Parliament proceedings live | Lok Sabha takes up the prohibition of e-cigarettes Bill

The National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was passed in the Lok Sabha on November 26, 2019 by a voice vote. It has already been cleared in the Rajya Sabha.

The Bill declares the four national design institutes in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Haryana respectively as institutes of national importance.

Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the MPs on the occasion of Constitution Day. The President also inaugurated a digital exhibition through video conferencing.

However, the Opposition parties led by the Congress boycotted the joint sitting of Parliament  as a mark of protest against the recent political developments in Maharashtra.

Here are the live updates:

Lok Sabha | 8.30 p.m.

Members still discussing The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019.

Lok Sabha adjourned.

Lok Sabha | 6.45 p.m.

Ritesh Pandey, BSP, says there are other tobacco products that cause the same if not necessarily more to smokers. "When we have data supporting the harm these products inflict on smokers, why not ban all of them?" Is the ban on e-cigarettes a cushion for the tobacco lobby, he asks, supporting the Bill.

Prof. Saugata Roy, AITC, clarifies that although his party opposed the Ordinance, it supports the Bill. "We opposed the prohibition of e-cigarettes Ordinance only because we are opposed to the government taking the Ordinance route," he says. He doesn't depose too much faith in the enforcement of the ban, "There is prohibition in Gujarat, but alcohol is still consumed there. So, my solution to effectively enforcing the ban is to price the articles beyond the reach of the common man. Price it so high, he cannot afford it."

Lok Sabha | 6.30 p.m.

Bharatruhari Mahtab, after Sarmistha Sethi, BJD, speaks in support of the e-cigarettes prohibition Bill, points out that Ms. Sethi is the first woman Member speaking on the Bill. He adds, "It is alarming that more women and children are also taking up smoking. This problem should be look into."

Margani Bharat, YSCRCP, says he supports the Bill not just as a YSRCP member but as the youth of the country. He suggests that hookah also be added in the Bill and be prohibited, because smoking hookah it is as harmful. He also pushes for tobacco and allied products to be completely banned. "But the strong tobacco lobby will probably not allow that to happen," he says. Acknowledging that his State, Andhra Pradesh is one of the top tobacco producers, he says, "India is the top three exporters of tobacco and demand for our high quality tobacco is good outside the country. It is a prime opportunity to cash in on foreign markets."

Mahabali Singh, JD(U), says, "like Nitish Kumar banned alcohol in Bihar, the Minister should ban all tobacco products too."

Lok Sabha | 6.00 p.m.

The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019 has been taken up for discussion.

Feroze Varun Gandhi, BJP, speaks about the Bill and eds with, "Let us not introduce another addiction habit to the youth without knowing its harmful effects." Bharatruhari Mahtab, who is in the Chair of the House, lauds Mr. Gandhi on his suggestions and says, his suggestion on increasing taxation for tobacco especially, will be seriously considered.

DNV Senthilkumar, DMK, calling the introduction of the Bill a result of the tobacco industry lobby, asks why only e-cigarettes are proposed to be banned. "Does this mean that normal cigarettes are not harmful?" We as a country should move towards banning all tobacco products, he says.

Lok Sabha | 5.40 p.m.

Lok Sabha passes the National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Rajya Sabha | 5.30 p.m.

P. Wilson of the DMK party says the Chit Funds Act does not clarify who the regulators are. The Act does not solve any substantial issues but merely redefines terms.

Lok Sabha | 5.00 p.m.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Lok Sabha leader of the Congress, says that private industry should be in sync with these institutes to cater to the dynamic consumer needs.

The gap in education needs to be addressed.

Rajya Sabha | 5.00 p.m.

Ravi Prakash Verma of the Samajwadi Party says that India had a huge potential to channelise savings productively. At least 30,000 chit fund companies are not registered. At a local level, BC funds are popular but most participants therein are not aware of legal financial schemes.

The legislation should hence have a provision for agencies that keep track of these local systems, he says.

Lok Sabha | 4.30 p.m.

H. Vasanthakumar of the Congress says that it is easy to decry higher educational institutions established decades ago, but we must not forget that most of these were set up under former Congress governments.

Rajya Sabha | 4.30 p.m.

Manish Gupta of the All India Trinamool Congress says that the chit fund sector is heavily unorganised. The SEBI Act and the RBI Act need to be amended to include the chit funds system under their area of operation.

Lok Sabha | 4.00 p.m.

Lok Sabha discusses the National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor says that India lacks in research and training infrastructure. Students graduating from NID may experience a major gap in the education provided and the global standards.

Rajya Sabha | 3.30 p.m.

Congress MP Anand Sharma says there is no hurry to pass the Bill. It can be sent to select committee.

Amendments are put to vote now. The amendment to send it to a Select Committee is taken up for voting.

Tiruchi Siva asks the government to be magnanimous. He asks for division.

Mr. Gehlot asks that the Bill as drafted by Arun Jaitley be passed by the House. The amendment is voted down with 74 nos to 55 ayes.

Clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill begins.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill is passed.

Rajya Sabha | 3 p.m.

Roopa Ganguly (BJP) says this Bill prevents discrimination.

A. Navaneethakrishnan (AIADMK) says he welcomes the Bill, but he wants the Bill's name to be changed to ‘Third Gender’ Bill.

Satish Chandra Misra (BSP) also brings up the National Council as envisioned by the Bill. Mr. Misra speaks about no penalty being present for discrimination.

Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Social Justice Minister rises to reply to Members. He says this Bill was also drafted by Arun Jaitley. He asks that the House pass the Bill.

Rajya Sabha | 2.30 p.m.

