Parliament proceedings | September 20, 2020

The Lok Sabha on September 20, 2020.   | Photo Credit: LSTV

Rajya Sabha on Sunday witnessed chaos as the ruling party passed the contentious Agriculture Bills amidst prolonged protests by the Opposition. The protesting MPs occupied the well and shouted slogans, resulting in the Upper House being adjourned for a brief duration.

Also read: Why are the Agriculture Bills being opposed

The Lok Sabha passed the National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020, the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020 and the Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020. A bill to amend the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act has also been introduced in the House.

(For a concise report on the daily going-ons in the Parliament, subscribe to our political newsletter. Subscribe here and get it in your inbox.)

Here are the latest updates:

00.05 pm | Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha extended for another half an hour.

11.50 pm | Lok Sabha

The House in now taking up Zero Hour.

11.30 pm | Lok Sabha

MPs continue to raise issues of public importance.

NCP's Supriya Sule speaks about Maratha reservations in Maharashtra. BJP's Girish Bapat spoke about the rising coronavirus cases in Pune .

Smriti Irani asks the speaker to allow woman MPs to speak first.

10.50 pm | Lok Sabha

MPs raise issues of public importance

BJP's Rajkumar Ranjan Singh speaks about the Cabinet decision for the National Recruitment Agency to conduct common eligibility test in multiple languages for government jobs. Mr. Singh requests that the exam be conducted in all languages of Eighth Schedule.

Shiv Sena's Sambhajirao Mane raiseS issue of Maratha reservation in Maharashtra.

BJP's Sujay Vikhepatil urges the government to remove ban on export of onions.

10.25 pm | Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha passes Salaries and Allowances Of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020

The Salaries and Allowances Of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020 passed in Lok Sabha.

Opposing an ordinance issued earlier this year to effect the salary and allowance cut, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said in Lok Sabha that the move was like being “penny wise and pound foolish.” He said more money was spent in preparing copies of the bill than the amount saved in cutting allowances of ministers.

Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said the idea was more to do with contributing to a cause. All including, the amount saved will be ₹4 crore, the minister said.

10.10 pm | Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha passes Bilateral Netting Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020

The Bilateral Netting Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020,  is passed in the Lok Sabha.

10.00 pm | Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha passes Rashtriya Raksha University Bill,  2020

Lok Sabha passes the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill,  2020 through voice vote.

9.55 pm | Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha passes National Forensic Science University Bill,  2020

The National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020, is passed in the Lok Sabha.

9.40 pm | Lok Sabha

Health Ministry received ₹893.93 crore from PM-CARES, Harsh Vardhan informs Lok Sabha

Between March 16- March 23, most governments has imposed either partial or full lockdown. It was PM's wisdom... the Janta curfew was an innovative idea to prepare the nation and also gauge the readiness, says Harsh Vardhan.

I have previously in my statement stated how lockdown prevented cases and deaths, according to professional independent studies.

The government brought back over 12 lakh Indian stranded abroad via Vande Bharat, he adds.

My Ministry was given ₹893.93 crore from PM CARES for 50,000 make in India ventilators, he says.

9.15 pm | Lok Sabha

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury reads out part of an article from The Hindu

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, says the pandemic impact could have been mitigated better.

Everything has been done in a haphazard way since the beginning, he says. Mr. Chowdhury also highlights lack of data on COVID deaths among medical professionals.

India saw the highest number of doctor's death during the pandemic, he adds. 

I have doubts over number of number of deaths due to corona. I think there is a serious underreporting in our country. To support this, Mr. Chowdhury reads out part of an article published in The Hindu titled 'Covid-19 deaths may be higher than reported'.

The government is still not accepting that there is community transmission.

He asks how much funds Health Ministry received from PM Cares fund.

He suggests that there should be separate ministry for migrants labourers. Government took no measures for migrant workers which we can appreciate. More than 1000 such workers have lost their lives.

9.00 pm | Lok Sabha

We should stand together for the country, says Nishikant Dubey

Nishikant Dubey says, that how the country worked together has not been highlighted.

"Over one lakh labourers from my constituency were stranded outside," he says.

