Parliament updates live | All help to Andhra but no special status, says Rajnath Singh

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaks in Rajya Sabha.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaks in Rajya Sabha.  

Lok Sabha passes the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018

Rajya Sabha witnessed adjournment in the first half of the day over Finance Minister's remarks during a question on Indian money in Swiss banks. Lok Sabha witnessed ruckus over mob violence as Opposition insisted on taking up the issue even though Home Minister made a statement on the previous day.

Lok Sabha passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018. Rajya Sabha had a short duration discussion on implementation of Andhra Pradesh State Reorganisation Act, 2014.

The Lok Sabha is likely to take up Bill to set up the National Commission for Backward Classes.

Here are the live updates:

Lok Sabha | 6:05 pm

In Lok Sabha, MoS Jithendra Singh responds to members' query on Prevention of Corruption Amendments.

Mr. Singh says the cause of delay for appointing Lokpal was Congress. Had the Congress managed to win enough seats, they would have had Leader of Opposition post. So we had to amend the Bill to include Leader of largest Opposition party.

The Whistleblower Protection Bill is also in the annvil. We also wanted to protect an honest performing government servant is not intimidated. We have introduced 45 amendments. The bribe giver clause is new. This will make the bribe giver should also explain why he had to give bribes, he says.

While framing rules, we'll ensure cohesive bribery is tackled. All bribe-related cases will have to be disposed of in two years ordinarily, he says. Commercial organisation will also come under the ambit of this law.

On the one hand we have strict provisions against corruption, on the other hand officers will be given a free hand to honestly discharge his duties, he says.

He claims the Bill is historic and appeals members to pass the Bill.

H.C. Muniyappa says electoral reforms and full funding of election campaign will end corruption.

The Bill goes for voting.  The Bill is passed.

House is adjouned.

Rajya Sabha | 6:00 pm

Ghulam Nabi Azad wants the government to answer if the they would grant the status or not.

Jairam Ramesh says the government decides the Special Category Status and not the Finance Commission.

Mr. Azad asks point blank: Will the category be granted or not?

Rajnath Singh wonders why the debate is around a word, when are ready to provide more.

House is adjourned.

Rajya Sabha | 5:33 pm

Home Minister Rajnath Singh gives his reply.  He says the government is committed to implement all commitments made by the former and present Prime Minister. As a government, we are for development for every State irrespective of who is in power. Our politics is for the development of the State and not mere power, he says.

Andhra Pradesh is being given incentives additional to the Act. Over 90 per cent of the commitments in the Act have been implemented. Work is underway for Ten out of 11 institutes promised. A panel has been constituted to check the feasibility of Cudappah Steel plant and Dugarajapatnam Port. Even though the feasibility report is not in favour, we have asked for reexamination.

We are committed to Polavaram project.  We will finish in record time, he says. Finance Commission recommended a revenue deficit grant. We provided a special incentive instead of special category. It was agreed between the State and Centre that the Centrally sponsored schemes will be spent on 90:10 ratio, just like in SCS States. The Centre also agreed to repay the loans.

We have already provided funds for industrial development in both the Telugu States.  We asked the State to create a special purpose vehicle, but they haven't come back yet, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 5:30 pm

Prakash Banda (TRS) says the Act also makes several promises to Telangana as well and they haven't been met yet. Telangana is facing acute water crisis. We are implementing two projects, but funds have not been released, he says.

More members want to speak. The Chair says he is unable to grant more time. As I am in the Chair, I cannot talk much. I know what is the truth, and untruth, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 5:20 pm

C.M. Ramesh (TDP) speaks in Telugu. He says the present government cannot take credit for the institutes in Andhra Pradesh. It was part of the Act brought by the previous government. The land and funds were mobilised by the State. The institutes still lack infrastructure, he says.

I am willing to resign if you show a line in 14th Finance Commission order that says SCS cannot be granted to Andhra Pradesh, he declares.  He claims the Prime Minister has visited Andhra Pradesh only once but has gone to USA five times.

