Parliament session updates | February 10, 2022

Lok Sabha holds discussions on the Union Budget

February 10, 2022 09:37 am | Updated February 11, 2022 08:42 pm IST

Deputy Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab conducts proceedings in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing Budget Session of the Parliament, in New Delhi, February 9, 2022

Deputy Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab conducts proceedings in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing Budget Session of the Parliament, in New Delhi, February 9, 2022

Opposition members in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday hit out at the government over high unemployment rate in the country and said the Union Budget 2022-23 failed to address the concerns of the poor. They said the Budget was only intended to benefit big corporate houses.

The discussions are scheduled to continue in the Parliament today.

Here are the latest updates :

Lok Sabha | 10.04 p.m.

Lok Sabha adjourned

Lok Sabha proceedings have been adjourned until 4.00 p.m. on Friday, February 11, 2022.

Lok Sabha | 10.00 p.m.

Congress MP Dean Kuriakose raises the matter of attacks on minority communities, specially against Christians. He says churches and prayer halls are destroyed while priests are being attacked while accusing right-wing orgnisations like Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad for the acts.

Lok Sabha | 8.19 p.m.

BJP MP Keshari Devi Patel begins raising concerns about the four-laning of the Prayagraj to Lucknow national highway and seeks expressway status for it.

Lok Sabha | 8.18 p.m.

Zero Hour begins

Lok Sabha | 8.17 p.m.

Congress, DMK and IUML MP walks out

Amid the uproar during the Finance Minister's reply speech, Congress, DMK and IUML MPs walk out of the House.

"Congress does not have the patience to sit in the House and face the truth. Instead, they run away," the Finance Minister says at their walkout.

Lok Sabha | 8.05 p.m.

While recounting the measures taken to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Ms. Sitharaman also quelled concerns, especially in Kerala, about the higher import duties on umbrellas.

“25 million umbrellas come to this country every year and from only one country and you know which country that is. Prior to the Budget, they attracted 10% basic customs duty and parts attracted only 5%. We got a lot of representations including from the MSME associations who said shouldn’t we be protected under AtmaNirbhar Bharat?” she said.

“What is the pain in doing this? It is not against any one State as everybody uses umbrellas. Even this attracted so much noise,” the minister noted.

- Vikas Dhoot

Lok Sabha | 7.49 p.m.

On BSNL

The Finance Minister says the BSNL has been subject to a lot of misinformation also. "People who couldn't give 4G to BSNL are today asking questions of BSNL whose revival is thanks to PM Modi," she says.

"I will tell you how. Listen to me... when I state the facts, they want to shout me down. BSNL was formed in 2000 but there was an agreement at the time that the annual licence fee will be reimbursed till 2010, but in 2006, the UPA stopped paying the reimbursement."

"The BSNL was in the ICU queue, because of the Congress."

The FM adds, "In 2010, MTNL was suddenly told that the prices set by the auction should be paid by it for broadband wireless access, so a cash-rich company suddenly had to pay Rs 11,000 crore and became a loss-making company overnight." "BSNL was killed slowly, MTNL was killed, this was done in 2010 also," she alleges.

She says that in February 2014, there was a proposal to give annual financial support to BSNL and MTNL, which was postponed. Tendering systems were delayed so many times which caused losses to BSNL, the Minister adds.

"In 2005, BSNL had a 19% market share that has slowly collapsed to 7.96% due to their non-cooperative approach. Their intentions were not right, leaving BSNL almost on the death bed."

Explaining the current government's efforts to revive the BSNL, Ms. Sitharaman says that in October 2019, cabinet approved Rs 69,000 crore of financial support. "For voluntary retirement, staff were paid. loans worth Rs 15,000 crore were given using a sovereign guarantee to both companies to repay their high interest loans," she adds.

"Today, crocodile's tears are being shed for BSNL. Minimum support that the government had to give at their time, wasn't given."

As Congress MP Shashi Tharoor interrupts her in between, Ms. Sitharaman says, "Shame on you, member Shashi Tharoor, Pardon me if this is unparliamentary. You shouldn't be so shameless. Come on, this is not done, What is this Shashi Tharoor."

