Parliament proceedings: as it happened | Rajya Sabha too passes amendments to NIA Act

Ripun Bora

Ripun Bora

The Rajya Sabha witnessed a brief discussion on calling attention motion moved by three women MPs — Kahkashan Perween, Jaya Bachchan and Vijila Sathyananth — on the issues related to malnutrition among women and children with particular reference to Poshan Abhiyan.

The Left MPs stage a walkout from Rajya Sabha to protest against the NIA (Amendment) Bill, 2019. They wanted the Bill to be referred to a Select Committee, which the Treasury Bench didn't agree.

Lok Sabha continues its discussion on demand for grants.

Here are the live updates:

Lok Sabha | 6.15 pm

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduces the Appropriation Bill, 2019.

The Bill is taken into consideration.

Without discussion, a voice vote is taken up. A clause-by-clause vote on the adoption of the Bill is undertaken.

The Finance Minister motions that the Bill be passed. The Appropriation Bill, 2019 is passed.

The House is adjourned for the day.

Lok Sabha | 6 pm

Minister of State Kiren Rijiju says right from trainers to nutritionists, we will ensure that both senior and junior sports athletes, are given the adequate funds. We will ensure that all Sports Authority of India centres are functioning, he says.

Training of security forces and the Central Armed Forces, will be integrated with these centres so that world-class athletes are produced, Mr. Rijiju says.

All ex-athletes will be ensured a pension and the government will look into their needs, he says. A system will be implemented to identify fraud.

Next Bill for introduction, consideration and passing: the Appropriation Bill, 2019

Rajya Sabha | 5.55 pm

The upper House takes up special mentions. Ripun Bora says his special mention has been censored. "This has never happened in the parliament's history." As a mark of protest, he refuses to read his special mention.

The House is adjourned for the day.

Rajya Sabha | 5.50 pm

Amit Shah assures the House that the government will not misuse the law.

Responding to Derek O'Brien comments, Mr. Shah says we responded cross border terror with surgical strikes and airstrikes. He says the anti-terror treaty was signed by Pakistan as well and hopes they will also ratify it.

Abhishek Singhvi raises Point of Order. There are 48 terror cases. As many as 23 don't have chargesheet. "You fought the case for five years," he says regarding the Samjautha Express blast case.

The Bill goes to vote. Subbirami Reddy moves amendments. They are negated through voice vote.

The NIA (Amendment)Bill, 2019 is passed.

Lok Sabha | 5.45 pm

Agatha Sangma, NPP, Tura (Meghalaya), says the 39th National Games in 2022, to be conducted in Meghalaya, will see the participation of over 10,000 athletes. Despite the number of athletes in the Northeast, not enough medals won because of a lack of infrastructre, he says. The games and the funds received for the same can be a way to rectify that, Ms. Sangma says.

In response to the discussion, Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State, Youth Affairs and Sports says that there is no age limit when playing. Everyone should play no matter the age, for the country to remain healthy.

He says that the Ministry has the funds to promote sports and  will ensure that the necessary funds are given to all the States. He says the Khelo India programme is one such way, undertaken by the government, to promote sports.

Rajya Sabha | 5.40 pm

Home Minister continues to speak. If the House doesn't believe in the efficiency of the NIA, who else will believe? he asks and presents data on cases handled by the investigative agency.

Wherever Indians are targetted by terrorists, NIA will investigate it, he says. He says Samjauta Express blast case was first registered in 2012 when UPA was in power. It was politically-motivated case, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 5.30 pm

Home Minister Amit Shah says since he has to be in Lok Sabha at 6:30 pm, he wants to give a brief answer.

T.K. Rangarajan (CPI-M) says the Bill should be sent to a Select Committee. K. Keshav Rao (TRS) supports Mr. Rangarajan. Mr. Shah says they haven't moved any motion.

Why should we have Standing Committees and Select Committees, an agitated D.Raja (CPI) asks. Left MPs walkout.

Rajya Sabha | 5.25 pm

Majeed Memon, NCP, Maharashtra, says people need to be given a reason to trust the NIA.

Binoy Viswam , CPI, Kerala says in the name of fighting terrorism, the government has certain intentions which may not be visible in the Bill. 