Rajya Sabha | 5:05 pm

Dr. Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister speaks.  He says he made the commitment of SCS keeping in view that the revenue generated by Hyderabad will go to Telangana. I made the commitment after consultation with the then Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley. I request the government to honour the commitment made in the august House, he says.

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal says the government is committed to implement the Act in toto. The former Prime Minister had spoken of central assistance. The 14th Finance Commission increased the State share to 42%. Based on the existing formula they provided additional funds, and Andhra Pradesh received the revenue deficit gap. Suppose we consider a SCS, we may have to reassess the revenue deficit gap and this gap would come down substantially. Mr. Goyal elaborates that Andhra Pradesh would not have got any additional funds with the SCS tag.

The State is expecting Centre to foot the bills of pension scheme, FRCB bonds, farm loan waiver, Mr. Goyal says.

Rajya Sabha | 5:00 pm

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar intervenes. He says IIT Tirupati, IIM-Vizag, ICER-Tirupati, IIIT-Kurnool are all up and running.

Central University in Anantpur will be inaugurated soon. The Tribal University have also been approved.

Anubhav Mohanty (BJD) says he needs clarity on new railway zone in Visakhapatnam. Territorial integrity of Odisha must be protected, he says. Mr. Mohanty speaks in Odiya.

Rajya Sabha | 4:55 pm

Tiruchi Siva (DMK) speaks in Tamil. He says the government cannot simply blame the previous governments for the misdeed. He cities how the UPA implemented Atal Bihari Vajpayee's golden quadrilateral scheme. The government should respect the demands of States, he says.

Manoj kumar Jha (RJD) says he could understand the problems of Andhra Pradesh since Bihar too faced the brunt of bifurcation. The cooperative federalism must be respected. When the NITI Aayog Chairman says Bihar is dragging down the country's growth, shouldn't we get affirmative action, he asks.

Sanjay Singh (AAP) says Narendra Modi makes many promises but doesn't keep them. He says people of Delhi are with the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Rajya Sabha | 4:35 pm

KVP Ramachandra Rao (Congress) speaks in Telugu.  He quotes the Prime Minister's no-confidence motion response that Andhra pradesh was interested in fight while Telangana worked. He accuses the TDP of washing out the previous parliamentary session for selfish reasons.

Naresh Goyal (SAD) says united Andhra was a dynamic state. Hyderabad was contributing 35 per cent of State GDP. Now Telangana has revenue surplus, and Andhra Pradesh has deficit. We went through the same situation in Punjab, Mr. Goyal says. As a party we oppose the SCS, but Andhra Pradesh should get what was committed in the Parliament.

D. Raja (CPI) says he shares the agony and anguish of people of Andhra Pradesh. We wanted both the States to prosper, but we are at a critical point. Is the Finance Commission above the Parliament, he asks.

Veer Singh (BSP) says even the Supreme Court wanted to know the status of implementation of the Act. The government should come clean on the status of implementation, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 4:30 pm

'BJP, TDP, Congress responsible'

Y. Vijaysai Reddy of YSRCP speaks in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Y. Vijaysai Reddy of YSRCP speaks in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.  

 

V. Vijaysai Reddy (YSRCP) says only his party has been fighting continuously for the Special Category Status. While TDP thought special finance package would do, we alongwith Janasena anf the Left wanted the SCS, he says.

If Accused No. 1 is the SCS, then Accused No. 2 is TDP, and Accused No. 3 is Congress, he says.

He accuses the BJP of wrongly quoting the Finance Commission and NITI Ayog. 

He wants to talk more but his speech is cut short.

Rajya Sabha | 4:20 pm

T.K. Rangarajan (CPI-M) says Communists raised the 'Visala Andhra' slogan that led to the Andhra Pradesh. A substantial Telugu population stay in Chennai. We know and respect Telugu pride, he says. The BJP used TDP from four years but ditched them, he says.

"This is not the politics of Andhra alone. This is also the politics of India," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 4:05 pm

We have been affected too, says Keshav Rao

K. Keshav Rao speaks during a discussion on implementation of AP reorganisation Act.

K. Keshav Rao speaks during a discussion on implementation of AP reorganisation Act.   | Photo Credit: RSTV

 

Keshav Rao (TRS) says he stands by the emotions of the TDP members. He observes that Telangana was also born out of the same reorganisation Act and his State suffers too. Every time I ask about Telangana High Court, the Law Minister only smiles, he says.