She further says that the Government are mandatorily asking States as well as government departments and PSUs to utilise BSNL and MTNL services. "This was also not done in their time and now they are shedding crocodile tears."

Lok Sabha | 7.47 p.m.

Misleading remarks made on Armed Forces: Nirmala Sitharaman

Ms. Sitharaman says some misleading statements on the Armed Forces were made in the House.

"There is no decision taken in this government without the recommendations of the Armed Forces headquarters. Do you know and speak more about them, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury ji, it is wrong to spread misunderstandings over our armed forces," the FM says.

"Don't give misleading information about those protecting the country."

The Minister's statements draw loud criticism from the Congress and other Opposition MPs and lead to uproar in the House.

Amid the ruckus, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar says Mr. Chowdhury's own thoughts seem to be inthe right direction but someone else is directing him through messages to speak. "This is why he looks into his phone and rises to speak everytime," Mr. Tomar says.

Lok Sabha | 7.41 p.m.

The Finance Minister says that despite 2021 being the pandemic year, 15 Sustainable development goals have been included for reducing inequality.

"In 2013-14, Expenditure of Department of Agricultural Co-operation was Rs 19,000 crore. Today, it has increased by 6.6 times under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi."

She also talks about the formation of 10,000 farmer producer organisations and says the number is also getting increased.

Lok Sabha | 7.36 p.m.

On MSMEs

"For the MSME sector, Rs 20,000 crore have been given to subordinate debt, which will help those that are in distress. Second, Rs 3 lakh crore of collateral free emergency loan given for businesses has been raised to Rs 4.5 lakh crore and another Rs 50,000 crore have been for hospitality sector," she says.

"For the MSMEs, we have actually brought in segments, heard them and understood their problems."

She further tells the House that the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme has also been extended till March 31, 2023 and the amounts of loans sanctioned under it is now Rs 3.10 lakh crore. "The amount of disbursements made is now Rs 2.36 lakh crore."

Lok Sabha | 7.31 p.m.

Education and child labour

"There were questions about child labour getting reduced allocation. The allocation to the National Child Labour project under the Labour Ministry is for committed liabilities for schools till March 31, 2023. This program is getting subsumed into the Samagraha Shiksha Abhiyaan under the education ministry. This will create a much sharper focus through the Education department. We have also announced 200 TV channels to bridge the gap in education," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says.

"Very quickly, I will go to education. I have not reduced allocation. It was Rs 84,219 crore in 2020-21, this year, for the first time, it is up over 18% to Rs 1.04 lakh crore."

Lok Sabha | 7.26 p.m.

On Health Budget

Ms. Sitharaman says that some MPs said there was a reduction in Health budget, 2022-23. It is more than Rs 86,000 crore allocation, an increase from the last year, the FM responds.

As Opposition members shout from their benches, the Minister stops her speech and sits down in her seat.

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale, after Speaker Om Birla asks him if he was saying something earlier, reads some lines.

"Jinhone desh ke liye bahut diya hai dhan, Unka naam hai Nirmala Sitharaman," Mr. Athawale says while adding, "2024 mein, Narendra Modi ji ka aayega toofaan, aur Congress wala kat jaayega, TMC wala hat jaayega, aur baaki sab bhatak jaayega. The lines create a light and funny moment in the House.

Mr. Birla, laughing, tells the Opposition MPs that if they disturb, then Mr. Athawale will respond.

The FM resumes her speech and says that the COVID-19 related health preparedness expenditure has not been cut.

Lok Sabha | 7.24 p.m.

On minority welfare

On allocations for minority affairs, she says their BE is Rs 5,021 crore for 2022-23, 16% higher than the RE for 2021-22. "Outlays for education and empowerment of minority girls - RE for 2021-22 is Rs 1,215 crore, the BE for 2022-23 is Rs 1,300 crore," says the Minister.

"Sir, it's very interesting. Maybe I should have included in the Budget speech, but it is all part of the Budget documents. You are ready to criticise, but you should do a little study of the documents too."

Lok Sabha | 7.18 p.m.

The Finance Minister says there was a concern about social welfare schemes getting a reduction. "That is not true."

She recounts a rise in figures for welfare of SCs, STs, and says they are increasing, not reducing.