 This is one subject where religions, caste creed all broke down, he says giving the examples of MPs present in the House who were active during the crisis. He credits the Prime Minister for bringing everyone together in the fight against the pandemic.

We should keep  up this 'unity in diversity', in this tough times and stand together for the country, says the BJP MP.

8.50 pm | Lok Sabha

BJD MP Achyutanand Samant claims that the COVID-19 death rate in Odisha is lesser than the national average.

 BSP's Shiromani Ram Verma says that even though the salaries of MPs have been cut, facilities and services are not reaching the poor. He demands the continuation of free ration to the poor and also demands that the government provide free internet and laptops to poor students.

8.40 pm | Lok Sabha

 PM Cares should cover atleast 50% cost of COVID tests in Tamil Nadu, says AIADMK MP

P. Raveendranath Kumar, says, Tamil Nadu has already incurred costs of about ₹7,200 on various relief measures and updating infrastructure. A further ₹2,000 crore is expected to be needed for which request has been made to Centre for assistance.

More than 80,000 tests are performed per day at the cost of nearly ₹400 crore, he said, adding that atleast 50% of the test cost should be covered under PM Cares, says the AIADMK MP.

8.25 pm | Lok Sabha

India moving towards mental health emergency: Anupriya Patel

Anupriya Patel, of Apna Dal, says, India is doing about 10 lakh tests per day and have till now done about 6.37 crore tests.

India in these Covid times, it seems is also moving towards a mental health emergency. The fear of Coronavirus, the lockdown stress, the economic slowdown and loss of jobs has left people isolated and depressed. And this depression is taking every age group in its group whether young or old.

There has been an increase in the web search for the word 'suicide' in the past one month which is like an emergency alarm, she says.

I expect the Health Minister to wake up to the call and intervene not just by creating awareness but also addressing 87% shortage of mental health professionals in the country, Ms. Patel adds.

8.05 pm | Lok Sabha

Increase insurance cover for COVID warrior: Jayadev Galla

Across the world, stimulus response varied from 1% of GDP to even 25% of GDP. Our package was supposed to be somewhere in the middle. However, when the stimulus package to the tune of ₹20-lakh crore was announced, we saw that the points were focused on resolving issues on the supply side. There was nothing to bring in demand. Even at the highest estimate, the cost to the government is expected to be just ₹4 lakh crore which is less than 2% of the GDP, says Jayadev Galla

Requests that insurance cover for COVID warrior be extended, adds the TDP MP.

7.55 pm | Lok Sabha

How will students access digital education when there is no 4G in J&K, asks Hasnain Masoodi

Jammu Kashmir was already under a lockdown. Because of the nationwide lockdown about one lakh of our workers were stranded in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. There was no provision of social distancing for them there, leading to infections. Once they came back to Jammu & Kashmir, again there was no provision for isolating them, so the infection spread. We didn't have infrastructure, due to which we face troubles. I am not saying work was not done, doctors worked hard , says Hasnain Masoodi.

In Jammu, there is shortage of beds, oxygen and ambulance takes ₹1 lakh to take patients to Delhi and ₹30,000 to take patients to Pathankot, says the NC MP.

Focus is on digital education, but when there is no 4G how will students access digital education. There is a need to focus on Jammu and Kashmir and strengthen infrastructure.

7.45 pm

Rajnath Singh briefs on ruckus in Rajya Sabha today

There has been an attempt to mislead farmers, says Rajnath Singh.

He says the misbehaviour with Deputy Chairman Harivansh has been seen by the whole country.

This hasn't ever happened in Parliament history. That it happened in the Rajya Sabha is an even bigger issue. We consider the Rajya Sabha the house of elders, says Rajnath Singh.

This is against the dignity of Parliament.

It is the chairman's prerogative, says Rajnath Singh when asked about the Opposition's no confidence motion against the Deputy Chairman.

Can there be violence in a healthy democracy, he asks

 

7.30 pm | Lok Sabha

Any distribution mechanism to provide vaccine: Karti P. Chidambaram

The government's handling of the COVID-19 crisis has been a series of stumbles, blunders and mis-steps. It has been the story of strictest lockdown in the world, smallest actual fiscal stimulus, leading to the biggest plummeting of the GDP, only for us to become the world's COVID epicenter, asks Karti P. Chidambaram.