When the people on the top changes, the NIA changes, Mr. Viswam says. Surveillance on the Indian citizen cannot be allowed and there needs to be parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill.

Lok Sabha | 5.15 pm

Ravindra Shyamnarayan Shukla, BJP, Bihar, says that with the coming of the current rule, the Prime Minister has encouraged the growth and training of women athletes. There has been a steady rise in the number of women athletes, he says, that include the likes of Hima Das and Dutee Chand.

Rajya Sabha | 4.45 pm

Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, INC, West Bengal brings up the Samjhauta Case and says that the Special Court Judge itself said that were gaping holes in the prosecution's case. The Judge questioned the prosecution and had to ultimately acquit the accused, he says. Why was there no attempt to appeal in this case, he asks.

The blasts on the Samjhauta Express, near Panipat, on February 18, 2007, and the subsequent fire in the coaches killed 68 passengers and injured a dozen. Those killed included Indian civilians and government officials, besides a large number of Pakistani nationals.

Mr. Singhvi says that the credibility of the NIA is at stake. Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2009, Mr. Singhvi says that the Prime Minister himself said that the Act was contrary to the idea of the federalism.

Rajya Sabha | 4.30 pm

As the discussion on the NIA (Amendment)Bill, 2019, continues,  K.K. Nagesh, CPI (M), Kerala, says that the Act will be prone to misuse. Various provisions of the Act is being grossly misued, he says. The Act is known for undermining terrorist acts of certain religious groups, Mr. Nagesh says.

The Chair intervenes and tells the speaker to refrain from bringing in religion.

Mr. Nagesh responds that Hindutva is not a religion. He says that there is a difference in the way the Act is used when a Muslim place of worship is attacked. The Chair again tells him to not name communities. 

Mr. Nagesh continues by bringing up the Malegoan blast case where the main accused were discharged.

He again requests the government to allow the State to consult. He says minorities are being targeted and the Act is prone to misuse as seen in the last few years.

Dr. Manoj Kumar Jha, RJD, Bihar, says that the the Act is going to result in the travesty of the idea of justice. He brings up U.S. senator Joseph McCarthy and the practice of McCarthyism in the 1940s, where people were accused, caught and sent to trial, without proper regard for evidence.

He says that when there is an absolute majority there is an urge to transform into an authoritarian, 'police state'. We should save ourself from this temptation, he says. 

Rajya Sabha | 3.40 pm

The House takes up the National Investigative Agency (Amendment)Bill, 2019, for consideration and passing. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha earlier this week. Minister Kishan Reddy introduces the Bill.

Vivek Tankha (Congress) says the law takes away the powers of states to investigate cases.

Ashok Bajpai (BJP) says had POTA continued, terror cases would have come down.

Navaneethakrishnan (AIADMK) says the States' rights are not violated. He says the Centre has taken a practical view by way of this amendment. He points out the NIA had very low conviction rate.

Derek O'Brien (Trinamool) points out terror-related deaths have increased. He quotes J&K Governor's statement after Pulwama that it was an intelligence failure. Godse was India's first terrorist, he says. He wants to know if Pakistan will give jurisdiction?

Rajya Sabha | 3.00 pm

In Rajya Sabha Smriti Irani, Women and Child Development Minister, responds. She says 15 ministries and NITI Aayog have come together to address malnutrition.

We have set targets to States to contain anaemia. Test, treat and talk or T3 strategy is being followed to tackle anaemia.

She says West Bengal is not part of Poshan Abhiyan. She appeals the State MPs to pursue the government to join the scheme.

The Chair highlights The Hindu 's report Schools turn nutrition gardens in Mizoram district and asks the Minister to take it forward. The Minister says a similar scheme is being implemented.

Lok Sabha | 2.50 pm

Prasun Banerjee, Trinamool MP and Arjuna Awardee is the next speaker. He is the first footballer-turned-MP. He points out there is a lack of coordination between various autonomous sports bodies. He welcomes the setting up of National Sports Education Board. He says sports fraternity should become the policy maker.

Mr. Banerjee laments the plight of Indian football team. He says the football governing body must be checked. They will destroy the game. "Roti and sabji won't get you World Cup. You are giving them money after money. But give them money to win," he say.