"One character you should remember of the UPA government. Everytime, the BE will be a big number and the RE will be half of it," she claims. "Look at what has been spent in 2013-14 for health by UPA - Rs. 37,330 crore. What was actually spent - Rs. 28,650 crore."

She says that in education, what was the amount in 2013-14, the BE was Rs 1,06,201 crore and the RE was Rs 71,322 crore. "Will someone ask them where did it go and why they couldn't spend it?" she asks.

"For 2020-21, actuals are available. Our BE was Rs 99,311 crore. What was the actual spend - Rs 84,219 crore."

"You can keep asking what I have done for SCs, STs... the numbers speak for themselves. In your case, it's all coal and 2G," Ms. Sitharaman says

Lok Sabha | 7.16 p.m.

Reduction of MGNREGS allocation

The Finance Minister says Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is a demand-driven programme and the Government will give as and when demand comes.

"This government had raised it to Rs 1.1 lakh crore when demand came earlier. Our Budget Estimate for 2021-22 was Rs 73,000 crore and the Revised Estimate was increased to Rs 98,000 crore. There is no reduction. We have never let it down," she says in the House. "The estimates that are mentioned are always the best estimates and will be changed if demand comes."

Lok Sabha | 7.14 p.m.

FM's response on unemployment

Many members said only 60 lakh jobs were talked about in the Budget, she says while clarifying, that was only for one scheme - the PLI scheme. "That doesn't mean it is the only scheme to generate employment," she says.

"The first principle is - employment generation would be a natural outcome, of... in general, when we are talking of high growth, and investment in infrastructure, these are not going to happen without jobs."

"The urban unemployment rate of January to March 2021-2022 has declined to pre-pandemic levels after peaking in 2020. In November 2021, we saw a net addition in the EPFO subscription peak at 13.9 lakh new members, 109% over the previous year and the highest since 2017," she further says.

Lok Sabha | 7.09 p.m.

Finance Minister responds to members' concerns on Budget

The Finance Minister says she will like to respond and clarify to some concerns raised by the Lok Sabha members.

"I first start with several members questioning the GDP growth projections, who said the real GDP growth rate mentioned in the Budget Speech and the Economic Survey are different," Ms. Sitharaman says. "I just want to say Sir, the projected growth in Survey for 2022-23 is 8%-8.5%."

She clarifies that the RBI estimates are slightly different and says that "with this projected growth rate, to arrive at the nominal growth rate, you need to top it up with the deflator".

"In the Budget projection, the growth rate is based on the National Statistical Office projections. The trend and the number are largely the same."

She says that the difference doesn't account for much, except that the advance estimates based on which the GDP growth is projected, was before Omicron. "So, there is not much worry if the numbers are different. Economic Survey uses another source, we use another and they are roughly in the same range," she notes.

"WPI is in double digits, while CPI is lower, therefore we expect a deflator of about 3%."

Lok Sabha | 7.06 p.m.

The FM says that last year as well as this year, the Government dwelt a lot on how the economy is to be restored after the pandemic. Based on that, RBI tried estimated that if the Government spent one rupee, what will be the multiplier effect?

"So RBI estimated, if you spend Rs. 1 on revenue expenditure without creating assets, the multiplier effect would be 45 paise," she says while adding, that would be less than half the money spent. "Another 10 paise of additional effect may come in the next year."

"RBI estimate again says that if you spend Rs. 1 on capital expenditure, the multiplier return would be Rs 2.45 and another Rs 3.14 will be added in the next year," the Minister says.

"Therefore, we thought public taxpayers money being spent in creating assets gives a better return and so we chose to spend on infrastructure building."

She further says it is very difficult to rationalise revenue expenditure, but the Government has managed to do so.

Lok Sabha | 7.05 p.m.

If the country is progressing, why oppose it, says Speaker

As the Opposition MPs create some ruckus amid the Finance Minister's speech, Speaker Om Birla says if the country is progressing, why oppose it.

Lok Sabha | 7.03 p.m.

FM compares India's performance with other major economies'

"Let's look at our performance vs global performance. This is World Economic Outlook's projection and still an estimate. But India in 2020 was -7.3%, this year, we will conclude at 9% growth and projected growth for 2022-23 is at 7.1%, fastest growing economy in this year and the next year. Compared to the US, they contracted less than us at 3.4%," says Ms. Sitharaman.