He further asks the centre if they have prepared any road map to provide vaccine.

What's the distribution mechanism to provide vaccine, it will take till 2024 for every Indian to get doses of vaccine. Has the government thought anything on this, asks Mr. Chidambaram.

He highlighted that there is no data on how many healthcare professionals, police officials and migrant workers have been affected by corona. "We have no data on the sufferings of people of the country."

FM should be worried about the 23% decline in GDP due to unplanned lockdown, Instead they are making political speeches, pointing at us.

The government with great fan fare announced ₹20-lakh crore package... In my opinion Shakuntala Devi also won't know how many zeros are there... Not one person I know has benefited from the package, says Mr. Chidambaram.

 

7.10 pm | Lok Sabha

Is India under community transmission, asks NCP MP  Amol Ramsingh Kolhe

The government is praising itself that recovery rate is good, mortality rate has declined... But we can't hide from the truth that due to corona 90,000 people have lost their lives in the country. And this does not include indirect deaths such migrant worker deaths due to lockdown, families ending life due to business collapse, says Amol Ramsingh Kolhe.

I want to ask the Health Minister whether or not there is community transmission in India. If the answer if yes, it proves all policies of the government have failed. If the answer is no, then how do have about one lakh new cases everyday, the NCP MP adds.

Youths are ready to donate plsama, but there is no clear directive by ICMR on it, Why? questions Mr. Sawant.

It is unfortunate that there is no data on death of medical professionals whom we had showered with flowers.

He also, raises concerns over Centre's decision to stop supplying medical equipment and PPEs to Maharashtra.

6.50 pm | Lok Sabha

Plight of migrants due to "unplanned" lockdown: S. T. Hasan

Dr. S. T. Hasan from SP describes the plight of migrants due to "unplanned" lockdown. We bought ventilator using our MPLAD funds, but we can't use it because of lack of infrastructure. I request the Health Minister to develop infrastructure.

He also suggests use of Russian vaccine.

There is no data on people who migrated, died, journalist who lost their lives... They should be compensated, he adds.

6.35 pm | Lok Sabha

No community spread of COVID-19 in India, says JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh

Instead of working on a strategy to fight Covid-19 pandemic, time is being spent on critisizing PM Narendra Modi. If you have a suggestion, convert it to the government. The more you critisize Mr Modi, the more his popularity increases,  says JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh.

There is no country which is not impacted. There are also discussions globally on whether its natural or man-made virus. It is due to efforts of the government that we don't have community spread of the virus, adds Mr. Singh.

He highlights that food distribution [under Centre's Covid-19 package] is being done on the basis of 2011 census. The number of families has gone up since then, he adds, while requesting that the Centre discuss this with States, get a survey done and provide food according to actual number of families.

 

6.30 pm | Lok Sabha

Nama Nageswara Rao, says we have accepted migrant workers as our 'brothers' and provided them with the best possible help.

The TRS MP further adds we must focus now to improve GDP. He further urges the central government to release pending GST compensation to the States, stating that these if released will help States deal with COVID-19.

On the other hand, BSP MP from Nagina Girish Chandra brings up the issue of the lack of oxygen faced by many hospitals.

6.10 pm | Lok Sabha

People were given only four hour notice before lockdown, says Arvind Ganpat Sawant

Shiv Sena's Arvind Ganpat Sawant says,  People were given only four hour notice before the lockdown. 

There was chaos in cities like Mumbai, people came on to the roads...if time was given before lockdown, people could have planned whether they want to stay or go back to their villages. If Railways services were available... the infection rate in Mumbai could have been lower.  The streets of Mumbai saw more number of people than the number of people who would have come to streets post Partition.

On one hand Centre says we will not provide PPEs to States anymore, on the other it is not clearing GST dues, and then talks about 'Atmanirbharta', he adds.

5.55 pm | Lok Sabha

Andhra Pradesh testing more than 72,000 people per day: YSRCP MP

During the discussion, YSRCP's Beesetti Venkata Satyavathi says Andhra Pradesh is testing more than 72,000 people per day.

