Parliament proceedings as it happened: We will bring data protection law, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

Five amendment Bills and two Bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha today

July 08, 2019 10:54 am | Updated 08:19 pm IST

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

As many as eight Bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha today, while the Rajya Sabha has two for consideration and passing. 

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019; The National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019; and The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019, are among the key Bills introduced today.

Rajya Sabha passed the The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for consideration and passing . Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad moved the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for consideration and passing.

Lok Sabha | 8 pm

Bhagwant Mann, Aam Aadmi Party, Sangrur (Punjab)

Mr. Mann says that Punjab is one of the many states neglected in the budget. The plight of the farmers who are taking their lives need to be addressed.

He presses on the need to give Punjab a special status, where its interests are protected and the lives of the farmers are saved.

He said that there is a need to invest in recharging the water bodies of the state and rejuvenating its depleting groundwater reserves.

He also pointed out to the need for an indigenous food processing industry so that the farmers can collaborate with them.

 

The Lok Sabha is adjourned till 11:00 am on 9.7.2019 for further discussions.

Lok Sabha | 7:54 pm

Shrirang Appa Barne, Shiv Sena, Maval (Maharashtra)

Says that a special package required for farmers because they often do not get the market value of their produce.

He pointed out that the development plots that the farmers were promised were never received. Tourism must be focused on, and the money promised for the development of Elephanta caves in 2014 was never received.

He also said that towns like Pimpri-Chinchwad required hospitals like AIIMS to cater to their growing population.

Lok Sabha | 7:45 pm

Harish Dwivedi, BJP, Basti (UP)

Says the budget has lived up to the expectations of the common people. The 1.60 crore deprived have been given the facilities including Rs. 1.2 lakh for the development of the poor, he adds.  

Mr. Dwivedi claims those who criticised the government and their policies have been cast out of the parliament by the common man.

Congress must atone for their wrongdoings against the vulnerable and they don’t stand a chance to form the government for at least the next 10-15 years, he says.  

SHG groups have benefited largely by the policies, BharatMala Yojana and PM Sadak Yojana has played an important role in connecting the various parts of the country in the grass-root level, Mr. Dwivedi says.  

He also asks for educational institutions in his constituency.

Lok Sabha | 7:13 pm

Jugal Kishore Sharma, BJP, Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir)

Says that the Modi govt. has always delivered. Compared to the UPA governments, the Modi led NDA government has effectively pushed the agenda of improving the lives of the vulnerable.

Mr. Sharma claims that Ujjwala Yojana has benefited many poor people, especially women. Policies like pension, Beti bachao beti padhao and building toilets have also played an important role in their lives. PM Gram Swaraj Abhiyan will play a vital role in improvement in the conditions of poor.

The lives of refugees have improved because they have been paid 5 lakh per family and have finally been seen as more than vote banks, he adds.  

Lok Sabha| 6:53 pm

Aparajita Sarangi, BJP, Bhubaneswar (Odisha)

Talks about ‘path-breaking initiatives’ for development of the country. She says that the budget does not talk of vast schemes and grandiose theories, but looks at sustenance and changes in focused terms.

She claims that ‘the budget is not numbers but an aspiration of the country’s values’. The country has graduated from PMKSY to Jal Shakti Ministry, she says. The government has promised toilets, gas, electricity, a roof over head and piped water supply which indicates courage on their part, she adds.  

Ms. Sarangi criticises the state government for not adopting the National nutrition mission and Aayushman Bharat schemes.

‘Cynicism and pessimism is a national disease,’ she says, adding that  there is no reason to criticise the budget.

Lok Sabha | 6:38 pm

Pradyut Bordoloi, INC, Nowgong (Assam)

Says the budget is a façade of ‘empty rhetoric and non-philosophy’.

He claims that in the last five years India should have surpassed China as the fastest growing economy.

He says for India to become '5 trillion dollar economy', the current growth of 8% is slow and there is a need to boost it to at least 12 %.