"Their recovery is also moving slower than us. In 2022, they are to grow at 4% while we grow at 9%."

As some Opposition MPs speak from their benches, she says, "If you don't have the ability to listen, it reflects your maturity."

The FM also shares growth rate patterns of Europe in the COVID pandemic period, to show India's recovery is better than other countries, be it emerging, developed or developing economy.

Lok Sabha | 6.59 p.m.

Have patience to hear my answers: Finance Minister as Opposition interrupts

As the Opposition members ask questions in between her speech, she says, "I would request some patience to hear my answers. I know some members have thrown wild allegations also, but have gone away and are not here to hear my reply."

She says that in 2008-09, India's current account had a 2.3% deficit. But our current account remained in surplus this time around.

So, I would request you to look at the positive outcomes of our management, she urges the Opposition members.

"In 2008-09, real GDP growth percentage were 3.1% and we contracted 6.6% in 2020-21," she says. "So 3.1% compared to our -6.6%, the nominal GDP growth was 12.6% in 2008-09, while we had a negative 1.4% growth."

"But inflation was 9.1% in their time, and 6.2% in our time. Forex reserves was at 250 billion at the time, at our time, it was nearly 650 billion dollars. FDI inflows were 8.3 billion, now it is 80.3 billion dollars under our watch," the FM says in the Lok Sabha.

Lok Sabha | 6.51 p.m.

Sitharaman says we handled crisis better than previous regimes

"One important point that we shouldn't lose sight of - this global crisis has been an absolute rare event in last 100 years. I would say for India, this is the fourth contraction in GDP triggered off by an international event," the FM says.

She says that in 1972-73, India's GDP contracted due to global oil crisis; in 1979-80, the GDP again contracted because of the Iran-Iraq war; in 2008-09, there was a reduction in the growth due to the global financial crisis. "But what we saw as the pandemic effect of a 6.6% contraction in 2020-21, no country had any comparable experience during the pandemic," Ms. Sitharaman says.

I would like to compare the global financial crisis and the solutions that were tried and what solutions we gave now, she says.

She says that the global financial crisis resulted in a reduced growth, constricted growth and the reduced gain in GDP was Rs. 2.12 lakh crore in 2008-09. The loss to GDP now is Rs. 9.57 lakh crore. "Despite supply side disruptions, India's CPI inflation was 6.2% in 2020-21 as compared to 9.1% in 2008-09," the FM notes.

"Look at the scope and the intensity by which the Indian economy had to contract."

She goes on to say, "What does it mean?  Today, despite the intense crisis, the CPI is well-contained and is only 6.2% showing that we managed the economy much better now." "It's very easy to constantly keep throwing at us what we are doing about inflation."

Lok Sabha | 6.50 p.m.

Ms. Sitharaman says the Government is also focusing on Youth through Khelo India and Fit India initiatives.

She adds that 1.5 lakh post offices will now have all sorts of banking services. Startups are being given a lot of encouragement, particularly to help in agriculture and value-addition, she notes while saying that "I am not getting into every Budget announcement".

Lok Sabha | 6.45 p.m.

5G will generate employment, says Finance Minister

Ms. Sitharaman also says that three crore houses had been sanctioned and two crore already completed under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. "So, that is the Amrit Kaal we are working towards," she says.

Further informing the House on Government's works, she says every village and household in the country has electricity and piped water connections, through Nal Se Jal Scheme, have also been reaching people.

The Finance Minister says 13.5 lakh MSME accounts were saved due to the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) and 1.5 crore worker have been saved from potential unemployment.

"1.7 billion people had been given free (COVID-19) vaccination, she claims and asks, "If all this doesn't lead India to Amrit Kaal, then what would?"

She also says the Budget had announced Rs 20,000 crore under the PLI scheme and four major multi-modal parks are being set up to help exporters.

"Sir, there are many more such announcements we have made - digital education, digital banking, the central bank is going to issue a digital currency, animation and visual effects so we can make good gaming and comics," the Minister says in her reply.

"5G services will generate new employment and we are providing an ecosystem for that too."

Lok Sabha | 6.43 p.m.