She further lists more measures taken by the State, adding that these may be replicated in other parts of the country.

5.45 pm | Lok Sabha

Rather than blaming each other we should work mutually, says Trinamool MP

Kalyan Banerjee of Trinamool says, much before introducing the Ayushman Bharat scheme, our State govt. had already introduced Swasthya Sathi scheme which provides free treatment in government hospitals.

The central government wasted golden moments to contain spread of COVID-19.

He disapproves Finance MInister's statement that West Bengal has not given the number of migrant labourers to the Centre, saying that the figures were provided on 23 June, i.e 13,84,693.

He speaks about the COIVD testing rate in West Bengal and how the State government has taken up adequate steps to control COVID situatuion in State.

He says funds should be given to States from PM CARES fund. He also highlights that GST arrears should be paid to States, who are already reeling under financial pressure.

In this present circumstances, rather than blaming each other we should work mutually, he adds.

We are in the midst of biggest economic crisis the world has ever seen. This pandemic has devastated economies around the world.

5.25 pm | Lok Sabha

We should have woken up then when first COVID case was reported in February: Dayanidhi Maran

DMK's Dayanidhi Maran says, first case of Corona was in Kerala in February. We should have woken up then and closed our borders.

Everytime PM comes to speak at 8 p.m., there's a bad news. Similar thing happened in 2016 when he announced demonetisation and made people stand in queues to withdraw their own money," he says.

He criticised the government and the prime minister for imposing lockdown abruptly within four hours of the announcement.

There should be some good advisors in the Cabinet to tell the PM, what you are doing is wrong, he said.

He further added that lockdown period was not utilised to develop infrastructure.

5.20 pm | Lok Sabha

All countries feeling helpless now:  Kirit Solanki

BJP MP Kirit Solanki, says, as a doctor he has witnessed various diseases but the situation is such now that all countries are feeling helpless.

He says that nurses, frontline health workers were given financial assistance, adding that woman account holders were given ₹500 in their Jan Dhan Account.

5.00 pm | Lok Sabha

Government failed to curb COVID-19: Shashi Tharoor

As Lok Sabha discusses COVID-19 situation,  Shashi Tharoor shares WHO data to state that India has the highest number of daily Infections and deaths in the world.

Government did not listen to Rahul Gandhi's warning. Instead it was more interested in toppling the government in Madhya Pradesh.

He highlights the failure of the government to curb COVID-19, adding that government's ₹20,000 crore package inspired little confidence.

He states that there was minimal effort by government to reach out and consult other stakeholders, particularly state governments in opposition.

The Opposition MP also spoke about the danger faced by students while giving exams and thanked the healthcare workers for their services.

4.50 pm | Lok Sabha

FCRA Bill will not take away anyone's rights: Nityanand Rai

Nityanand Rai, MoS Home Affairs, says on FCRA Bill that it will not take away anyone's  rights.

Aadhar details are being sought, not in violation of Supreme Court judgment. He further adds religious organisations may accept foreign contributions as per  the previous version of the law.

4.40 pm | Lok Sabha

Trinamool Congress opposes FCRA Bill

Trinamool Congress MP,  Sougata Roy, termed the FCRA Bill as Big Brother watching, stating that it was an attempt to stop foreign contributions.

Social organisations working in tribal and rural areas will not be able to accept contributions, he adds.

 

4.35 pm | Lok Sabha

Congress opposes FCRA Bill

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claims that Bill puts unnecessary powers in hands of Central  governemnt to suppress opposition.

He also opposes the clause making Aadhar mandatory , referring to the Supreme Court judgment which prevents the government from doing so.

Manish Tewari says, the FCRA has unfortunately been used against the government's critics..

4.20 pm | Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha proceedings resume.

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 has been introduced in Lok Sabha.

4.10 pm | Rajya Sabha

Opposition parties move no-confidence motion against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh

Opposition parties have moved a no-confidence motion around 3:40 p.m. against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh

The parties that signed the resolution of no-confidence include Congress, RJD, CPI, CPI (M) NCP, TRS, SP, IUML and TMC.

3.10 pm | Lok Sabha

Congress member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury requests Speaker Om Birla that Lok Sabha working be suspended till Rajya Sabha stalemate ends.

