Parliament proceedings | Rajya Sabha passes The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

Congress Member Kapil Sibal speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, July 29, 2017.

Congress Member Kapil Sibal speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, July 29, 2017.   | Photo Credit: RSTV

The Budget session of the Parliament has been extended for a few more days to discuss pending Bills. Both Houses had decided to skip the regular question hour and Zero hour proceedings to take up Bills. But Rajya Sabha Chairperson decides to take up Zero Hour alone.

Here are the live updates:

Lok Sabha| 8.56 p.m.

Margani Bharat asks details of actions taken by the concerned departments and officers on the issues raised in the Zero Hour. He also asks the tourism minister to concentrate on bettering tourism revenue.

Lok Sabha | 8.09 p.m.

Jamyang Tsering Namgyal asks that civilians' contribution during the Kargil war also be recognised. "In the 1999 war, our civilians voluntarily took part and helped in the war. But today, the same civilians are suffering," he says.

"Today is All India tiger Day. I congratulate the government's efforts in conserving the tiger," Rahul Ramesh Shewale says, asking for a name change of a tiger reserve in Maharashtra.

Lok Sabha | 7.48 p.m.

Feroze Varun Gandhi speaks on air pollution, linking thermal power plants in New Delhi and lung diseases. "In Gujarat, no company was allowed to hire their own auditor, no auditor was allowed to go back twice to the same company for audit [out of the three audits that need to be done in a year]," he says, saying this should be implemented in other parts of the country too.

Jyotsna Charandas Mahant brings up the problem of farmers covered under the Pradhan Mantri Phasal Bima Yojana. They are unaware of the details of the insurance, especially when the premium is transferred directly from their bank accounts, she says, asking that they be given awareness.

Rajya Sabha | 7.13 p.m.

Responding to the five points raised by Jairam Ramesh, Ms. Sitharaman says, "Criminal prosecution is possible for defaulting bidder; the IBC has overriding effect when inconsistencies exist. It thus overrides the SEBI Act; once the resolution plan is accepted, the old bidder will be held responsible not the new promoter trying to save the company..."

Concluding, she says the debate has been invigorating and thanks the members.

The Insolvency and bankruptcy Bill is passed by the Rajya Sabha.

Rajya Sabha | 6.49 p.m.

The government has increased the number of Benches in the NCLT from 10 to 15, total number of members have been increased to 52, in overburdened Benches of Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata e-courts have come up, Ms. Sitharaman says.

At the Allahabad Bench, Mumbai Bench, in Delhi, Amaravati Bench, etc vast areas are under renovation. Relevant training is being given to members for capacity building, she says.

The IBC doesn't just help the big creditors but the small creditors too. It also helps companies remain open, thus ensuring unemployment doesn't occur and employees can go back to work, says the minister.

"The IBC is a creditor-in-control model and not debtor-in-posession model. So, the professional is adequately empowered and cannot throw out the management," she says.

Rajya Sabha | 6.32 p.m.

"Defaulter's paradise is lost because of the IBC," Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance says, paraphrasing an observation made by the Supreme Court. The court has also upheld the constitutionality of the Code, she says.

Salient features the amendments are trying to bring in- clarity on allowing comprehensive corporate restructuring in resolution plan, time-bound disposal at application stage, etc.

"There is behavioural change, like many members pointed out, and this change is happening for good...We're not killing the companies off, but giving new life to them," she says.

Rajya Sabha | 5.50 p.m.

Jairam Ramesh says he welcomes not just the Insolvency Code but the Amendments proposed too. "The IBC is a new world we have entered. And there is no harm in learning and evolving. In the second round of amendments, I said there will be a third round of amendments, and here we are. And now, I'm saying there will be a fourth round of amendments and there is no harm in admitting it," he says.

He asks the Minister five question - What is the government's thinking on when successful bidders don't follow up after their bid? Where are we in the amendment to the Indian Stamps Act because that will affect the bid process? What is the system being evolved where the States are on board in the resolution process? Does the IBC override all other Acts, including the SEBI Act? Are past promoters getting away lightly or can you indemnify the new promoters from the actions of the past promoters?

He also says that the Minister should think about the MSME sector. "What do you do about the MSME sector, which is a very sick sector? We should pay attention to the MSME sector...To deal with this, delegated rules and laws are necessary, which asks for the MSME Act to be amended," he says.

Lok Sabha | 5.16 p.m.

The nitti-gritty details of the exit exam will be objective and fixed taking into account the prevalent standards.

The Bill is not anti-federal because, the States will give the Medical-Essentiality Certificates, not the Centre. State governments will be fully involved with the running of the councils, not the Centre, he says.

