Parliament proceedings live | Rajya Sabha discusses amendments to retrospective taxation Act; Congress, DMK walk out

Ahead of the concluding week of the monsoon session, Opposition parties on Sunday released a video on social media platforms in which they highlighted their futile attempts to speak on the issues of the Pegasus snooping controversy and farm laws in Parliament, and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “listen” to them.

August 09, 2021 10:56 am | Updated 06:01 pm IST

A view of the Parliament House building, in New Delhi.

A view of the Parliament House building, in New Delhi.

Fifteen Opposition parties met at Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge's office before the commencement of the day's proceedings to strategise for the last week of the Monsoon Session. For three weeks, the Opposition in both Houses has protested, demanding a discussion on the Pegasus surveillance issue and the three farm laws.

Here are the latest updates :

Rajya Sabha | 4.25 pm

TRS member Banda Prakash while supporting the Bill, reminds the Minister that the government committed a tribal university in Telagana and it is yet to see the light. He also talks about reservation not properly implemented in higher education.

Thambi Durai of AIADMK also supports the Bill. He highlights the issue of private universities running institutions for money and not concentrating on research.

Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says there was a long-pending demand for Central university in Ladakh. People of Leh and Kargil had kept two demands before the Prime Minister - Zojila Tunnel and Central University. Both the demands have been fulfilled.

Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan replies. Record of Narendra Modi government on reservation is straight. Modiji only started EWS reservation, OBC reservations in NEET, he says, in response to a member's concerns about reservation policies not being followed in universities.

The Bill is passed. house is adjourned for the day.

Rajya Sabha | 4.20 pm

Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan brings The Central University Amendment Bill. The Bill seeks to provide a central university in Ladakh. 

Mr. Pradhan says there was a demand for Central university in Ladakh. This Bill, which has been passed by Lok Sabha, will set up Sindhu University in Ladakh. 4,000 students from Ladakh go to other parts of the country to study every year.

Rajya Sabha | 4.10 pm

Nirmala Sitharaman responds. She says they will discuss with the litigants after the law is passed and she says they will take it in a positive way.

She says with this Bill we are doing away with the ghost of retrospective taxation.

The Bill is returned to Lok Sabha.

Rajya Sabha | 3.50 pm

Amar Patnaik (BJD) says there is a principle of tax certainty. It lays out how investors will respond, could be foreign. When the 2012 amendment was brought, it was against this principle and it would have chilling effect on foreign investment. This Bill is timely.

A. Navaneethakrishnan (AIADMK) says he whole-heartedly welcomes the Bill. This is an example of rule of law.  He says the 2012 Act is illegal, unconstitutional and against bilateral investment agreements.

YSRCP MP V. Vijaysai Reddy says his party fully supports the Bill. He seeks assurance from the government that retrospective taxes will never be imposed.

G.K. Vasan supports the Bil.

Rajya Sabha | 3.40 pm

Nirmala Sitharaman introduces Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and asserts the Bill does not forgo our sovereign right of collecting taxes. She recalls Arun Jaitley's stand on retrospective taxation. We couldn't bring it earlier due to pendency of cases, she says.

It was a clarificatory amendment against a Supreme Court order brought in by the Congress party in 2012. When this Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha recently it was welcomed by the former FM of the same party. Today, the same party has walked out. There is no one view coming from the Congress, she says.

Without taking the name of Mr. Chidambaram, she says a former finance minister has welcomed the Bill. Today, we see the Congress walking out.

Without consistency in taxation, businesses won't be able to go forward. 17 cases where India had raised a demand based on retrospective tax, most of them are in litigation, she says.

She trains her guns at DMK, which has also walked out. Selvaganapathy, then DMK MP, had raised apprehension that this law may not pass Supreme Court's scrutiny when the original Bill was brought.

She recalls how Shashi Tharoor and TMC MP Saugata Roy, both Lok Sabha members, have spoken against the law.

The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 is a money Bill, which means the upper House cannot seek any amendments. The House can discuss and return the Bill to the Lok Sabha.

Rajya Sabha | 3.30 pm

Rajya Sabha resumes. LOP Mallikarjun Kharge says the Secretary General circulates the List of Business and we prepare accordingly. But today, there was no mention of supplementary business. But we received this agenda only at 2.15 pm. You are giving such important Bills in just one hour gap. Congress members walk out.

Leader of the House Piyush Goyal says we first thought of bringing insurance bill. But we postponed it for tomorrow on Congress' request. He says the government is ready to take up the insurance bill, if they are okay with it. The Bills were circulated on Friday itself, he says.

Sukhendu Shekar Roy and Tiruchi Siva also raise point of orders. The Chair clarifies. Ruling party can provide supplementary and the Chairman can accept it, he says.