Lok Sabha | 2.40 pm

In Lok Sabha, V. Kalanithi (DMK) speaks on demonetisation and other what he calls as ill-schemes of the government. BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy objects. He says the member is not sticking to the topic.

It is his maiden speech. Let him finish, the Chair says.

He seeks football and boxing training centres in north Chennai.

Rajya Sabha | 2 pm

Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani speaks about Poshan Abhiyan, a nutrition scheme.

Lok Sabha | 1.55 pm

Congress' Manickam Tagore begins the speech by quoting Rajiv Gandhi. Reading BJP's vision document of 2014, the member asks how many promises were fulfilled.

Substance abuse should not be taken as just a health issue. He suggests a dedicated awareness campaign. Beti Bachao scheme has allocation for advertisement than the actual scheme. But for substance abuse, there is hardly any allocation. He warns just like 'Udta Punjab' the country will become 'Udta India.'

He asks the minister to stay in a youth hostel to know the poor condition in these places. He says every district should have a well-equipped youth hostel.

Lok Sabha | 1.40 pm

Minister Narendra Singh Tomar responds. Mulayam Singh Yadav asked how the government plans to improve the life of farmers. The minister lists out various schemes.

On PM-KISAN, the minister says the scheme increases the income of farmers. The scheme is for farmers who have lands.

On AWAS Yojana, the minister say it benefits homeless people. Those who don't have shelter are now getting a single-bedroom house.

The minister says farmers who have wasteland will be allowed to develop solar plants and government would buy power from them.

N.K. Premachandran says he is not moving cut motions if the Minister assures the issues are addressed.

The House passes the demand for grant. Demand for grant for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports will now be taken up.

Lok Sabha | 1.30  pm

Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) asks the minister to clarify on women farmers. Even though many women are in farming, only 14 per cent own lands. What steps are being taken to remove patriarchy in farming.

Kunwar Danish Ali (BSP) can the premium of crop insurance be voluntary? The unit/block are being given compensation. Will the compensation be given to individual farmers.

Jayadev Galla (TDP) asks if PM-KISAN is for improving rural consumption or rural production.

Nama Nageshwara Rao (TRS) suggests the government houses can be double-bed room.

Hasnain Masoodi (NC) asks how the government plans to cope up with under-utilisation of funds.

Lok Sabha | 1 pm

Mr. Tomar speaks about zero budget farming, and how current productivity is dependent on chemical fertilisers.

The Ministry is also conducting research on how to make Fasal Bima Yojana, the health insurance scheme, more widespread. The Ministry also wants each farmer to have a Kisan Credit Card.

He lauds the government's Kisan Pension Yojana for taking into account what no other government has done before. "Has any government tried to put ₹87,000 crore in the pockets of farmers?" he asks.

Lok Sabha | 12.45 pm

The Minister says that geo-tagging is also being done for MGNREGA. Mr. Tomar also says that MGNREGA should not go on forever, since poverty needs to be eradicated.

Under the Sowbhagya Yojana, the poor are also being given electricity, and houses through PMAY, he says.

The Minister goes on to list the government's achievements, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says that the UPA government began many of these schemes.

Mr. Tomar says that educated people are gravitating towards agriculture, infusing the sector with technology. He then goes on to explain soil health cards and how they help farmers.

Lok Sabha | 12.30 pm

Lok Sabha takes up demand for grant for Agriculture and Rural development. Minister Narendra Singh Tomar responds.

Gramin Sadak Yojana was started by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. We are following the footsteps of the late PM. After a lull, it was revived by the government in 2014. We have a target of paving roads to all rural areas within 2019. The second phase had a target of 50,000 km. We have completed about 31,000 km till now.  A third phase is being mooted now. We are covering 1.5 lakh km in this phase, he says.

He appeals the MPs to approach him on any grievances in their constituencies.

MGNREGA is a populist scheme. Many members wanted to increase allocation to the scheme. We have given 12 crore MNREGA card. About 11 crore have linked their Aadhaar and seven crore have linked it with their bank account.

Rajya Sabha | 12.25 pm

MoS Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri answers a question on the hiring of co-pilots in Air India. The revival plan basically consists of reducing costs also, he says.

P.L. Punia asks if the newly-recruited pilots will retain their jobs after disinvestment. Mr. Puri says pilots are recruited as permanent employees and fixed time employees. The strength of pilots will be match with the number of fleets.