V. Vijaysai Reddy says his party (YSR Congress) would accept it if the House decides to send the Bill to a select committee.

He also says the Bill has to be passed.

Derek O'Brien (Trinamool Congress) says that it was a historic afternoon when a private Member’s Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha. He says it never would have passed if not for the statesmanship of Arun Jaitley. While the government’s Bill has passed in the Lok Sabha, we have to wonder about the quality of the Bill, he asks.

He also says the Bill needs to be sent for further examination. He says that POCSO Act, Indecent Representation of Women Act, Sexual Harassment of Women Act needs to be re-looked at to bring in the transgender community.

“What happens if a man rapes a trans person?” he asks. The Bill gives punishment of six months to two years. We need to think this through, he says.

In West Bengal, trans persons have ID cards.

K. Keshava Rao (TRS) says that he too is for sending the Bill to a select committee. He says the Bill does not have a penalty for discrimination. He also brings up the right to self-determination.

Rajya Sabha | 2 p.m.

Tiruchi Siva speaks on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill. He asks that the Bill be sent to a select committee. He says a slow and steady legislation will not do any harm.

The transgender community calls this Bill regressive, he says. A Bill should be complete, comprehensive. Mr. Siva says that the government’s Bill has no definition of discrimination.

He also says that the definition of transgender is also ambiguous. He brings up the Supreme Court’s verdict on self-determination. He says that taking away the right to self-determination is humiliating to the people.

He says that issues should be solved with a statutory commission like the women's commissions or SC/ST commissions.

He adds that rape laws should apply to the transgender community too. Mr. Siva says that the 2% reservation should be provided, as his original Bill did. “You were able to amend the Constitution and provide 10% reservation for EWS. Why not do this?”

He concludes that the Bill needs to be scrutinised one more time.

Lok Sabha | 2 p.m.

House is in Session. Zero Hour begins.

12:00 p.m.

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurates a book tracing the history of Parliamentary institutions as well as a digital portal.

A commemorative coin is issued on the 250th anniversary of the Rajya Sabha.

A digital exhibition on the history of the Indian Constitution is inaugurated.

President Kovind begins his address. He stresses on the almost equal participation of men and women in the last general elections as a victory for Indian democracy.

Now is the time for self-reflection, he says.

He further speaks on upholding of Constitutional principles and duties, protection of the rights of women and the values of the freedom struggle.

"Entitlement and duty are two faces of the same coin," he says. Freedom of expression cannot be misconstrued to encroach upon collective possessions, he adds.

He refers to Padma Shri awardee Muktaben Dagli from Gujarat.

President Kovind concludes his speech. The national anthem plays in the central hall. Parliament proceedings will start at 2 p.m.

11:30 a.m.

Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu begins his address.

He cites Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. "Dr. Ambedkar felt that we must make our democracy not just a political democracy but also a social democracy," he says. "His observations continue to be relevant today."

The only dark patch on the Constitutional scheme was during the Emergency of 1975, he says, because we failed to pay heed to Dr. Ambedkar's warnings.

"Transformation of the nation is the need of the hour," he says, "It is the expectation of the people".

Unless each one of us performs our duties, the rights of all cannot be protected, he says. "Nation-building cannot be the responsibility of the governance alone," he adds.

"No creed or credo should cloud our vision... India is one nation, one people," he says. Unity in diversity is our strength, he adds.

He calls for respect for one's mother tongue: "Our mother tongue is our eyesight while other languages are the spectacles".

He suggests that fundamental duties be included in the curriculum at appropriate levels and be displayed in educational institutions.

He pays his homage to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and others who framed the Constitution. He acknowledges the contribution of Prem Bihari Narayan who hand-wrote the original copy of the Constitution with no expectation for remuneration.

11:00 a.m.

Joint session of Parliament begins with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi welcoming President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on occasion of Constitution Day.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla begins his address. The Constitution has played a significant role in the evolution of the country in the last seven decades, he says. It has been an asset in the international relations scenario. He acknowledges Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's role in the framing of the Constitution. He appeals for the upholding of the principles enshrined in the Constitution.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his address with condoling the lives lost during the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008.  The Constitution is our holy text, he says. The Constitution can be summed up in two phrases, he says: "dignity for Indian" and "unity for India".

"It is the need of the hour that we, as citizens, focus on our responsibilities in conjunction with our rights," Mr. Modi says. He cites Mahatma Gandhi: "A right is a duty well-performed".

He elaborates on the difference between charity or selfless service and responsibility.

He calls upon citizens to uphold the principles of the Constitution towards nation-building. He ends with paying his tribute to Dr. Ambedkar and other creators of the Indian Constitution.

 

On Constitution day, a joint Opposition protests outside Parliament

On Constitution Day, opposition members chose to boycott the joint sitting and protested outside the Parliament.

Representatives from Congress, Shiv Sena, NCP, DMK, TMC, RJD, SP, CPI, and CPI(M) assembled at Ambedkar statue in the Parliament premises.

Representatives from Congress, Shiv Sena, NCP DMK, TMC,RJD, SP, CPI, CPI(M) congregate at Ambedkar statue outside Parliament.

Representatives from Congress, Shiv Sena, NCP DMK, TMC,RJD, SP, CPI, CPI(M) congregate at Ambedkar statue outside Parliament.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

 

The leaders observed two minutes silence on the anniversary of 26/11 attack.

Former Prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were among those who took part in the protest.

"Stop Murder of Democracy", "Government misusing powers", were some of the placards.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 3:22:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-proceedings-president-kovind-pm-modi-to-address-mps-on-constitution-day/article30084240.ece

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