Speakers says need to continue proceedings as important issue like COVID-19 need to be discussed. However, Mr. Chowdhury persists with his request.

Lok Sabha adjourned till 4 p.m.

3 pm | Lok Sabha

Bills to be introduced

-The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020.

Bills for consideration and passing

-The National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020 -The Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020 -The Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020.

-The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

2 pm | Rajya Sabha

Not allowed to move resolution, murder of Parliamentary system: Derek O'Brien

TMC MP Derek O'Brien, in a video released from outside the Rajya Sabha, alleged that the ruling party did not have the requisite number of votes to pass the Bill, and hence did not allow the Opposition to move resolutions asking that the Bill be sent to select committees.

"This is a brutal murder of our Parliamentary system," he said.

The rule of the House says that if one member also asks for voting, it should be granted, but this government knew that it would not be in a position to pass the Bill, he said. Mr. O'Brien said that there were 13 or 14 Opposition parties, including TMC, AAP, Congress, BJD, SP, DMK, CPM, CPI opposing the Bill.

He also alleged that he had been manhandled by the Marshals.

1.41 pm | Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha back in action.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh rejects requests for voice vote saying that the demand cannot be made if the members are not in their seats (Opposition continues to protest in the well.)

Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 passed amidst Opposition protests.

House adjourned till 9 a.m. on September 20.

1.05 pm | Rajya Sabha

Agri Bills put to vote amidst protests

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar winds up his speech among commotion.

Deputy Chairman calls for voice vote as the protests continue. Amendments are being taken up amid shouting.

MP Derek O'Brien stand in front of Deputy Chairman's seat, attempts to show him the rulebook as the Deputy Chairman ploughs through the procedures to pass the Bill.

Parliament proceedings | September 20, 2020
 

Marshals push away some MPs from the Deputy Chairman's desk. Opposition continues shouting. Marshals remove some MPs' hands from the Deputy Chairman's mics.

Marshal tried to stop MPs from damaging the mics in front of Deputy Chairman.

Marshal tried to stop MPs from damaging the mics in front of Deputy Chairman.  

 

It appears as through the audio feed has been cut as protests continue. Deputy Chairman Harivansh seems to be speaking to some of the protesting MPs in the well. The audio remains cut. Video shows desk mics dangling from their positions.

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 1.40 p.m., according to Rajya Sabha TV.

1 pm | Rajya Sabha

Deputy Chairman Harivansh asks if the House agrees to extend proceedings from 1 p.m. till disposal of the Bills, and ruling party says yes. Opposition protests, and some members head to the well of the House. Deputy Chairman asks them to return to their seats, in vain.

Leader of Opposition Gulam Nabi Azad says that the norm is that the House timing is extended on the basis of consensus, not numbers. He says that the consensus is that the House be adjourned for the day.

Deputy Chairman refuses.

12.50 pm | Rajya Sabha

Farmers will continue to get MSP, assures Minister Tomar

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar begins his reply to the discussion in the Upper House on the two Agri Bills.

He reiterates that the Bill does not deal with MSPs, and there is no need to worry about that.

"Not just these Bills, many steps have been taken to double farmers' income in the past six years. There is no need to doubt that farmers will continue to get MSP," says Mr. Tomar.

Minister continues to speak amid commotion.

12.45 pm | Rajya Sabha

Congress MP Ahmed Patel speaks on the Agri Bills.

Responding to criticism that Congress had the same provisions in their manifesti, Mr. Patel says that the Congress party had proposed measures to protect farmers and MSP. However, BJP MPs have selectively picked two points from the manifesto and is accusing Congress of hypocrisy, he says.

12.35 pm | Rajya Sabha

Newly sworn-in MP and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda speaks on the Agri Bills.

A brief interruption as some MPs point out that he's not wearing a mask while speaking.

"The entire House, all of us are concerned about farmers. Farmers are the backbone of the country," says Mr. Deve Gowda.

Parliament proceedings | September 20, 2020

Prime Minister should explain what the Bills will do for farming community, he says.

As he does not conclude his speech within alloted time despite multiple warnings, Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh cuts off his speech and asks Ahmed Patel to start his speech.

