Parliament proceedings | Budget Session 2018, Day 8 — As it happened

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley replies to the discussion on the Union Budget in the Rajya Sabha on February 9, 2018. Photo: RSTV  

Friday marks the last day of the first part of the Budget session of Parliament. It will reassemble on March 5.

Live updates:

 

Rajya Sabha | 8 pm

After the FM’s reply, and special mentions, the House is adjourned till March 5.

 

Rajya Sabha | 7 pm

 

A sum of Rs. 55,000 crore allocated for MNREGA, Rs. 1.7 lakh crore for food subsidy, Mr. Jaitley says. Spend on rural roads up manifold, he adds as he begins his reply.

It's not yet certain whether the UPA was for or against Aadhaar, says Mr. Jaitley, pointing out there were divisions within the previous government over the issue. 

An impression has been created that mistakes were made during the last four years, he says. But what is the impact of 55 years of Congress rule, he says following the footsteps of the Prime Minister to question the governments of yesteryear.

The FM is reeling out GDP and CAD numbers during the UPA regime to drive home his point that all questions put forward can be answered by numbers.

GDP growth in 2012-13 was 5.3% and 6.3% in the following year under Congress, as compared with 5.7% in one quarter under BJP, Mr. Jaitley says. Fiscal deficit slippage is statistical primarily due to shortfall of GST revenue of one month in current fiscal, he adds.

Anand Sharma intervenes, Mr. Jaitley yields. Mr. Sharma reels out his own numbers to refute the FM’s charges that fiscal situation was bad during the UPA regime.

Mr. Jaitley responds: “Anand ji from policy paralysis to structural reform, from economy being in fragile five to bright spot, that's a journey.”

Oil prices fluctuating; inflation average at 3.6% in current fiscal, says FM

Demonetisation and GST have a role fight against black money, he says. “Tax net has widened. Direct tax collection was up 19.3% in April-January as a result of campaign against black money, GST.”

“GST collections will increase as anti-evasion measures are added to indirect tax regime,” he adds.

“I was extremely stunned when Mr. Chidambaram asked why corporate tax was made 50%,” he says. “Who mooted the idea of a corporate tax first?”

Jairam Ramesh (Congress, Karnataka) asks what proportion of the tax comes from the corporate tax.

Salaried class is an honest taxpayer, Mr. Jaitley says defending his decision to bring back standard deduction.

Bringing down corporate tax to 25% for all companies would hit tax revenue by Rs. 45,000-50,000 crore, which Budget can’t afford now, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 6.45 pm

 

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu is reading out a fervent appeal to maintain decorum expected from the House of Elders.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu reads out his appeal for orderly conduct of the House on February 9, 2018. Photo: RSTV

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu reads out his appeal for orderly conduct of the House on February 9, 2018. Photo: RSTV  

 

 

 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been called to reply to the discussion on the Union Budget.

He takes his time to make a brief note on the A.P. issue. Most of the promises and commitments made in the A.P. Reorganisation Act are a work in progress, he says.

 

 

Rajya Sabha | 6:00 pm

AAP MP from Delhi, Sushil Kumar Gupta makes his maiden speech: "I thank the govt for wellness centres. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal takes a lot of measures.

In Haryana, there were so many rape cases. The govt should concentrate on law and order.

This was not a growth oriented budget. This was a deficient budget. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, people want to develop their trades. I request the tax-free income limit to exceed to ₹5 lakhs."

YSRC MP from Andhra Pradesh, Vijaysai Reddy: "This budget and the commitments in the reorganisation act, has done injustice to Andhra Pradesh. Unless and until special category status is not granted, it can't develop."

Rajya Sabha | 5:30 pm

BJP MP from Maharashtra, Dr. Vikas Mahatme: "Just like Obamacare, there might be a Modicare soon like how social media says these days. Lakhs of wellness centres will be opened."

Rajya Sabha | 5:00 pm

INC MP from Andhra Pradesh, Renuka Chowdhury: "Our colleagues have been standing and protesting in this house for so many days. Telangana and Andhra were twins. Why hasn't Andhra been given special category status? You had said you'll allocate funds. What is the percentage that you've allocated? You gave the farmers hope, but you'll see the farmers' heat. Due to the elections, you've set a farm oriented budget. Do you understand what is MSP?

There is no budget allocation to farmers' family welfare. The truth is usually bitter. What are the outlays for market intervention scheme? From ₹950 crores of revised estimate of last year, ₹200 crores have been allotted. Even in Khammam, a farmer killed himself.

Did you know how women farmers are treated? We've already seen how women's dignity in this House. There has been no allocation of Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Pakoda Yojana."

Rajya Sabha | 4:50 pm

BJP MP from Jammu and Kashmir, Shamsher Singh Manhas: "I will take you throughout Kashmir, it is such a safe spot for tourists. The govt has made this possible. It is our duty to do service to the people."

Rajya Sabha | 4:30 pm

SAD MP Naresh Gujral from Punjab: "There is acute farm distress in the country. The population is depended on farming. We are not giving adequate prices to the farmer. We have raised the hopes of farmers in this country. If you let them down, you will see the kind of despair, suicides and frustration that this country has never seen before. How does a farmer get so poor and commit suicide?

I hope something is done to curtail the cost of marriages in this country. Six lakh crore is going into the infrastructure sector. He has tweaked the labour laws. I am convinced that we will see double digit growth very soon. The way FDI is coming to India, they are not fools, they know this country will grow. We need the FDI investment. Only when there is demand, factories will start working in full capacity. This budget has given it a kickstart the growth. Thank you."