He points out that the 25% gap between receipts and expenditure is to be bridged by borrowings of Rs, 7 lakh crore, for which the country might resort to external borrowings.

Mr. Bordoloi says that the country should learn from Chile and Venezuela, as examples who failed on external borrowings. He says that an action plan needed.

The budget is supposed to be a roadmap, which it fails to be.

He says that the drive against agrarian crisis, unemployment and private sector investment have been a failure and the budget fails to address any of them.

He concludes by saying that Pluralism is the spirit of India, centrifugal tendencies must be fended off and peripheries should be reached out to. He calls for the protection of the status of the northeast.

Lok Sabha| 6:28 pm

Jagdambika Pal, BJP, Domariyaganj (UP)

Says that he is surprised by the claims of some speakers that the BJP have catered to the needs of the rich. He says that the Modi govt. seeks to bridge the gap between the deprived India and the affluent India through their vision of New India. 

He also claims that they have allocated the highest budget for the farmers in the history of budget. He claims that there has been a 140% increase in investment towards farmers.

The govt. is dedicated to bringing electricity and affluence to villages and townships from ‘Kashmir to Kanyakumari’. He points to the Kisaan Samman Yojna, where farmers will be given Rs. 6000 per month and The Jan Dhan Project, ‘which is helping women SHGs to draw overdrafts for their medical needs’ as examples of the governments’ policies towards the disadvantaged.

Rajya Sabha  | 6:00 pm

Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Law Minister, responds. He says the Parliament has the power to undo a judgement of the Supreme Court. But we have only followed the judgment in this case.

Mr. Prasad lists out how 2.98 bogus ration cards were eliminated, which benefits the true poor people.

Mr. Prasad displays his Aadhaar card and says only his name, gender and address are visible, while the biometrics and other personal data are not shown. He says the personal data are encrypted and safe. The core biometrics are never shared.

He says even judges should avoid harsh words like constitutional fraud.

Mr. Prasad says circulars have been sent to authority concerned not to withhold ration even if the person doesn't have Aadhaar. Mr. Prasad also says the mandatory clause will be enabled only after a law in Parliament.

We are not touching the architecture of Aadhaar. We are only amending the Telegraph Act and Money Laundering Act. He says the Opposition is failing to understand that the use of Aadhaar will be governed by laws.

The Law Minister says a comprehensive data protection law will be brought to the House. He assures the House that datat protection and soverignity will be kept in tact.

The Bill is passed by voice vote. House is adjourned for the day.

Lok Sabha | 6:00 pm

Kunwar Danish Ali, BSP, Amroha (UP)

Says that the budget is made for a few those who invested in the BJP during the elections. Despite the vocal protests from the other speakers, he continues to say that the youth, women and poor have been neglected.

He claims that the corporate taxes which have been slashed, is a clear indication that the government is benefiting a certain class of people who comprise their vote bank.

He says that the increase in gross NPA of the banks indicates that the public investment is being wasted.

Mr. Ali claims that ‘the govt. is expert in making empty promises’. He says that the public insurance sector has been abandoned. He says that the budget robs from the pockets of minorities.

 

The Lok Sabha is extended for another 2 hours.

Rajya Sabha  | 5:40 pm

Ashwini Vaishnav (BJP) lauds how Aadhaar helped in subsidies directly reaching the beneficiaries through technology. Both wrongful inclusion and wrongful exclusion have been stopped, he says.

Anil Desai (Shiv Sena) says Aadhhar is a beneficial document widely used. He however says the Minister must clear the air over data protection.

TKS Elangovan (DMK) says the Bill was brought with "anger" just to set aside the order of Supreme Court. Noone is against Aadhaar only the implementation is the problem. They are cutting the leg to suit the shoe, he says.

Vijaisai Reddy (YSRCP) has two specific questions: When the Supreme Court has categorically stated that the Data Protection Act must be passed, why not pass this Act after the data legislation? Does the Supreme Court allow sharing of Aadhaar data voluntarily with private entities?