'Jan Dhan Scheme first step towards Amrit Kaal'

The Finance Minister says that the Jan Dhan Scheme brought in financial inclusion for all Indians and there are about 44.58 accounts under the scheme. She says these accounts, that were made fun of as  "zero balance accounts", today have "Rs 1.57 lakh crore as deposits". She adds that 55.6% of the Jan Dhan accounts are of women holders.

"That was the first step towards financial inclusion and Amrit Kaal," she says.

The Minister also tells the Lok Sabha that 44 unicorns have been successfully identified in the country between 2020 and 2021 and recognised.

She says that during the pandemic, 20 crore women were given Rs 500 each in their bank accounts through DBT.

"Rs. 2,000 was given to farmers every now and then so that they get a sum of Rs. 6,000 in a year," the FM says.

More than 29 lakh loans have been disbursed for street vendors, who wouldn't have had a chance to go to the bank otherwise, Ms. Sitharaman adds.

Lok Sabha | 6.40 p.m.

Finance Minister begins response to Budget discussion

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says she would have started all over again about the distinct features of the Budget. She says, "But I would like to start with the first speaker from the Opposition – maybe because his criticism began with Amrit Kaal over 25 years. 'Today it is Andh Kaal ' (dark era), he said."

"I thought we should go over that a bit more. Sir, there certainly was an Andh Kaal in this country and that was only because of Congress. In 1991, the Country had just two weeks of foreign exchange reserves left."

She says the inflation was in double digit during the 10 years of the UPA 1 and particularly UPA 2. She adds that was " Andh Kaal indeed".

She also attacks the Congress saying there were headlines of corruption everyday in newspapers and cites "coal scam, 2G scam".

"And not knowing how to deal with the country after the global financial crisis, and India becoming a fragile five economy with policy paralysis, so the Opposition member is referring to the situation they created as Andh Kaal," she says.

Ms. Sitharaman says the country's next 25 years towards at 100 would certainly be Amrit Kaal.

Lok Sabha | 6.09 p.m.

BJP MP Y. Devendrappa is speaking on the Budget in Kannada.

Lok Sabha | 6.04 p.m.

Airline market headed to duopoly, says Adhir Ranjan

Congress's Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says, with the privatisation of Air India, the airline market of India has become a duopoly. "The Tata Group owns Air India, Vistara and majority of Air Asia, combined to 42% of the market, and IndiGo owns another 37% of the market share," he says.

"This effectively reverses the liberalisation of 1990s which moved the airline market into a competitive sector."

Lok Sabha | 6.01 p.m.

'Target of launching 400 Vande Bharat trains unrealistic'

He says the Government claims to start 400 Vande Bharat trains. He says the tender to deliver the trains was given to Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli and Integral Coach Factory, Chennai. "MCF Kapurthala and MCF Raebareli are not even ready to begin manufacturing of Vande Bharat trains while ICF Chennai has delivered just two trains since 2018," he notes.

Addressing the Finance Minister, he says, to launch 400 trains within the targeted deadline of 2024, the Government will have to launch three trains per week. "Do you have the infrastructure?" he asks the Finance Minister.

Lok Sabha | 5.50 p.m.

'12.2 crore jobs lost in two years'

Citing a report (from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy) , Mr. Chowdhury says Mr. Modi had promised to create two crore jobs every year but after seven years, instead of 14 crore new jobs being created, more than 12.2 crore jobs had been lost in the last two years.

He also claims that nobody knows what the Government's road-map was as only "Mr. Modi knew knew what was going to happen the next day in the country".

He says, "The rate of crude oil in 2009 was $109/barrel and the petrol was being sold at Rs 68/litre in India and now in 2022, crude oil's rate in the International market is $78.85/barrel but you are selling petrol at Rs 110/litre."

"The cost of one litre petrol has gone up by 62%, and the cost of one litre diesel by 67%," Mr. Chowdhury while naming other commodities which have gotten expensive, including LPG, pulses, vegetables, oils among others.

Lok Sabha | 5.42 p.m.

One India belongs to Haves, other to Have-nots: Adhir

Mr. Chowdhury says Rahul Gandhi talks about two Indias. One India belongs to Haves and the other to Have-nots, he adds.