Rajya Sabha | 3:50 pm

CPI MP D. Raja from Tamil Nadu: "My party expresses its solidarity of the people of Andhra Pradesh. The present govt should honour the promises, assurances given by the then head of state.

The budget suffers ideological, philosophical bankruptcy, hypocrisy. What is the attempt for revenue generation? This govt talks about disinvestment of public sector undertakings. It means privatisation. Air India can emerge as one of the best airlines, it is a national air carrier, but why do you want to sell it?"

INLD MP from Haryana, Ram Kumar Kashyap: "Haryana's farmers need water supply, since Haryana makes a good produce of various pulses."

Rajya Sabha | 3:30 pm

C.P. Narayan of CPI(M), Kerala: "For agriculture, the allocated amount it is the money that is being given by vairous banks, is shown to be given by the budget. The allocation for agriculture is getting decreased year after year."

Vandana Chavan of NCP, Maharashtra: "Children under the age of 18 are 40% of the population. There are voiceless. They are the hope of tomorrow. The govt has made some welcome steps but also there are some ammouncements which has put us to doubt whether it will see the light of the day. The right to education should have a backward and forward extension. Personally, the merging of the primary and secondary is the biggest hightlight. There are still different outlays for Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. The govt also announced the Eklavaya model school. These schools will see the light of the day by 2022. So we don't know if it will see the light of the day."

Rajya Sabha | 3:15 pm

All India Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien from West Bengal: "Capital expenditure and revenue expenditure are the two types of expenditure. ₹5,000 crore was the depreciation reserve fund. Why has it been reduced to ₹500 crores?

If you merge the two budgets, there won't be any politics. But the states that are ruled by Opposition Delhi (-40%), Kerala (-23%) and West Bengal (-14%) have been reduced budget allotment.

I request all the state MPs to study the percentages of total project cost, don't be cheated by federalism."

"We told you in July not to implement GST. Now you kept a provision of ₹55,000 crores of money to be compensated to the states. In 6 months, it has become ₹40,000 crores plus. Where will you print the remaining notes?"

Rajya Sabha | 3:00 pm

Baswaraj Patil chairs the Upper House.

Samajwadi Party MP Neeraj Shekhar from Uttar Pradesh seeks details of Jan Dhan accounts. "What is the govt giving us? There is always a fight in this state, either for triple talaq or with Pakistan."

AIADMK MP S. Muthukaruppan from Tamil Nadu speaks in Tamil: "I am very proud to speak in my mother tongue. Our party has always been supportive of this govt even in crucial cases. But the govt hasn't been helpful to Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu state stands second in bringing good returns for the country. But we haven't got proper funding for the 2015 floods or the 2016 cyclone.

Tamil Nadu's farmers haven't got justice. We need the Cauvery river water since farmlands are becoming dry. I request the Centre, Karnataka govt, Parliamentary Affairs Minister to help the dying farmers with providing the state with river Cauvery."

Rajya Sabha | 2:30 pm

Rajya Sabha reconvenes.  Basaswaraj Patil is in the Chair. The House agrees to continue its discussion on Union Budget instead of Private Member Bills.

Neeraj Shekar of Samajwadi Party speaks. He claims the budget has been tabled keeping the upcoming elections in mind. The government informed the Supreme Court that it was not possible to increase the MSP. Now they say they are increasing the MSP. How is this possible? he asks.

The crop insurance is a betrayal, Mr. Shekar says. Only insurance companies are benefitted through these insurance schemes, he says.

The Pakoda remark haunts the House again. A man selling pakoda can become prime minister someday. But will a person selling pakoda want his children sell pakoda too? You are hurting the self-respect of unemployed youth, he says.

Lok Sabha | 12:10 pm

In the Lok Sabha, as papers were laid on the table, sloganeering continues and the House is adjourned till March 5.

Rajya Sabha | 12:00 noon

Rajya Sabha reassembles. Sloganeering resumes. The House takes up Budget discussion.

An MP rises to speak but he is barely audible amid sloganeering. Chair adjourns the House till 2:30 pm.

Rajya Sabha | 11:10 am

Naresh Agrawal of the Samajwadi Party and BJP's Bhupendra Yadav say it is not right for members to criticise the Chair on social media such as Facebook. They urge the member to apologise. In a rare show of unity, members across party lines support them.

In the meantime, members from Andhra Pradesh troop into the well of the House, raising slogans. The Chair objects to it.

Derek O'Brien of the Trinamool Congress requests the members to get back to their seats as they want to continue the discussion on Budget.

The House is adjourned till 12 noon.

Lok Sabha |11:05 am

Questions are put forth on nutrition guidelines and midday meals. An AIADMK MP asks if any special grant is provided for creating new anganwadi centres. Minister Maneka Gandhi says the government has tied up with NGOs.

TDP MPs continue with sloganeering. The House is adjourned till 12 noon.

TDP members led by Chittor MP Siva Prasad stage a novel protest at Parliament premises.

TDP members led by Chittor MP Siva Prasad stage a novel protest at Parliament premises.  

 

11:00 am

Both Houses assemble. Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu is in the Chair in the Rajya Sabha. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is chairing the Lok Sabha session.

Papers being laid on the table in the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha proceeds with question hour.

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