"The NMC Bill is anti-vested interests. It will help us move away from inspection-raj. It will select one-time and full-time regulators," says Dr. Harsh.

He also says because of the exit exams, colleges will have to better their quality of education, cost of fees will come down because not just fees but limitations to what charges can be levied by the private colleges are regulated.

"Mid-level health experts is not something we have brought in, but exists all over the world," the health minister says, reading from a World Health Organisation report.

Lok Sabha | 5.05 p.m.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister, Health and Family Welfare thanks the House for participating in the debate on The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019. 32 members have spoken on the Bill, he says. "Basic intention of the government through this Bill is to ensure utmost standards of medical education. Nobody should have any apprehensions about the intention," he assures the House.

NEET has already gotten institutionalised, the country has seen successful implementation of the exam and yet some members have raised aprehensions. "45 years back, I remember, when we had to enter the medical profession, we had to take 10-12 different exams. Now you have to appear for one exam only. It now establishes merit in the mopst transparent manner," he says.

"Lot of questions have been raised about the exit exam. The exit exam is now the final year exam of the medical student, which serves as the post-graduate exam also. It does away with the PG course entrance exam," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 4.52 p.m.

This is a good move but limitations should be rectified, says Dr. Banda Prakash on Tc.

K.K. Ragesh says the average time NCLT takes to resolve a case is three to six months and in some cases, over a year. "So, merely stipulating a time frame for resolution of cases will not help unless the underlying problems are addressed," he says. He also asks why just one part of the Act is notified and the other part, "the soul" of the Act is not notified.

Manoj Kumar Jha opposing the Bill says it will allow for "shadow litigations". "There is no harm in revisiting some of our macro economic policies," he says in conclusion.

Lok Sabha| 4.36 p.m.

Dr. Subhas Sarkar says The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 does not go against the federal structure of the country, urging members to support the Bill.

DNV Senthilkumar S. opposes the Bill and explains why Tamil Nadu is against the Bill. "Rural students are not getting through the exam," he says. Bureaucracy should not set norms for education, he concludes. If you're taking on mid-level practitioners to improve health care in rural areas, then follow the Tamil Nadu model," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 4.25 p.m.

Ravi Prakash Verma says The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019 will pose more challenges to the country post implementation. "There aren't enough judges or insolvency experts in courts [NCLTs]," he says, speaking about practical solutions to the problem.

"The Amendment is inadequate to meet the challenges," he concludes.

Rajya Sabha | 3.45 p.m.

The House takes up The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Kapil Sibal says that the economy is in a very bad state. He says that real estate projects have been stuck for the last three years.

He speaks about Bhushan Steel and the way the IBC deals with companies. He says the government is creating an oligopoly in the country. He wants the Bill to sent to a Select Committee.

Lok Sabha | 3.15 p.m.

Manish Tewari (Congress) says that the constitution of autonomous boards and the NMC presents a conflict of interest.

He says that a certain clause has been designed to attract retired bureaucrats. He asks the Minister to withdraw the Bill.

Kirit Solanki (BJP) says that those who want to practice directly after MBBS should get an exemption from NEXT exam.

Rajya Sabha | 3 p.m.

Anurag Thakur rises to make his reply. He says the government has constitued an inter-ministerial group to address gaps in existing legislation. The recommendations included a new central law to tackle these schemes, he says.

The Houses passes the Bill.

Lok Sabha | 2.15 p.m.

Sri Krishna Devarayalu (YSR Congress) says that India produces 65,000 medical students every year, but when we look at the population, we should have a higher number.

Rajya Sabha | 2 p.m.

House reconvenes and Mr. Wilson takes up his speech again. He points out contradictions in The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill.

Narendra Jadhav (Nominated) calls this Bill a much needed legislation, after the Jan Dhan Yojana which encouraged savings mobilisation.

Vijaysai Reddy (YSR Congress) says the Bill has various good features like the Central database where information can be shared to prevent repeat offenders from committing crimes.

Samir Oraon (BJP) also congratulates the Finance Minister for introducing this Bill.

Lok Sabha | 12.40 p.m.

A. Raja (DMK) opposes the Bill. He terms the advisory boards proposed in the Bill as joke.  He asks how the government plans to eliminate corruption in the MCI. He says the way the Bill has been brought about is undemocratic.

Dr. Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar (Trinamool Congress) says that the introduction of the NEXt examination takes away all the work that students have done up until then.

House is adjourned till 2.10 p.m.

Rajya Sabha | 12.40 p.m.

Banda Prakash (TRS) says there is anetwork of individuals taking deposits using commission agents. He congratulates the Finance Minister for coming up with this Bill. He says there is no authentic study to measure how much poor people are investing in these schemes.