DMK also stages walk out.

Rajya Sabha | 3.00 pm

Statutory resolution disapproving of the Bill moved by Shaktisinh Gohil defeated. Members seek division. The protesting members take their seats.

Voting on amendment to send the Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021 to a select committee takes place and it is defeated with 77 not favouring it and 49 voting in favour of it.

Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021 being taken up for clause by clause passing. Opposition MPs return to the well and start protesting.

Bill passed by voice vote.  House is adjourned till 3.30 pm

Rajya Sabha | 2.45 pm

Nirmala Sitharaman rises to speak. Opposition members start booing.

A member from the Congress party raised the issue of judicial independence. Who is speaking? Someone from a party that curtailed judicial independence during Emergency. It is a shame: FM

This Bill is replacing an ordinance. This is a House that makes laws. The primacy of legislature in making laws is as important as the independence of judiciary, she says.

We fully respect the independence of judiciary, but we also respect the power of the lawmaking body. Even the Supreme Court has said don't tribunalise justice, therefore, we have come up with this law, she says.

The judiciary has not struck it down on constitutionality, they have raised certain points. One of the points is that we must appoint tribunal member in 3 months. What if there is one member who is recommended by the judiciary and there is some IB information and we can't appoint? she says.

Rajya Sabha | 2.40 pm

Jaya Bachchan of SP opposes the Bill. JD(U) MP Ram Nath Thakur supports the Bill

RJD MP Manoj Kumar Jha says like many Bills this Bill is also an attack on rule of law. We are entering 75th year of Independence and if this is a day of independence, where you are not letting the Opposition speak, it is a shame, he declares.

AAP MP Sanjay Singh says he opposes the Bill and takes up Pegasus issue. He is asked by Sasmit Patra to stick to the Bill.

TDP MP Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar says the government has brought an exhaustive Bill that seeks to reform tribunals set up under 19 Acts.

Pendency will be increased before High Courts by this Bill so the Budget for the judiciary should be increased, says K. Ravindra Kumar

CPI MP Binoy Viswam raises Pegasus snooping allegations, Mr. Patra cuts him off saying it's not on the Bill.

Rajya Sabha | 2.30 pm

DMK's N.R. Elango opposes the bill. The govt wants to remove certain Tribunals which will increase burden of the high Courts. Rather I would demand that the govt establish a Tribunal to investigate Pegasus cyber attack.

Banda Prakash, TRS: the govt should take into account the points raised by the Supreme Court in this connection.

AIADMK supports the Bill. As M Thambidurai speaks he is surrounded by members. Minister Naqvi condemns this. The Chair also rues members' behavior.

Venkataramana Rao Mopidevi of YSRCP speaking on the Bill. Opposition continues shouting slogans. Mr. Rao says the government should have conducted a judicial impact assessment before bringing this Bill

Rajya Sabha | 2.15 pm

Shakti Sinh Gohil, Cong says this bill is against the Supreme Court's ruling.

Nirmala Sitharaman moves the The Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2021.

Derek O Brien moves two amendments and DMK MP Tiruchi Siva moves amendment to send the bill to a select committee.

Sujeet Kumar (BJD) says he supports the Bill. "The two main reasons to establish the Tribunal was to de-clog the courts. Also courts lack the specialized skills. Over the years the Tribunals system need reforms. This bill will remove an extra layer of adjudication."

"I share the concern that short tenure of the members  ensures executive hold on the tribunals."

If you can become High Court Judge at 40. It is not logical that to be a member of Tribunals as per the bills you have to be 50.

Protesting members surround the speaker and show placards in a bid to catch attention from RSTV.

Rajya Sabha | 2.00 pm

On Rajya Sabha  table today afternoon: The Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2021,  Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and hill to establish Sindhu Central University in Ladakh.

I would like to request that we may take up Taxation Laws instead of the General Insurance Bill, says MoS Parliamentary Affairs, V. Muraleedharan. Sasmit Patra who is in Chair lists out the bills that the RS has to take up as per the agreement in BAC meet.

Derek O'Brien raises a Point of Order under Rule 29 On List of Business. "We have passed 30 bills at 10 mins per bill," he says. Only 11 percent bills passed are scrutinized by the Parliamentary Committee. The Prime Minister has answered zero questions on the floor of the house," Mr. O'Brrien continues, he is interrupted by Bhupendra Yadav.

But opposition members start protesting, Mr. Yadav couldn't complete. He says the Chairman's word is final. It appears he is objecting to opposition protests.

LOP, Mallikarjun Kharge says, "when member raises a point of order, you give us supplementary bill now. We prepare for the bills that is listed but you change it as per your choice."

