha | 1 p.m.

H. Vasanthakumar, the Kanyakumari Congress MP asks for tourism infrastructure in his constituency.

Locket Chatterjee talks about the violence in West Bengal. "Rabindranath Tagore's Bengal is burning," she says to raised voices in the House.

Dilip Sakia, the next speaker, is stalled from saying his bit because of the ruckus following Ms. Chatterjee's short speech.

DMK MP Kanimozhi brings to attention the police shooting in Thoothukudi, during the protest against the Sterlite Copper plant.

YSRCP MP Sathyavathi requests the tourism ministry to preserve a Buddhist pilgrimage spot in her AP constituency, Anakapalle.

BJP MP from Karnataka Muniswamy beings speaking in Kannada about the lack of water in Kolar, but switches over to Hindi after objections from some in the House.

Lok Sabha | 12.45 p.m.

Asking for the establishment of two Navodaya Schools in areas of Peddapalle, Telangana, Dr. Venkatesh Netha Borlakunta says that the Telangana government will provide the necessary infrastructural requirements.

Mimi Chakraborty seeks blessings of the House before making her first speech in the parliament. She asks for infrastructural developments in her constituency.

Comparing the Olympic medal tallies of different countries and enumerating some reasons for India's dismal performance at the sporting event, Rajiv Pratap Rudy says giving sports facilities accessible to the Adivasi communities will help in the country's better performance at the 2020 Olympics.

Expedite the establishment of a Kendriya Vidyalaya at Basirhat, says Nusrat Jahan Ruhi in her first speech in the parliament.

Rajya Sabha | 12.45 p.m.

Mr. Sharma asks if any Prime Minister has claimed that he or she went to personally fight for the country at the border.

Abdul Wahab of the IUML says the President’s address had unrealistic statements. He says there is no mention of economic slowdown and unemployment. Mr. Wahab says that the BJP and Sangh Parivar’s agenda for Sabarimala was different from their agenda as regards triple talaq. He says Mr. Modi and Amit Shah have made election engineering a subject during this election.

Chhattishgarh BJP MP Saroj Pandey makes her maiden speech. She says that the Opposition will not care for the poor and women. She praises the government’s schemes such as the LPG scheme, building of toilets etc.

K. Ravindra Kumar, a TDP Member , also brings up Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh. He says that the ruling party, which is supposed to admonish defectors, instead took TDP MPs into its fold. The ruling party at the Centre is determined to wipe out Opposition parties, he says, adding that it is not a healthy democratic practice. He also says that Women’s Reservation Bill needs to be passed.

House is adjourned till 2 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 12.30 p.m.

Shashi Tharoor of the Congress asks the government to not go back on its promise of promoting National Institue of Speech and Hearing, Thiruvananthapuram as a national institute.

Bhagirath Chaudhary of the BJP says that Jal Shakti Ministry should expedite the river-linking projects to alleviate problems of water scarcity affecting States like Rajasthan.

BJP Member Dr. Umesh G. Jadhav says the central governemnt should help the government cement factory in Gulbarga, under divestment currently, start operations in the coming year.

The Congress’ Manish Tewari asks if India will continue importing crude oil from Iran or comply with the US sanctions on the country over its nuclear programme. American waiver granted to India for importing oil from Irar expired in May, 2019.

Rajya Sabha | 12 noon

Deputy Chairman Harivansh is in the Chair.

Anand Sharma of the Congress congratulates the BJP on winning the elections. He says the government says one thing, and does another. He said that the President’s address did not give an accounting for the last five years.

Mr. Sharma asks why the issue of lynching was not mentioned in the President's address. 

He also talks about former Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru's achievements, both as part of the freedom struggle and uring Independent India.  He urges the country to “do their yoga”, but exhorts them to “not tarnish the memory of Pandit Nehru”.  He lists the Congress’ achievements over the years. He asks the government why lynching wasn’t mentioned in the President’s address.

Lok Sabha | 12 noon

The question hour ends at noon.

Zero Hour begins and “matters of urgent public importance” are brought up.

T.R. Baalu of the DMK speaks about the ongoing water crisis in thye State of Tamil Nadu. “In Chennai alone, 10,000 MLD water are used for supply of water. This is the situation in a metropolitan city. The four reservoirs that supply this water have dried. All rivers are dry. There is no other water source to suppy water to the people. The government should augment supply of water through trains to the State,” he says.

L.S. Tejasvi Suryaof the BJP brings up a 2014 bank employment notification that the changed the local language proficiency requirement for banking jobs.

Switching to Kannada, he urges the government to revert the 2014 notification to help the youth of Karnataka gain employment.

Dr. Nishikant Dubey of the BJP gives a list of real estate properties and asks, "Who do these belong to? Do they belong to Robert Vadra?" even as the House erupts in commotion as some members rise up in opposition.

Rajya Sabha | 11.45 a.m.

K.G. Kenye of the Naga People’s Front is up next, and says unline the northwest, the northeast was not given due consideration during Partition. He mentions the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, and says that it is up to the Centre and the States to come together and work out modalities and issues.

Chair says the discussion will be completed before lunch, and Question Hour is cancelled.

Rajya Sabha | 11.30 a.m.

V. Vijaysai Reddy of the YSR Congress begins his speech by congratulating his own party on their victory in the Assembly elections. Mr. Reddy brings up Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh. He asks, “How is it fair that Parliament is justified to bifurcate the State, but does not have the capacity to honour the word given before bifurcation?” On Polavaram, he says the State requests that it be completed in a time-bound manner.

He also says it is the right time to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha.