P. Wilson (DMK) says that Tamil Nadu already has a law to protect the interests of depositors.

House is adjourned till 2 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 12.30 p.m.

Dr. Sharma says that doctors are not machines or god and needed to be treated as humans, referring to attacks on doctors. He asks why there hasn't been a law to prosecute these crimes.

A. Raja (DMK) says the Bill has been brought without any respect to constitutional rules. He asks how the government plans to eradicate corruption in the MCI.

Rajya Sabha | 12 noon

T. Subburami Reddy (Congress) rises to repeal the Banning of Unregulated Deposits Scheme Ordinance.

Suresh Prabhu says that deposit mobilisation happened, but the government has to ensure that no one is taken for a ride. He says those who are in this space will be brought under this comprehensive legislation.

Vishambhar Prasad Nishad (SP) says that people operating unregulated deposits are present throughout the country. Money belonging to the poor is affected by this practice.

Lok Sabha | 12 noon

Vincent H. Pala (Congress) rises to oppose the Bill. He says the Bill is a dilution of power from the doctors' fraternity to the government.

Dr. Mahesh Sharma (BJP) says that the government's healthcare schemes have helped a majority of the country.

Rajya Sabha | 11.40 p.m.

Chair says that 40% of time has been lost due to disruption in the Upper House. He asks under which rules do these Members disturb the proceedings.

Both sides need corrective introspection, says the Chair. He adds that for scrutiny of Bills by parliamentary committees, they may need codification of rules for the same.

Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) brings up the death of the Unnao rape victim’s lawyer, and the victim being critical from an accident.

Members rise up to support him, while others protest. House is adjourned till noon.

Lok Sabha | 11.35 p.m.

Mr. Shekhawat says that 92% of the dams in the country are build on inter-State rivers. The Dam Safety Bill is introduced.

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan rises for to move that The National Medical Commission Bill be introduced in the House.

This Bill sets up the National Medical Commission (NMC).  Within three years of the passage of the Bill, State governments will establish State Medical Councils. The NMC will consist of 25 members, appointed by the Centre. A common final year MBBS  exam called NEXT will be introduced, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.25 am

Rajya Sabha assembles. The Chairperson informs the House that opposition members met him in person and expressed anguish on Bills being taken up without proper scrutiny.

The Chair says while he cannot comment on Lok Sabha, he says the for the last two years eight of 10 Bills were sent to Standing Committees. The other two Bills were passed unanimously.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill was sent to Standing and Select Committees. The opposition wanted the RTI Bill to be sent to Select Committee, but couldn't because there wasn't consensus.

Lok Sabha | 11.10 am

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Congress) says the House shouldn't skip Question Hour and Zero Hour since that's the only way all members get a chance to present the issues of their constituency.

The Speaker agrees. He says he will accomodate Zero Hour today.

Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekhawat seeks permission to introduce the Dam Safety Bill. Gaurav Gogoi (Congress) opposes it. N.K. Premachandran too opposes it, he says water is a state subject.

Shashi Tharoor (Congress) suggests the Bill should be sent to a parliamentary standing committee. Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) questions the legislative competence of the Bill.

Lok Sabha | 11.00 am

Lok Sabha assembles. Speaker Om Birla is in the Chair. Azam Khan apologises to the Speaker for his conduct.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi insists he should apologise to Rama Devi.

Akhilesh Yadav (SP) supports Mr. Khan and says his apology must be accepted and we must move on. "What about the woman in Unnao (the rape survivor who was injured in a road accident.)," he asks.

Rama Devi (BJP) says Mr. Khan should mend his ways.

"The House belongs to all. It runs on everyone's support. I request you all to address the Chair when speaking," Speaker says and reiterates that members should refrain from using language that would affect the dignity of the House.

Rajya Sabha | 11.00 am

Rajya Sabha assembles. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu is in the Chair. An emotional Mr. Naidu recallls his relationship with the late leader Jaipal Reddy, also a former Rajya Sabha member.

The House pays tribute to the departed leader. Jaipal Reddy passed away on Sunday.

On those days, when the Assembly assembles at 8 am. He and I would meet at 7 am over breakfast, Mr. Naidu recalls his association with Reddy. I have 40 years of personal association with him, he says.

Mr. Naidu congratulated Mary Kom for winning gold medal at the Presidency Cup. He congratulates other boxers too. Ms. Kom is a member of Rajya Sabha.

Rajya Sabha adjourned for till 11.24 am after smoke emits out of voting panel.

10.45 am

Agenda of the day

Lok Sabha

The Dam Safety Bill, 2019.

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019.

The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019

Rajya Sabha

The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 1:48:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-proceedings-live-updates-budget-session-july-29-2019/article28743948.ece

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