We have been fighting for 20-25 days demanding a discussion on Pegasus.

I would only like to clarify whatever has been brought in the supplementary business was circulated well in advance. They should have prepared for it. It is not as if they will want to debate any of the bills, says Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.

Chair rules in support of the govt. Opposition parties have storm in the well.

Lok Sabha | 2. 00 pm

Lok Sabha reassembles at 2 pm. Rama Devi is in the Chair. Sloganeering continues. She asks members to get back to the seats. They refuse. House is adjourned for the day.

Lok Sabha | 12.45 pm

Minister Arjun Munda moves for consideration and passing the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, the House grants the leave.

Chair requests protesting members to go back to their seats.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress floor leader, says today, the international Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is celebrated, we wanted to congratulate the tribal communities, but the government is not allowing discussion.

The Treasury Bench members say wrong allegations are being made. Several Opposition members say they support the Bill, they oppose the manner in which the Bills are being passed without any discussions.

Minister Kiren Rijiju says many tribal communities in Arunachal Pradesh were not recognised earlier, the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave them recognition, for which I want to congratulate it.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi says we welcome all the discussions, we are ready to debate throughout the day, i urge the protesting members to go back to their seats. You pass the Bill after discussion, we will take your suggestions under consideration.

The Bill is still passed without discussion.

House is adjourned till 2 pm

Lok Sabha | 12.40 pm

Nirmala Sitharaman moves another Bill for passing. This is The Deposit  Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

98% of all the depositors will get up to Rs.5 lakh within 90 days, this will be effective from now, but the cooperative banks which  have already come under the stress, even their depositors will benefit, they will get Rs.5 lakh within 90 days, she says.

She urges the Opposition members to participate in the discussion. But sloganeering continues. It appears this Bill too will be passed without discussion.

And the Bill is passed. This Bill was already passed in the Rajya Sabha.

Lok Sabha | 12.30 p.m.

Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021 moved by Finance Minister

Lok Sabha resumes.

Opposition members raising slogans.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moves for consideration and passing, The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The Bill is a very important Bill which aims to bring in easy-of-doing business between smaller and big partners. Criminal offences will have to be brought down, make them compoundable as far as possible. We want to bring in parity between large companies and limited liability partnerships, says the Finance Minister.

Yet another Bill passed in Lok Sabha sans discussion.

Lok Sabha | 12.05 pm

House adjourned till 12.30 p.m.

Minister Sarbananda Sonowal seeks leave to introduce the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The House allows it and the Bill is introduced.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury opposes the manner in which the Bill is being introduced, stating that the Opposition has been demanding a discussion on Pegasus issue. Congress leader Manish Tewari echoes this sentiment.

Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal says the government is ready for all discussions.

Bill to be introduced: The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021.

As the Bill is introduced, Opposition MPs leave the Well of the House and return to their seats. Mr. Chowdhury says all the Opposition parties have decided to back and discuss this Bill. Congress President Sonia Gandhi is attending the proceedings for the first time this Session.

The Bill is introduced following a leave from the House.

The House id adjourned till 12.30 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 12 pm

Adjournment motions turned down

Lok Sabha resumes its sitting.

Notices of adjournment motions on various issues have been turned down.

Papers being laid on the table of the House.

Opposition members are protesting and raising slogans.

Rajya Sabha | 12 pm

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 p.m.

Proceedings resume. Deputy Chairman Harivansh is in the chair.

Question Hour underway.

House adjourned till 2 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 11.30 am

Lok Sabha adjourned till noon

Lok Sabha proceedings resume after the first adjournment.

Rajendra Agrawal is presiding over the proceedings.

Question Hour continues.

Member Gopal Chinayya Shetty asks when Marathi will be recognised as a Classical Language.

Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal says an eight-member committee has been set up and the issue is under consideration. "Languages like Tamil, Sanskrit, Malayalam and Odiya have so far got the status of Classical Language," he says.

Members continue to protest. House adjourned till noon.

Rajya Sabha | 11 20 am

House adjourned till 12 p.m.

Congress leader Anand Sharma and Jairam Ramesh point out that the interventions by the previous governments should also be recorded.

Mr. Naidu says, "I have received notices from members under rule 267 on Pegasus, farmers' issue and floods. I have already conveyed the need to discuss the farmers issue."

Protests begin in the House.

House adjourned till 12 p.m.

Rajya Sabha | 11.15 am

'Tricolour was hoisted as 140 cr. people stood up with misty eyes'

Mr. Naidu recalls that not even a single medal was won in track and field events for 120 years by the country.