12.15 PM | Rajya Sabha

Read your own manifesto first: BJP MP reacts to Congress criticism

Congress MP Shaktisinh Gohil says these two Agri Bills will ruin farmers.

Reacting to this, BJP MP Surendra Singh Nagar says Congress MPs should first read their own manifesto. He points out that Kerala, where Congress leaders get elected from, does not have an Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act.

Parliament proceedings | September 20, 2020

Do the opponents of the Bill not want farmers to earn more for their produce, he asks.

12.05 pm | Rajya Sabha

What is the compulsion to pass these Bills now, asks Tiruchi Siva

DMK MP Tiruchi Siva says we need to read between the lines to understand the compulsion to pass these agri Bills.

"When farmers were agitating across the country, you didn't even listen to them. But now you are saying you are helping the farmers," says Mr. Tiruchi Siva.

11.55 am | Rajya Sabha

Akali Dal MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa too lends his voice to the Opposition's demand that the Bills be sent to a select committee or any other committee that speaks to farmers. He also asks that  Punjab and Haryana be exempted from the Bills.

Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh says his party opposes the Bills.

11.45 am | Rajya Sabha

If scrapping MSP is just a rumour, why did a Minister resign over it, asks Sanjay Raut

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut asks the Agriculture Minister if he can assure the country that with these Bills, farmers' income will double, that no farmer will die by suicide and that their children will not go to bed hungry.

Parliament proceedings | September 20, 2020
 

If it just a rumour that MSP won't be ended, why did a Minister of the government resign on the basis of a rumour, he asks.

CPI MP Binoy Viswam says that these Bills are the death knell of the Indian farmers.

He asks the Minister to move an amendment saying MSPs will not be done away with. Even though we oppose you politically, the CPI will support the Bills if you do so, he says.

11.40 am | Rajya Sabha

NCP MP Praful Patel opines that the government should have consulted experienced leaders like Sharad Pawar and Parkash Singh Badal before coming up with the Bills.

BSP MP Satish Chandra Mishra says that the primary reason for farmers' agitation is uncertainity regarding Minimum Support Price. Will MSP be done with, he asks. If you had clarified this in the Bill or rules, then the discussion would be different, he tells the government.

11.30 am | Rajya Sabha

LJD MP M.V. Shreyams Kumar asks the House to send the Bills to a select committee.

Tamil Maanila Congress MP G.K. Vasan says his party supports the Bills, but adds that the Agriculture Minister should address the doubts of farmers.

IUML MP Abdul Wahab says he opposes the Bills. The Bill will end up with the Supreme Court if it is passed, he says and echoes the demand of previous speakers that the Bills be sent to a select committee.

11.25 am | Rajya Sabha

Don't think Punjab's farmers are weak, warns Akali Dal MP

Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral starts speaking by saying that he wants the farmers to know that the Parliament is giving his party just two minutes to speak because of Harsimrat Kaur Badal's resignation.

Parliament proceedings | September 20, 2020
 

"There is a trust deficit or communication gap which is reflected in the contents of the Bills, which is why we are telling this party to send it to select committee," he says.

Don't think Punjab's farmers are weak, he warns the government.

11.20 am | Rajya Sabha

BJD MP Amar Patnaik says revolution of markets was long overdue. These two Bills are largely good on intent, but ignores implementation, he says.

He says there is possibility of cartelisation, and asks that the Bills be sent to a select committee.

11.10 am | Rajya Sabha

Referring to the farmer protests against the Bills, RJD MP Manoj Kumar Jha says farmers have issued a whip. "You have to decide if you want to stick to party lines," he says, alluding to the Chief Whip-system in the Parliament.

If the Bill is passed, you are writing the obituary of farmers, he tells the Agriculture Minister.

"This won't be restricted to Haryana and Punjab, it will go to Bihar. I would like to ask the BJP — what are you doing," says Mr. Jha.

11.05 am | Rajya Sabha

Modi model of preventing farmer suicide is not publishing data on the same: Ragesh

Speaking on the Bills, CPI (M) K.K. Ragesh says that the government had promised that the farmers' income would double by 2020. Did that happen, he asks.