He cites a Government response given in the Rajya Sabha to note that more than 25,000 people killed themselves in the country due to unemployment or indebtedness.

He says Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed the dream of 'achhe din', but the people of the country are today saying " Modi lauta de mere bure din (Mr. Modi, give me back my bad days)".

Lok Sabha | 5.36 p.m.

No road for future in Budget: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says the Budget is perceived to be the road-map for the future. "There may be a map but there is no road in the Budget document," he says, while claiming that it was just a compilation of "rambling stories coupled with intricate word".

Lok Sabha | 5.29 p.m.

Praising Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Mr. Rudy says it was the first time the country had announced a capital investment of about Rs 7.5 lakh crore.

Lok Sabha | 5.27 p.m.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy praises PM Modi's vision

BJP MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy says the Government had promoted sustainable development as he cites the example of bridges on National Highways passing through forests, giving passage to elephants and other animals.

He also commended the plan of making rope-ways in the parts where it was difficult to build roads. He adds that rope-ways were also environment friendly.

Lok Sabha | 5.07 p.m.

BJP MP Sunita Duggal says the Railway Budget, during West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee's tenure, used to only focus on her State.

Lok Sabha | 5.04 p.m.

General discussion on Budget

Speaker Om Birla begins General discussion on the Union Budget 2022-23.

Lok Sabha | 5.00 p.m.

Question Hour ends; papers being laid on the table

Papers are now being laid on the table in the Lok Sabha.

Date | Time | 4.32 p.m.

Airstrips under UDAN scheme

BJP MP from Arunachal East, Tapir Gao asks about the completion of the three airstrips under the UDAN scheme in Arunachal Pradesh.

Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia says north-eastern States and hilly and island States have been given a priority in the scheme. He says the detailed project report (DPR) for the three projects had been prepared and sent to the State Government and the work would be undertaken at a faster pace once the State Government responds.

Lok Sabha 4.23 p.m.

Completion of Smart Cities Mission

Adding to his answer to Mr. Adoor Prakash, Mr. Puri says the period for completion of a smart city project is five years and notes that out of 100 cities, 75 have Integrated Command and Control Centres functioning in them and the work was in advanced stages of completion in the remaining cities.

"I make this statement with a sense of responsibility before august House that by August 15, 2022, all of them (Integrated Command and Control Centres) will be operational," he says.

Lok Sabha | 4.21 p.m.

Development of Smart Cities

Noting the deadline for the completion of Smart City Mission in Thiruvanathapuram is June 2023, Congress MP Adoor Prakash claims that the progress of the various projects has not even completed the work-order stage. He demands a review of the progress of the projects in the city and asks if the Government will conduct a review meeting and a take measures for the faster implementation of the projects.

Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri responds saying the 73% of projects in Thiruvananthapuram are in work-order stage and 21% had been completed while adding that the Government will review the projects in 2022 and 2023 and will complete them on time.

He also notes that the work-order stage means that a project is in advance stages.

Lok Sabha | 4.10 p.m.

Electricity generation from waste

Shiv Sena MP Rahul Ramesh Shewale asks if the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy was planning on funding and finalising the technology for the waste to energy programmes as he claims that the PPP model for such programmes was not effective?

Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, R. K. Singh says the programme was now being funded by the Ministry of Urban Development, but add that when his department was funding it, it did not prescribe the technology and left it to the developers. He adds that the programme was not on PPP model while under his ministry.

He also tells the House that it has been made mandatory for the distribution company to purchase the power generated through waste to energy plants no matter the cost.

Lok Sabha | 4.02 p.m.

Question Hour taken up

Question Hour has been taken up in the Lok Sabha.

Lok Sabha | 4.00 p.m.

Lok Sabha begins

Proceedings in the Lok Sabha have begun.

Rajya Sabha | 3:15 pm

Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day

After extending the session for 15 minutes, the deputy chariman adjourns the House for the day. Session to reconvene at 10 am tomorrow.

Rajya Sabha | 2:51 pm

Discussion on the Budget continues

G.V.L. Narasimha Rao (BJP) says unemployment in U.P. is 3% and in Congress ruled Rajasthan it is 18%. India’s unemployment fell to 11 month low in January, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 2:40 pm

"Union govt. has created employment in vigilante department"

Syed Nasir Hussain (Congress) says the government has given jobs in a new department - vigilante department. Latest is the hijab vigilante department, he says.