"It is in this backdrop, that the Tokyo Olympics turned out to be the best for our nation, not only in terms of the highest ever number of seven medals won, but also in terms of the grit demonstrated as was evident in quite a few close finishes and a large number of our athletes entering medal winning rounds of competition. Tokyo Olympics heralded resurgence, renaissance and national awakening in sports in our country by restoring the depleting confidence and self-esteem."

"Our tricolor, the symbol of national pride, was hoisted in the Olympics arena after13 long years in Tokyo, as the 140 crore nation, sulking and yearning for more such moments for long, stood up elated with misty eyes as our national anthem was played out. We hope to have more such glorious moments in the years to come as out sportspersons make it a habit of winning from now on."

"Our Tokyo performance, besides other takeaways, has defined our mission for the future. It is to be much higher on the medals table given the feasibility as revealed from our Tokyo performances. Our mission shall be to be in the top ten at the earliest possible. ‘We can do it’ as India discovered itself in the Tokyo Olympics."

"Over 40% of our Tokyo contingent came from Haryana and Punjab. These two States deserve appreciation for putting in place a right eco-system of sports."

"The Tokyo Olympics would be etched in the history as the ‘first moment of national awakening in sports’," he concludes.

Rajya Sabha | 11 am

Venkaiah Naidu speaking about India's performance at the Olympics

Chairman of the House Venkaiah Naidu says, "This august House has the tradition of taking note of and bringing on the record of the House, the spectacular initiatives, endeavors and accomplishments of our nation as and when they happen. One such latest occasion has been provided by the commendable performance of our contingent in the Tokyo Olympics that concluded yesterday. I may take a little longer time than usual to present on behalf of the House, for record, the defining Tokyo moment for our nation in proper perspective."

"As a British colony, India first participated in the Paris Olympics in the year1900. It took such a long time to script a ‘We too can do it’ moment erasing the memories of desperation, despondency, dejection and disbelief, compounded by poor medal performance every four years. The Golden record of our Men’s hockey team till 1980 and rare good performances  by some individual athletes not withstanding,  our nation has come to lose self-esteem, confidence, morale and hope in the domain of sports further to poor performances  in the Olympics arena over the years."

"The Olympic spirit is no doubt, more about the spirit of participation than winning medals. However, number of medals do matter as they come as the final testimony for the sporting prowess of any nation. More so, when Olympic medals add to the global perception of emerging economies with the level of sports being an important element of soft power."

"In the 24 Olympic appearances, till Rio Olympics in 2016, our nation could not win even a single medal in six Olympics, could fetch single medal each in 13, fetched two medals in three Olympics, three medals in Beijing games in 2008 and a high of six medals in London games in 2012. Our country secured the first individual Gold medal only in Beijing games in 2008 through Abhinav Bindra in shooting."

Lok Sabha | 11 am

House adjourned till 11.30 a.m.

Lok Sabha proceedings for the day begins.

Speaker Om Birla congratulates Neeraj Chopra for winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. He also congratulates Bajrang Punia for winning a bronze medal.

Question Hour begins.

Opposition members shouting slogans, some have gathered in the well of the House.

The Speaker tells the protesting members that they are not interested in participating in any debate.

He adjourns the House till 11.30 a.m.

Opposition parties meet

'Opposition to support The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021'

All Opposition parties will support The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021 being introduced in Parliament today, says Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge after the Opposition meet.

Mr. Kharge adds: "The amendment is to give back power to States to identify social and economic backward classes. The Supreme Court, in May 2021, had ruled that only Centre can do so. A Constitutional Amendment Bill cannot be taken up unless the House is in order and needs to be passed by a division of votes."

Opposition parties' meeting

Opposition leaders' meeting underway

A meeting of leaders of Opposition parties underway in the office of Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge on August 9, 2021. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi is also present at the meeting.

A meeting of leaders of Opposition parties underway in the office of Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge on August 9, 2021. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi is also present at the meeting.

Parliament logjam

Opposition video urges PM to listen to them

Ahead of the concluding week of the monsoon session, Opposition parties on Sunday released a video on social media platforms in which they highlighted their futile attempts to speak on the issues of the Pegasus snooping controversy and farm laws in Parliament, and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “listen” to them.

The parties that are part of the collaborative effort include the Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, Samajwadi Party, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), CPI (M), Rashtriya Janata Dal, Aam Admi Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.

The video — first released by Trinamool Congress’ leader in the Rajya Sabah Derek O'Brien — sets the tone for the Opposition’s strategy in the coming week even though parties will formally meet on Monday morning to decide their strategy in the two Houses of Parliament.

Legislative Business

Lok Sabha

Bills to be introduced

The National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021

Bills for consideration and passing

The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Rajya Sabha

Bills for consideration and passing

The Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021

The General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021

The Appropriation (No.4) Bill, 2021

The Appropriation (No. 3) Bill, 2021

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