Binoy Viswam (CPI) says there is a political and economic angle in the Bill. He fears state surveillance. The economic angle is without the data protect Act, the data will eventually land in the hands of corporate honchos.

Sanjay Singh (AAP) reminds the House how starvation deaths occured in Jharkhand because some failed to link their ration with Aadhaar. He also reminds how after cricketer Dhoni's private details were leaked, the Centre was blacklisted for 10 years. He also says it is no secret that Reliance Jio has Aadhaar data. Did the government recover the data or delete the data with the rrelecom companies, he asks.

Lok Sabha | 5:43 pm

Sukhbir Singh Badal, SAD, Ferozpur (Punjab)

Says budget concentrates on the poor and farmers, where most of the country lives, that’s where growth is needed.

He says money is required for rebuilding canal systems and rejuvenation of ground water. He warns that if Punjab, the agricultural capital of the country, runs out of water, feeding the billions of people of the country will become a herculean task.

Mr. Badal says that the state faces many threats including ‘narco-terrorism’ by Pakistan at the Wagha border, where 420 kg of drugs were nabbed. He asks for special care for the state.

 

K. Raghu Ramakrishna Raju, YSRCP, Narsapuram (AP)

Says Andhra Pradesh is in a similar condition as Punjab and needs special consideration.

He claims that even if at the macro level, it is a good budget, 'injustice' made to the state cannot be looked passed.

Mr. Raju says that the promises made to AP during reorganisation is not fulfilled yet.

Says that the direct and indirect taxes, must be incentivised for industries that come to the state. He seeks special care for the state of Andhra.

He says that the Polavaram Project where the State government has invested heavily needs the support of the centre through a revolving budget from where they can draw funds.

Water harvesting pits must be made a law, the practitioners should be incentivised, he said.

Lok Sabha | 5:12 pm

Bhartruhari Mahtab, BJD, Cuttack (Odisha)

Emphasises on the need for a new public investment program and reiterates that the public banks have been under pressure for a long time.

Says the target of making India a USD 5 trillion economy is doable provided that there are domestic savings and investment.

Argues for announcing Odisha as a special focus state as discussed in Niti Aayog meetings. A temporary special category status was discussed for the states which face natural calamities. He says that in the last few years, 4 cyclones have pulled Odisha back into poverty.

Says Fresh infrastructural development is needed and that the Indian economy is like ‘a frog in boiling water’ which does not realise the danger it is in.

Rajya Sabha | 4:45 pm

In Rajya Sabha, Jairam Ramesh reminds the Minister that the petition was against bypassing the Rajya Sabha by bringing it as money Bill.

Mr. Ramesh recalls how five of his amendments were passed in the House. The 'money Bill' remains as permanent scar in the law. He wishes the Bill goes through parliamentary scrutiny.

Mr. Ramesh has three points against the Bill. While Supreme Court has made it clear that Aadhaar is voluntary, but when subsidy is involved it is mandatory. The Clause 7 of Section 5 mentions mandatory authentication. He says its direct violation of the verdict.

Section 24 and 25 circumvents the Supreme Court ruling striking down Section 57. Thus the government brings back Aadhaar in banks and telecom providers. His speech is cut short.

After protests, he gets more time.

Aadhaar cannot be used as a tool for exclusion. Citing an Indian School of Business report, Mr. Ramesh wants to know if the report is true. He highlights Aadhaar could be misused.

Lok Sabha | 4:25 pm

Vinayak Raut (Shiv Sena) , during his speech on General Budget, says the government must help revive BSNL.

While lauding the government for increasing the MSP to 1.5 times the production cost, Mr. Raut says insurance companies are reaping the benefits of crop insurance scheme.  He urges the government to book these insurance firms., who act as 'Shukracharya', another mythological reference in the House today.

Rajya Sabha | 4:25 pm

K.K. Ragesh (CPI-M) says the Bill must be sent to a parliamentary standing committee. He recalls how the original Bill was bypassed Rajya Sabha scrutiny by calling it a money bill.  This was a fraud on the constitution of the country.  He accuses the government of not considering the spirit of the Supreme Court verdict.

Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD) says most of the clauses end with to be decided. The parliament is kept in dark, he says. The right of a child to opt out must be granted to adults as well.

Rajya Sabha | 4:15 pm

In Rajya Sabha amendments to Aadhaar Bill are continued to be discussed.

The Bill makes use of Aadhaar purely voluntary. The Bill amends the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 to make Aadhaar a valid authentication. However, the authentication will be offline.

Children who have aadhaar number will have the option to opt out when they become adult.

Lok Sabha | 3.50 pm

You are selling the country in the name of disinvestment, says Kalyan Banerjee

Kalyan Banerjee (Trinamool) says it is the lengthy speech with no information of vision. He wonders why the fuel prices are being hiked despite the rate of crude oil has decreased in the global market.

The Finance Minister thanks the honest tax payers. Why not reward them by increasing the exempt limit beyond Rs. 5 lakh. He says Rs. two crore income makes them upper middle class, not rich.

The Budget speaks about nothing but the corporates. Because of disinvestment, you are selling the national property and thus selling the country.  Air India was once compared with British Airways. Today, you want to sell it, he says.

The Budget is silent on unemployment. The jobless rate is 45 year-high, he says.

He accuses the government of making education a commodity. He says the GST has killed the small industry. The jari industry in West Bengal were affected because of GST, he adds.

He says tea industry workers are paid in cash, and the TDS on cash withdrawal will affect plantation workers. He recalls how the cash crunch during demonetisation crippled these workers. Do you seriously think net banking works in rural area, he asks.

N.K. Premachandran is in the Chair.

Lok Sabha | 3.30 pm

Baalu's list of requests

T.R.Baalu speaks during a general discussion on Budget on Monday.

T.R.Baalu speaks during a general discussion on Budget on Monday.

 

T.R. Baalu says the Budget is mum of revival of Salem Steel Plant. He says Sethu Samudram project was envisaged by the late Vajpayee. But with the influence of certain "fanatics" and "idiotic men", it couldn't take shape.

He also seeks Metro Phase III extension in Chennai to connect Kathipara to Poonamallee, Thirumangalam to Ambattur, and Vadapalani to Poonamallee. He also seeks a new railway line from Guduvanchery to Avadi.

Rajya Sabha | 3.30 pm

Govt has put technology to good use: Rajeev Chandrashekar

Rajeev Chandrashekar (BJP) hits out at the Congress. He claims the BJP government made Aadhaar to good use. Aadhaar is a far far cry today, he says.

Quoting Rajeev Gandhi, Mr. Chandrashekar says Aadhaar plugged the leakage of subsidy. He says Aadhaar is an example of how technology can be put to use. to positively enhance the lives of the people.

Countering Mr. Singhvi, Mr. Chandrashekar says the Aadhaar is only to deliver subsidy and to campaign that the scheme is used for something other than that is gross injustice to poor. He points out even the NYAY mentioned in Congress manifesto uses Aadhaar.

Mr. Chandrashekar, who was one of the petitioner in Supreme Court on data protection, says it must not be seen through the narrow prism of Aadhaar.

Lok Sabha | 3.20 pm

TN can only cheer about Puranaanooru: Baalu

The DMK members are back in the House. T.R. Baalu is the next Speaker. He says the people of Tamil Nadu had nothing to cheer about the Budget, except her quoting of Puranaanooru .

Mr. Baalu addresses Jayant Sinha as "my friend's son." I am a small man from village. To my understanding when the GDP numbers come down, the economy is not growing, he says.

Mr. Baalu says the increase in price of fuel will lead to a cascading effect and burden the common man. When the UPA government increased the fuel price by even 10 paise, the present ruling party would protest. But nowadays they are comfortably increasing the price by over Rs. 2.50, he says.  Mr. Baalu pitches for fuel to come under GST.

Lok Sabha | 3:00 p.m.