Abdul Wahab (IUML) says no company will invest in the country if society is not in order. "Girls wearing hijab in Karnataka are not being allowed to go to college. We need to eradicate hate economy. It is as dangerous as corruption or black money."

Rajya Sabha | 2:15 pm

Discussion on the Budget continues

Rajmani Patel (Congress) says this is not Bharat’s Budget, it is India’s Budget, written in Nagpur and printed in Delhi.

Rajya Sabha | 1:57 pm

On employment

K.J. Alphons (BJP) says we don’t claim to have done everything, we are in the process. Global inequality is a fact. What is the Opposition’s solution?, he asks.

You people spread canards that Christians are being persecuted. The Pope looked happiest when embracing PM Modi, says Mr. Alphons

Anyone who creates jobs, whether its Ambani or Adani, should be worshipped, he says.

Mahesh Poddar (BJP) says those days are over when Budget was used to make election promises.

Rajya Sabha | 1:45 pm

Discussion on the Budget continues

Prashanta Nanda (BJD) says this Budget has no answer to price rise problems faced by middle class, poor and farmers.

Burden on States has increased due to hike in states’ share of Central schemes, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 1:20 pm

"Union Budget is welfare-oriented, all-inclusive"

Sudhanshu Trivedi (BJP) says this is a welfare-oriented, all-inclusive development Budget.

Rajya Sabha | 1:00 pm

Discussion on the Budget continues

M.V. Shreymas Kumar (LJD) says the Budget speech does not even mention MGNREGA, and at this rate the scheme will come to a standstill.

Akhilesh Prasad Singh (Congress) says he has seen a dozen Budgets as an MLA, as Lok Sabha MP and now as Rajya Sabha MP and has never seen such a direction-less Budget.

Rajya Sabha | 12:48 pm

Discussion on the Budget continues

Ram Nath Thakur, JD(U), says there should be food processing units in all districts, this will lead to employment generation.

Government should have the caste census done and it should be included in this Budget, Mr. Thakur says.

He says that the farmers are in a bad condition and the govt. has reduced allocation for MGNREGA. Centre should give Bihar special category status, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 12:38 pm

Discussion on the Budget continues

Anil Desai (Shiv Sena) says expectations and hopes of the common people are completely belied in this Budget. This Budget has left poor people high and dry, he says.

Jose K. Mani, KC(M), says India’s public spending as a percentage of GDP is the lowest of BRICS countries. The Budget has not addressed millions of Indians affected by COVID-19.

Rajya Sabha | 12:20 pm

On MGNREGA

Vandana Chavan (NCP) MP says that a separate cadre for municipal officers should be created. There should be a scheme for urban poor on the lines of MGNREGA, she says.

Rajya Sabha | 12:05 pm

Discussion on the Budget continues

Sujeet Kumar (BJD) MP, says that allocation to the health sector is less, and especially during the pandemic, it is worrisome.

"There is no mention of inflation and unemployment in the budget," he says.

Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD) says that no where the budget mentions about recruitment in defence sector.

He says that no vision for employment generation in railway sector. "We are a welfare State, don’t insult the poor by saying you are giving free vaccines."

Rajya Sabha | 11:43 am

Discussion on the Budget begins

Syed Zafar Islam (BJP) MP, Uttar Pradesh says that the UPA govt. did not do anything that was promised in their manifesto.

Chhaya Verma (INC) MP says that comments made by PM Modi that COVID-19 spread through migrants is shameful. When COVID-19 was spreading, you were busy toppling Madhya Pradesh government and were organising Namaste Trump, she alleges. "You reduced tax on diamonds and increased the price of artificial jewellery. Now, tell me, where do the maximum diamond traders come from?," she asks.

"Why don’t you bring women reservation bill?," she asks.

The moment elections are over in five States, people should be ready for increased petrol and LPG cylinder prices, she says.

"What was the need to build Rs 56,000 crore worth Central Vista during the time pf the pandemic?," she asks. 

Rajya Sabha | 11:31 am

Question Hour ends

The Deputy Chairman signals the end of Question Hour.