Parliament proceedings | September 20, 2020
 

He says that instead, farmer suicides have doubled. And the government has found out a shortcut to prevent farmer suicide, by not publishing data regarding farmer suicide since 2016, says Mr. Ragesh.

This is the Modi model of preventing farmers suicide, he says.

"This is unfettered liberalisation of Indian agriculture. The government is abdicating its responsibility. There are some restrictions of the mandi system which need to be rectified. But mandi system offers remunerative prices to farmers," says Mr. Ragesh.

There should be a provision to declare MSPs for all agriculture produce in the Bill, he says.

11 am | Rajya Sabha

JD(U) MP Ram Chandra Prasad Singh says he supports both Bills.

He says that farmers in Bihar are getting MSP even after the State government did away with APMC in 2006, and hence worries that MSP will be affected by these amendments is unnecessary.

He suggests that farmers should get some minimum guarantee of how much income they can make per hectare.

10.50 am | Rajya Sabha

Congress being hypocritical, says Vijaisai Reddy

YSRCP MP V. Vijaisai Reddy says that he supports the Bills. However, why is tobacco farmers not included in ther purview of it, he asks.

He accuses the Congress of being hypocritical as it had included similar promises in its manifesto. He accuses Congress party using strong words.

Brief ruckus as Congress members react to this angrily. Party leader Anand Sharma asks him to retract the statement and apologise for the same. Vice Chairman L. Hanumanthaiah says it will be examined and taken out of the records.

10.40 am | Rajya Sabha

DMK MP T.K.S Elangovan says the two Bills are an insult to farmers.

Parliament proceedings | September 20, 2020
 

The Bills seeks to repeal the ordinance and the promise of the government to implement M.S. Swaminathan Committee's recommendations, he says.

This Bill will lead to farmers becoming slaves and commodities, Mr. Elangovan adds.

TRS MP Dr. K. Keshava Rao says that the Agriculture Minister claimed that this is a Bill for new-age agriculture, adding that he is against it.

These Bills are an assault on state rights and Constitution, he says.

10.30 am | Rajya Sabha

Difficult to believe these Bills are being put forth by the son of a farmer, says SP MP

Samajwadi Party MP Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav says it seems there is some compulsion that the ruling party doesn't want to discuss or debate on any Bills, and accuses them of rushing to pass Bills without proper discussion.

"You didn't consult anyone before bringing these ordinances during the COVID-19 pandemic. You should have at least consulted the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh," says Mr. Yadav.

"Like BSNL is being suffocated by Jio, now farmers too will have to go through the same ordeal. How will farmers compete with big companies," he asks.

Taking a jab at the Agriculture Minister, Prof. Yadav says that it is difficult to look at the contents of the Bills knowing that it has been put forth by the son of a farmer.

10.20 am | Rajya Sabha

These Bills reduce a farmer to a farm worker, says AIADMK MP

AIADMK MP S.R. Balasubramoniyan says if the two Agri Bills are passed, a farmer will be reduced to a farm worker.

Big companies will take over large swathes of land, he says.

10.15 am | Rajya Sabha

How many BJP MPs have read these 2 Bills, asks Derek O'Brien

Next, it is Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien's turn to speak on the Agricultural Bills.

You promised farmers that their income will double by 2022, but at current rate it will not double even by 2028, he says.

Parliament proceedings | September 20, 2020
 

Your credibility is low to make such promises, Mr. O'Brien tells BJP.

"This is an issue affecting federalism. States will not be able to ensure farmers' interest," says the TMC MP.

How many BJP MPs have read these 2 Bills, he asks.

10.10 am | Rajya Sabha

BJP MP Bhupender Yadav continues to speak on the Agri Bills.

"Contract farming is not a new idea. It has started in Punjab. In Haryana, it was started during Congress' Bhupinder Singh Hooda-government's tenure," says Mr. Yadav.

We aren't talking about taking farmers' land, he says.

"Farmers are only a vote bank for you. For us, farmers are a community to take the country forward," says the BJP MP.

9.55 am | Rajya Sabha

Why has rural income reduced in the years Congress were in power, asks BJP MP

BJP MP Bhupender Yadav responds to criticisms raised against the Agri Bills.