India can benefit from US-China stand off: Jayant Sinha

In Lok Sabha, Jayant Sinha continues to speak. He calls government's plan to provide tap water to every household is a landmark scheme and will be converted into a people's movement.

Mr. Sinha says by containing fiscal deficit, the government has reduced the borrowing and thus boosts saving. Our borrowing is only 5 per cent of GDP, which is lesser than many countries.

Mr. Sinha highlights three key measures to boost investment as mentioned in Budget — mega manufacturing zones will help us as there is a facedown between China and USA; encouragement of Electric Vehicles and coupling increase in taxes to petroleum based fuel; and affordable housing.

Quoting Swami Vivekananda, Mr. Sinha, the son of former Minister Yashwant Sinha, says we are kaamdaar not naamdaar . This doesn't go unnoticed by the Opposition side.

Rama Devi is in the Chair.

Rajya Sabha | 3:00 p.m.

'What is Aadhaar not about'

Abhishek Manu Singhvi (Congress) speaks in Rajya Sabha.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi (Congress) speaks in Rajya Sabha.

 

Abhishek Manu Singhvi (Congress) opposes the Bill. He says Aadhaar is not one nation, one card. It is neither exclusive nor a certificate of truth. It is also not a tool of exclusion, not a data collection tool, and not a tool of controlled surveillance or snooping. It cannot be used by non-governmental institutions.

Then what is Aadhaar for? It is only for service, benefit and subsidy. The BPL, who are beneficiary of many subsidy schemes can also opt out from Aadhaar, as per the Supreme Court rulings.

Mr. Singhvi says Aadhaar collects the most sensitive data and this government has not come up with a data protection Act but wants to amend Aadhaar. He accuses the government of avoiding the data protection legislation and calls it a sinister plan.

The person sharing the data must know where his data is being used. The person must also have right to data portability, right to object and right to erase. Without these, Aadhaar is vulnerable, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 2:45 p.m.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says the amendments to Aadhaar and other laws were necessitated after Supreme Court's ruling on privacy. He says the Supreme Court didn't say Aadhaar was violative of privacy laws and the UID is needed to disburse subsidies.

In the five years, I have not seen a single poor person saying he has suffered because of Aadhaar, Mr. Prasad says seeking the House to pass the Bill.

Anand Sharma asks if the Budget's proposal of Aadhaar and PAN being made interchanged factored in the Bill. Mr. Prasad answers in affirmative.

Lok Sabha | 2:45 p.m.

Metaphors rule the Lok Sabha debate

BJP's Jayant Sinha is the next speaker. It's his turn to use metaphor now. He says five years back we got a derailed train. We not only fixed it, but made it a high-speed Rajdhani Express. In the coming years, we'll make it a bullet train.

Mr. Sinha says the government has increased the GDP by 70% to Rs. 188 lakh crore. Thus the per capita GDP and per capita gross national income eventually increased.

Mr. Sinha says the government got an absolute majority because we implemented the GST without any issue. He praises the current and previous finance ministers for making GST a reality.

Rajya Sabha | 2.40 p.m.

In Rajya Sabha, Dr. Harsh Vardhan replies. He lists out several steps taken by the government to promote dentistry and oral health.

He says we must also take part in improving oral health. We must speak against chewing tobacco and teach people on oral health discipline. He seeks the Bill be passed.

The Bill is passed. Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is taken up.

Lok Sabha | 2:40 p.m.

Shashi Tharoor says Kerala has been neglected in the Budget. There is no allocation for the rehabilitation of flood-hit State, rubber plantation is not promoted, and Gulf returnees are being ignored. "You want Gulf remittance, don't want to help them, when they com back," he says.

Dr. Tharoor says his plea for an Ayurvedic research centre in his constituency Thiruvananthapuram has also been ignored.

Lok Sabha | 2:20 p.m.

Tharoor quotes Ghalib

Congress member Shashi Tharoor speaks during a discussion on Budget in Lok Sabha on Monday.

Congress member Shashi Tharoor speaks during a discussion on Budget in Lok Sabha on Monday.