Lok Sabha | 12.10 pm

Zero Hour begins. Gaurav Gogoi (Congress) asks the Centre to take cognisance of the Assam floods.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Congress) says China makes incursions at periodic intervals. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says that India and China have differences in their perceptions of Line of Actual Control.

Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) speaks about the meet between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping.

Minister Kishan Reddy says Delhi has no water. As he spoke out of turn, Speaker tells the Parliamentary Affairs Minister that this is not right.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar rises to respond to yesterday's discussion on the Ministry.

Rajya Sabha | 12 noon

Rajya Sabha takes up Question Hour. Dharmendra Pradhan, Steel Minister answers questions on the setting up on plants across the country.

Lok Sabha | 12.00 noon

Bhartiben Shyal (BJP) asks when will BSNL upgrade its 4G service in Gujarat. She also seeks to know about BSNL's revival plan. The Minister gives a written reply. With that, Question Hour ends.

Lok Sabha | 11.50 am

Lok Sabha continues with Question Hour. A member from Karnataka asks about the proposed railway overbridge across railway line in Whitefield and Kolar. MoS Suresh Angadi, who is from Karnataka, says all issues of Karnataka will be taken care of by the Narendra Modi government.

Just like how Atal Bihari Vajpayee transformed roadways, this government will revolutionise railways, he asserts.

Will you restart mining in Kolar, Meenakshi Lekhi asks. Pralhad Joshi has a technical answer, he says he will try to answer in Hindi.  The mine and minerals come under State government. The Central government provides the data, the States must act on it. It is unlikely that the Kolar mines will restart anytime now. But we are working on it, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.30 am

Amar Shankar Sable (BJP) speaks on need to enhance cyber security. He claims the intimate relations of couples were filmed by hackers who hacked smart TV in the bedroom. He claims the incident happened in Surat. "This is a serious and sensitive issue," the Chair says.

D. Raja (CPI) says the inputs for National Educational Policy will be extended to at least six months. The draft was released in English and Hindi. It must be released in all 22 languages. The draft doesn't mention on child labour laws. Education is on concurrent list. All States must give their inputs.

Tiruchi Siva (DMK) joins the issue with Mr. Raja. He says most recommendations don't apply to socia-economic condition of the country. He also seeks a scrutiny by HRD Ministry. AIADMK MPs associate with him. "For a change AIADMK and DMK are agreeing," the Chair comments.

Lok Sabha | 11.30 am

Sujay Vikhe-Patil (BJP) asks how the government plans to work towards enhancing the supply of coal. Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi says Coal India and private players are importing coal to manage the demand and supply. There is an improvement in production. But it is not adequate to meet the demand without import.

Lok Sabha | 11. 20 am

Question Hour proceeding continues in Lok Sabha. Railway Minister is responding. A Kerala member seeks a separate zone for Kerala. There are two division under southern railway pertaining to Kerala, but a separate zone would help in development, the member says.

Several States have similar demands. We are looking into it, the Minister says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.10 am

Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha. Rajeev Chandrashekar (BJP) speaks about journalists being issued pink slip by a private TV channel. Jairam Ramesh objects. "He says it is a clear conflict of interest. He owns a TV channel."

M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is in the Chair, says he is speaking on a general issue. He reads out the issue listed out. Mr. Chandrashekar had given notice on algorithmic bias on social media platforms. Mr. Ramesh says it is different from what he (Mr. Chandrashekar) is talking.

"You confine to social media platform issue," Mr. Naidu tells Mr. Chandrashekar. Now the MP talks about how social media platforms are using algorithm to supress, deny and screen a certain topic of discussion.

"What is this algorithmic bias? I am from a rural area. Please explain," the Chair says. Mr. Chandrashekar explains how machine learning is not immune from human bias. He seeks a legislation on the lines of US.

Lok Sabha | 11.00 am

It's Question Hour in Lok Sabha. AIADMK MP Ravindranath Kumar asks the first question. He shows photo of how Mahatma Gandhi travelled to Bodinayanallur in a good train. He says since then the place is not connected to passenger train facilities. MoS Suresh Angadi says it will be considered.

Dayanidhi Maran (DMK) speaks about lack of bathrooms in railway stations.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 5:17:56 pm |