Parliament proceedings | September 20, 2020
 

He says the country is moving forward. Why has rural income reduced over the years you were in power, he asks Congress MP Pratap Singh Bajwa, who spoke against the Bills.

There is a need to strengthen trade, processing and value addition, says Mr. Yadav.

"Working group on agriculture production set up by Manmohan Singh government in 2010 recommended that APMC and corporate license monopolies should not be allowed. This is your report, your conclusions, so why are you playing politics today," he asks Congress.

9.45 am | Rajya Sabha

Farmers understand this is a way to do away with MSP: Bajwa

Continuing his speech against the Agriculture Bills, Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa asks:

"What is the need to bring these Bills now? Nearly one lakh Indians are getting COVID-19 every day and China is breathing down your neck," reminds Mr. Bajwa.

Farmers don't want this benefit that you claim are for them; then why are you trying to force feed them, he asks.

"Farmers are not illiterate. They understand that this is a way to do away with MSP. Once this is passed, corporate houses will take over farmlands," says the Congress MP, and compares it to the East India Company and the Portuguese invasion of India.

9.40 am | Rajya Sabha

We will not sign on this death warrant of farmers, says Congress MP

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 are being considered together.

Parliament proceedings | September 20, 2020
 

Discussion begins with Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa saying that all farmers, particularly farmers in Punjab and Haryana, think these Bills are an attack on their soul.

"These Bills are ill-conceived and ill-timed and the Congress opposes it. We will not sign on this death warrant of farmers," says Mr. Bajwa.

9.30 am | Rajya Sabha

Agri Bills not related to MSP, says Minister

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar moves two Bills for consideration: the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

 

The Agriculture Minister says the two Bills, which have been passed by Lok Sabha, are historic and will bring revolutionary change. Farmers will have the freedom to sell their produce wherever they want, he says.

These Bills are not related to MSP, he says, adding that there appears to be some "incorrect information" doing rounds in this regard.

K.K. Ragesh, Derek O'Brien and Tiruchi Siva move motions to send both Bills to a select committee.

9.20 am | Rajya Sabha

Special mentions begin.

CPI(M) MP K.K. Ragesh moves statutory resolution disapproving of the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020.

9.15 am | Rajya Sabha

Zero Hour continues.

BJP MP Saroj Pandey says Chhattisgarh has not fully implemented Ayushman Bharat and it's become a victim of politics.

TDP MP Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar says people who visit Tirupati temple should continue to give a declaration that they believe in Balaji.

Congress MP Akhilesh Prasad Singh says courts in Bihar have not been fully functional due to COVID-19 and the number of prisoners has increased from 40,000 to 50,000. He asks the government to decongest the jails.

9.10 am | Rajya Sabha

Zero Hour begins.

Congress MP Rajmani Patel raises issue of private schools charging hefty fees. He asks the government to come up with a policy to curtail the same.

RJD MP Prof. Manoj Kumar Jha says COVID-19 and floods have hit Bihar together. He says we need to find a permanent solution to the frequent flooding.

BPF MP Biswajit Daimary raises the matter of five men from Arunachal Pradesh being taken by Chinese. He says Arunachal Pradesh is also tense, like Ladakh. He adds that in terms of infrastructure, the roads till Tawang need to be improved.

9 am | Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha proceedings begin.

Former Prime Minister and newly-elected Rajya Sabha MP H.D. Deve Gowda takes the oath. Welcoming him, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu says that Mr. Deve Gowda is a good addition to the House. One of the senior most politicians in the country has come to our House, says the Chairman.

Papers being laid by MoS Parliamentary Affairs. Chairman says MPs Ranjan Gogoi, Vaiko and Revati Raman Singh have asked for leave for the whole session. House grants them leave of absence.

Rajya Sabha

Bills for Consideration and Passing

  • Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020
  • Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020
  • Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bil l, 2020
  • Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020
Lok Sabha

Bill for Introduction

  • Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020

Bills for consideration and passing

  • National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020
  • Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020
  • Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020
  • Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020
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Printable version | Oct 31, 2020 8:49:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-proceedings-live-updates-september-20-2020/article32652189.ece

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