 

Dr. Shashi Tharoor continues to speak on the Budget. He says what matters to common people is the GDP per capita and not a $5 trillion economy. Pointing a World Bank report, he says based on per capita income we are still a low income nation and even Sri Lanka has surpassed us.

Dr. Tharoor says though the budgetary allocation for agriculture has increased, a lion share goes to PM-KISAN. He further says the scheme is not adequate to address the dire state of farmers.

He is quoting Ghalib once again. He modifies the phrase a bit " Hum gaye Kisan Suraksha karne, par aaye paach sao rupay laane ."

Dr. Tharoor claims the insurance companies have got more from Fasal Bhima Yojana than the farmers. No wonder the enrollment for the scheme has fallen.

Mocking the zero budget farming, Dr. Tharoor says the farmers have got zero from this government.

Dr. Tharoor says while the BJP announced a ministry for fisheries, this government has only set up a department.

Rajya Sabha | 2:20 pm

Rajya Sabha discusses Dental (Amendment) Bill, 2019. AIADMK's Navaneethakrishnan says he supports the Bill and wants the government to bring another Bill to exempt Tamil Nadu from NEET.

Dr. Santanu Sen (Trinamool Congress) suggests each primary health centre to have at least one dentist. He also suggests dentistry to be part of preventive care.

Prasanna Acharya (BJD) highlights the Odisha model, where dentists are available in all health centres.

Vijay Sai Reddy (YSRCP) says all States must be included in the Dental Council.

Dr. Keshav Rao (TRS) says quacks must be removed from the field.

Lok Sabha | 2:00 p.m.

'Trishanku' Budget, says Tharoor

Lok Sabha reassembles. The House discusses the Budget. Shashi Tharoor is the first speaker. He congratulates the Finance Minister.

While we were hoping for an agile tiger, the Finance Minister has brought the metaphor of elephant, he says referring to Nirmala Sitharaman quoting Sangam literature on elephant in paddy field.

Dr. Tharoor says perhaps this was the first Budget where allocations were not mentioned in the speech. Mr. Tharoor calls it a 'trishanku' budget, neither here nor there.

Dr. Tharoor points out at the disparity in the calculation of the GDP. The GDP will grow when the key contribution grows. While none of it is growing, the government continues to claim the GDP is growing, he says.

While Ms. Sitharaman chose Sangam Tamil, Dr. Tharoor is resorting to poetic Urdu. He has even quoted Ghalib.

Bhartruhari Mahtab is in the Chair.

Rajya Sabha | 2:00 pm

Rajya Sabha reassembles. Deputy Chiarperson Harivansh is in the Chair.

Anurag Thakur, on behalf of Finance Minister, moves a statutory resolution to amend the Customs Tariff Act, 1975, change the cess and excise duty on certain goods. The resolution is passed.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan moves The Dentist (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha.

Lok Sabha | 1 p.m.

Zero Hour begins with Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury bringing up the Karnataka political crisis. He says that the crisis is premeditated by the BJP.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says that whatever is happening in Karnataka has nothing to do with the BJP. Congress members object.

T.R. Baalu rises to speak. But he is barely audible. Mr. Baalu raises the issue of NEET in Tamil Nadu. Pointing at several suicides of young girls, Mr. Baalu says the NEET is conducted based on CBSE syllabus. The Tamil Nadu Assembly had unanimously passed a Bill seeking to exclude NEET in the State. But after 27 months, this government kept it in cold storage and then it responds in the court that it has been rejected. I want a reply from the government, Mr. Baalu insists. No one from the Treasury Bench reacts. DMK walks out.

House is adjourned.

Rajya Sabha | 1 p.m.

The next question is on monitoring and assessment of forest cover.

Minister Prakash Javadekjar answers a question on tiger conservation.

The House is adjourned till 2 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 12.55 p.m.

Ram Vilas Paswan introduces the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019.

Hardeep Singh Puri introduces the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019.