Kanta Kardam of the BJP rises to make her maiden speech. As Ms. Kardam reads out her speech, Chair tells her that the convention is to only refer to notes and speak looking at the Chair. She says no other government has worked on women empowerment.

Lok Sabha | 11.30 a.m.

On nuclear and atomic energy

Answering Santokh Singh Chaudhary's question on safety and effectiveness of nuclear and atomic energy, Dr. Jitendra Singh, MoS, Department of Atomic Energy says that following the "Safety first, production next" approach ensures utmost safety.

He says that atomic energy is the future and will be a clean source of energy.

Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal congratulates the government on its nuclear programmes and asks if work on nuclear fusion technology which uses Thorium-based reactors instead of the heavily imported Uranium-based reactors.

Dayanidhi Maran brings up the fear of the poeple of Tamil NAdu regarding nuclear plants coming up in the State and asks if it will be possible for the government to relocate the nuclear waste from the plant in Kudankulam to allay the fears.

"...It is stored deep down in the earth...the same procedure is followed in other parts of the world and in different reactors in the country," Singh resonds, calling the reports raising any security concerns as hearsay.

Rajya Sabha | 11.15 a.m.

The BSP’s Vir Singh says that 19 crore youth in the country are unemployed. He also says that government schools are not functioning well, while private schools are performing better. He then moves on to reservation. He wants reservation in the private sector.

K.J. Alphons of the BJP , makes his maiden speech. He says he was Tourism Minister for 19 months, but never got to speak in the House.

He marks the anniversary of Kottayam becoming 100% literate. He then says that India is in the third position in the World Travel and Tourism Council Report 2018, and adds that the Prime Minister is the biggest brand ambassador for the country. He then targets the Opposition for not celebrating the government’s successes. “If we strike at the heart of the enemy, Balakot, shouldn’t you all stand up and say: Yes, Prime Minister, you have a backbone, and this is what India needs.”

Lok Sabha | 11.15 a.m.

On the withdrawal of GSP by the U.S.

Calling the withdrawal of GSP by the U.S. as a diplomatic setback more than a trade setback, M.K. Raghavan asks how the government proposes to address this.

"At no point in time will trade negotiations be allowed to take over national and sovereign interests...diplomatic and trade relations with the USA will only get better," Piyush Goyal, Minister, Commerce and Insdustry says.

Manish Tewari asks why despite multiple rounds of negotiations between the Prime Minister of India and the US President, the withdrawal of the GSP, which was festering since 2016 since President Trump took charge, could not be averted.

Rajya Sabha | 11 a.m.

House is in session. Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu is in the Chair.

Papers are laid on the table. Chairman chides Members for talking amongst themselves when another Member speaks. “Someone asked if this is a school. If it were a school, it would’ve been better, because there action can be taken.”

Kirodi Lal Meena of the BJP begins speaking. He brings up mines allotment in tribal areas in Rajasthan. He quotes from a Supreme Court judgment from 1977 on allotting tribal land to mines. He says Adivasis are being discriminated against. He says that the reservation move by the Rajasthan State government is unconstitutional.

He wants August 9 to be celebrated as Adivasi Day throughout the country.

Meghalaya Congress Member Wansuk Syiem says that the government’s record in its last term has been patchy. She cites unemployment and demonetisation as examples. “Nothing has changed much in the development of the northeast. The only major airport serving the entire region is in Guwahati, and it needs urgent updation.”

While the President mentioned space programmes, nothing was said about telecommunication in the region, Ms. Syiem. She says the redeeming part of the President’s address was the many socioeconomic schemes. She supports the motion.

Lok Sabha | 11 a.m.

House convenes. Speaker Om Birla is in the Chair. Question Hour begins.

On the poor performance of BSNL and MTNL

Kalyan Banerjee asks how the government plans on  realising its "Digital India" claims without providing internet connectivity to everyone in all places.

He says, for net banking that the government is promoting, imrovement of 4G network and erecting more towers is necessary. He asks if the government is in a opsition to do these.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister, Communications says that net banking has so far depended on 2G and 3G network, so 4G is not a necessity for net banking to succeed.

10.30 a.m.

List of business

Lok Sabha

- Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal will move that The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019 be taken up for consideration and passing.

- Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will move that The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 be taken up for consideration and passing.

Rajya Sabha

- Further discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address

- Short duration discussion on the challenges of water crisis in the country, by Sanjay Singh, Narain Dass Gupta, Ronald Sapa Tlau, Dr. Satyanarayan Jatiya, Kahkashan Perween and Chunibhai Kanjibhai Gohel.

10.15 a.m.

Help fulfil the dream of a safe, modern, inclusive nation: PM

Narendra Modi was speaking in the Lok Sabha, replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President for his address to both Houses of Parliament. Mr. Modi criticised what he termed the Congress’s “missed opportunities” in the past to establish true secularism. He said the mandate that his government received was a validation that it was moving in the right direction, a direction, he said, that valued both welfare and progress.

He extensively quoted from the speeches of Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia and Jawaharlal Nehru, and said his own government’s direction, including in the field of sanitation and water, emanated from their words.


10 a.m.

Debate on President’s address: Dayanidhi Maran, Mahua Moitra hog prime time

Former Union Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) member Dayanidhi Maran used the debate to lead a scathing attack on the Tamil Nadu government, calling it the “most corrupt” and the ruling AIADMK a “slave of the BJP”.

Mr. Maran’s comment against the AIADMK that has only one MP drew sharp reactions from the Treasury benches. When BJP members Nishikant Dubey and Rajiv Pratap Rudy pointed out that rules did not allow to speak about issues outside the President’s Address, the DMK member retorted by saying that it was the duty of “the Master to take care of the slaves”.


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