Rajya Sabha | 11:20 am

On unemployment

Labour minister Bhupendra Yadav says that there has been a 22% increase in employment compared to 2014. He says that latest periodic labour report says two lakh more jobs added despite COVID-19. "3 crore 80 lakh jobs created in formal sector post 2013-14," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 10:52 am

On tiger deaths

Bhupender Yadav, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change says that tigers die because of a myriad of reasons. Poaching, old age, health issues, in-fighting between them and electrification cause death. We do have stringent rules to reduce poaching, he says.

We have held meetings to bring out strict rules to criminalise poaching, and reports have been submitted, he adds.

He further says that many tigers live outside the designated tiger reserves. "I admit that there is a serious issue of human-animal conflict, and we will bring it down in areas of dense human population."

According to the Wild Life Protection Act, we have brought out guidelines to reduce human deaths in human-animal conflicts, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 10:46 am

On Priyanka Gandhi's tweet

Arun Singh (BJP), referring to Priyanka Gandhi’s tweet, without naming her, asks when will her account be blocked?

Ms. Gandhi has said that students should wear bikinis and go to schools if they want to.

Mr. Murugan says that we have a three tier mechanism, and a self regulatory body is there, inter department committees are there, and as per norms we will initiate action against fake news and those who write against the national sovereignty of the country.

Rajya Sabha | 10:41 am

Press Council of India

Dr. L. Murugan, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, as a response to a question by Vivek Tankha (INC) MP, says that Press Council of India is an autonomous body.

Mr. Tankha asked why there is no head for the PCI yet since November, and why has the govt. not done anything about it.

Manoj Jha (RJD) asks about steps taken to curb online harassment of women journalists, and Mr. Murugan says that it is an IPC offence, and is a State subject, and the union govt. cannot act on it.

Rajya Sabha | 10:30 am

Question Hour begins

Zero Hour is completed, and Question Hour begins.

Rajya Sabha | 10:30 am

Zero hour continues

Governments of West Bengal and Jharkhand encourage illegal mining, alleges a BJP MP from Jharkhand.

K.C. Ramamurthy (BJP) says that students getting lured by advertisements by Ed tech companies and private tuition centres. 

Kailash Soni (BJP) says,"I want to mention the murder of Kishan Bharwad in Gujarat. ATS has revealed that the accused wanted to kill Sudarshan TV’s Suresh Chavhanke along with 11 others." He says that security to nationalist Suresh Chavhanke and Jitendra Tyagi (alias Wasim Rizvi) should be provided.

Rajya Sabha | 10:14 am

Protests in the House

TRS MPs are in the Well of the House with placards to oppose the PM’s statement on Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Bill.

Rajya Sabha | 10:12 am

Zero hour begins

Manoj Jha (RJD) urges the House to open all universities and colleges. He says that many students don’t have digital access to education.

John Brittas (CPI-M) says that Covid has further deteriorated the situation of senior citizens in the country.

Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge speaks on the remarks made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill.

Rajya Sabha | 10:02 am

Rajya Sabha proceedings begin

The House convenes at 10 am. Papers are being laid on the table.

Rajya Sabha

List of Business in Rajya Sabha (10:00 am)

1. Papers to be laid on the table

2. Report of Standing Committee on Home Affairs

3. Reports of study visit of the Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

4. Further general discussion on the Union Budget

5. Statements by Ministers

6. Question Hour

Lok Sabha

List of Business in Lok Sabha (4:00 pm)

1. Question Hour

2. Papers to be laid on the table

3. Reports of study visit of the Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

4. Further general discussion on the Union Budget

5. Report of Standing Committee on Home Affairs

6. Matters under Rule 377

Recap

Day 8 recap

Ladakh MP further said Galwan valley is a large region and India had lost most of it during Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's regime.

Nirmala Sitharaman, replying to a query, says the amount of Rs. 1 lakh crore is above the States' borrowing limits and will be given for a period of 50 years with zero interest.

Aam Aadmi Party's Chief Ministerial candidate for Punjab Assembly polls and MP Bhagwant Mann raised the issue of pending cases against people involved in the farmers protest against the three farm laws (now repealed).

Discussion on the Union Budget was held in both the Houses.

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