Prahlad Singh Patel rises to introduce The Jallaianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Shashi Tharoor says the Bill attempts to remove the president of the Congress as the ex-officio trustee of the memorial, which he says is contrary to what history is.

Minister says this can be broguth during debates. The Bill is introduced.

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank introduces The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Lok Sabha | 12:45 pm

Kishen Reddy, MoS, Home Affairs introduces The NIA (Amendment) Bill, 2019. He says the Bill will ensure the NIA courts can give quick conviction.

Mr. Reddy introduces one more Bill — The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says every constitutional authority is being diluted and now is the turn for NHRC. "That is why I oppose the Bill," he says.

Minister says that the Opposition party is not just for opposing, but to offer constructive criticism. He says that the proposed Amendment is based on Paris principles.

The Minister introduces the Bill.

Rajya Sabha | 12:40 pm

Rajeev Chandrashekar asks if the government has any idea to monitor PTSD in jawans. The Defence Minister says the medical board will take a call.

Binoy Viswom asks if pension for disabled soldiers be enhanced. The Minister says norms are being followed while deciding pension.

Viplove Thakur asks if jawans returning from Siachen are checked for disabilities since the working conditions could lead to health issues. Rajnath Singh says jawans are checked before and after they are posted in Siachen.

Rajya Sabha | 12:25 pm

Majeed Memon (NCP) asks if it was a security failure that led to killing of 40 jawans in Pulwama. Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minister says Home Ministry is conducting a probe and Home Minister will inform the House after the report is out.

Mr. Memon is once again referred as Menon in the House. He corrects it and wonders if he should move to Kerala since his name is always mispronounced. The Chair says it is also in India. You can go, if you want.

Amar Singh asks if post surgical strikes and airstrikes if the infiltration has come down. Rajnath Singh says the Home Ministry would have the data. I can talk about the Ministry three months back, but that won't be appropriate. The Defence Minister was the Home Minister in Modi 1.0.

Lok Sabha | 12:25 pm

A Bill to amend UAPA is being introduced by MoS Home G. Kishen Reddy. N.K. Premachandran opposes the Bill.

Shashi Tharoor too opposes the Bill. He says the Bill has scopes for gross misuse. He points out the onus is now on the individual to prove he is not a terrorist.

Mohammad Basheer says the Bill is giving extra constitution powers to officers.

P.K. Kunhalikutty (IUML) says the existing UAPA is being misused and this amendment will only make things worse.

MoS Home Kishen Reddy says the government has zero tolerance for terrorism. As of now there is no way to designate an individual as terrorist. The amendment is only to take care of this. There have be cases where individuals start new terror group, when one group is banned. Mr. Reddy points out how India's efforts in UN led to designation of Masood Azhar as a terrorist. Innocents won't be victimised, he assures the House.

Lok Sabha | 12:20 pm

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Congress) opposes the introduction of DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019. The Bill violates the fundamental rights of the people. He opposes the mandatory screening of undertrials.

He wonders if the adequate cost-benefit analysis was taken up. Undertrials are not convicts. They are citizens of the country, cannot be taken for granted, he says.

Shashi Tharoor says the data profiling and surveillance of individuals. Dr. Tharoor insists the data protection law must be passed first.

Dr. Vardhan says there is no serious substance in the Opposition's fears. These concerns can be addressed during the discussion.

Lok Sabha | 12:15 pm

The DNA Technology Regulation Bill is being introduced in the House. Congress members raise objections. Dr. Harsh Vardhan moves the Bill.

DMK members seek to take up adjournment Motion.

Rajya Sabha | 12:00 noon

Question Hours ends in Lok Sabha. Members lay papers listed against their names.

Telecast of Rajya Sabha proceedings continue after five minutes. Question Hour is in progress. A members asks about Yamuna Expressway accident. Roadways Minister Nitin Gadkari says the Expressway is maintained by Noida Authority and not the NHAI. He says the Ministry is considering making it mandatory to use Nitrogen air in tyres and use silicon tyres to prevent such accidents.

Rajya Sabha | 12:00 noon

In Rajya Sabha, Trinamool Congress members raise slogans. The Chair orders it shouldn't be recorded.

Rajya Sabha | 11:50 am

Sasmit Patra (BJD) reminds the House that Women's Reservation Bill is pending for years now. It is not even being listed. He requests the government to take steps as early as possible. "This is your first submission. It is the best submission. Good!," the Chair lauds him.

Lok Sabha | 11:50 am

Manish Tewari (Congress) asks what is the difference between tourist destination and tourist circuit? Minister Joshi claims the circuit model conceived by the Modi government is the best in the world. Circuits intend to develop new destinations, he says.

Sudip Bandhopapdyay (AITC), who headed the parliamentary committee on railways, suggests a Shivling circuit. The Minister says there are 15 tourism circuits based on religion and spirituality. With the States and Railways support, a Jyotirling circuit will also be developed, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 11:40 am

Tiruchi Siva protests the Centre rejecting Tamil Nadu government's ordinance not to allow NEET in the State. This is against the spirit of federalism, Mr. Siva says and DMK walks out.

Satyanarayan Jatiya makes a special mention in Sanskrit.

Lok Sabha | 11:40 am

DMK MP Kanimozhi asks how the Labour Ministry identifies unorganised workers. How do they propose to bring in retail traders and farmers in pension scheme?

Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar says any trader who earns less than Rs. 2 crore per annum can join the pension scheme by paying a premium of Rs. 50.

Rebati Tripura, a first time MP, asks a question. He struggles with the procedure. The Speaker helps him out. His question pertains to adding Tripura to Tourism circuit. Prahalad Singh Patel, MoS Tourism, says money will be released to improve tourism in the region.

Rajya Sabha | 11:30 am

G.V.L. Narasimha Rao suggests Question Hours and Legislative Business in parliament be translated into regional languages. He suggests as a first step, the answers to questions can be given in a regional language of the members' choice. "This is a suggestion worth consideration, but I don't want to come to conclusion without application of mind," the Chair says.

He is the second BJP member today to support use of regional languages.

The Chair says we shouldn't call it regional language. We should call it Indian languages.

Lok Sabha | 11:20 am

In Lok Sabha, replying to a question reduction of ESI contribution, Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar elaborates the various works undertaken by ESI. The Speaker cuts him short and asks the minister to answer the specific question. "I will look into the member's concerns," the minister says.

Whether auto rickshaw drivers are included in ESI, N.K. Premachandran asks. The Minister says it is being considered.

Rajya Sabha | 11:10 am

In Rajya Sabha, Zero Hour proceedings are under way.

Former minister K.J. Alphons raises the issue of suicide of an NRI, allegedly blaming red-tapism. "What is your suggestion?" the Chair asks. He suggests the Centre to issue an adivosry to all States to keep up the spirit of ease of doing business.

Ram Nath Thakur seeks more trains from Northern Uttar Pradesh to Kota. "This is the last time I am allowing train issue. This should be discussed during Budget debate," the Chair says.

Ajay Pratap Singh (BJP) speaks in Bagheli. The language is not listed in the 22 Scheduled language and hence not allowed in the Parliament. However, the Chair allows him to speak in Bagheli. He suggests the language must be added to official list. "I could understand what you said. I sounds simple," the Chair says.

Lok Sabha | 11.05 a.m

Speaker Om Birla in the Chair

Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda answers questions about schemes for the SC/ST community.

DMK MP from Pollachi Shanmugasundaram talks about facilities for tribal families in his constituency. Mr. Munday assures him they are looking into it.

Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar is asked about whether the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Act allows certain parameters to be applicable on different companies in the country and if so, the details thereof.

11.00 a.m.

 

Both House convene.

Lok Sabha begins question hour, while Rajya Sabha observes a minute of silence for Sudarshan Agarwal, former Secretary-General, Rajya Sabha who passed away recently.

Members of the Rajya Sabha lay papers on the table.

 

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