We have been made several promises, but most haven't been implemented. The matter is also sub-judice as a Congress member has approached the Supreme Court, he says. Mr. Rao replies to Ram Gopal Yadav's speech against bifurcation.

People of Telangana struggled to get a new State due to the treatment meted out by the people of Andhra. Mr. Rao also notes how seven mandals were transferred to Andhra Pradesh to implement Polavaram. We are suffering more in sharing of Krishna and Godavari waters. When Andhra Pradesh doesn't give us powers, we bought it from Chhattisgarh. Today we are a surplus State, says Mr. Rao.

We have fought for 60 years. Many were killed over 1200 people hanged themselves. Don't underestimate it, he says.

JD(U) member Ramchandra Prasad Singh from Bihar says the State was also reorganised four times like Andhra Pradesh. We have also been fight for a Special Category Status, he says.

Bihar's per capita income is way too less than the national average.

Rajya Sabha | 4:00 pm

We need SCS too, Odisha member

Andhra Pradesh and Odisha are neighbours and we can understand their problems since we are also facing step-motherly attitude of the Centre, says Prasanna Acharya of BJD.

This is the temple of Indian democracy and two prime ministers committed in this very temple that SCS would be granted. Both haven't fulfiled, he says.

Mr. Acharya says the government is going against federalism. He recalls how Odisha too is fighting for a Special Category Status.

Rajya Sabha | 3:50 pm

'Learn from Mamata'

Derek O'Brien (Trinamool Congress) says NDA ally Shiv Sena is against the way implementation of AP reorganisation Act. The BJP must retrospect, he says.

Your largest and second-largest allies are against you, Mr. O'Brien says. Taking potshot on GVL Narasimha Rao, he says the Telugu Bidda has been elected from Uttar Pradesh, has an Aadhaar card from Delhi.

Mr. O'Brien lists out the pending plans promised to West Bengal.  Bhubaneshwar Kalita is in the Chair. He reminds the debate is on Andhra Pradesh.

The BJP is good at marketing but bad in implementing, he says. Mr. O'Brien asks the BJP to learn from Mamata Banerjee who has tripled farmers income.

Rajya Sabha | 3:40 pm

In a debate on Andhra Pradesh, focus on Tamil Nadu

A Navneethakrishnan (AIADMK) says Andhra Pradesh "had a special place in Amma's heart." He also lauds Rajya Sabha's translation efforts.

The Centre must listen patiently to the demands of States, he stays and lines up the demands of Tamil Nadu. The Chair reminds him Andhra Pradesh is being discussed.

Mr. Navneethakrishnan says the 15th Finance Commission is also rendering injustice to southern States, including Tamil Nadu.

Rajya Sabha | 3:35 pm

Bifurcation has only created newer problems, says Ram Gopal Yadav

Ramgopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party) says we must learn from history. We have seen the sufferings of Partition. Even today Punjab and Haryana are fighting for Sutlej waters, he notes. He says his party was against the bifurcation and warns the Telugu states would fight for Krishna and Godavari.

Recalling his recent visit to Uttarakhand, Mr. Yadav says the State doesn't have a single trauma centre and they were in Uttar Pradesh.  He refutes the claim that smaller states would be better for governance. Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have become hot beds of naxalism after bifurcation, he says.

Bifurcation has only created newer problems, he says.  Mr. Yadav says Andhra Pradesh needs help.

Recalling Narendra Modi's earlier speeches, Mr. Yadav says the Prime Minister has made lofty promises to the State and he must fulfil it.

Rajya Sabha | 3:30 pm

Anand Sharma (Congress) says he wouldn't intervene had the member not taken his name. Special Category Status in northeast have transport, incentive and financial subsidy. Three states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir were given excise incentives with a sunset clause of five years.

The UPA gave National Manufacturing Policy and the industrial corridor reference regarding SCS is wrong, Mr. Sharma says.

Rajya Sabha | 3:15 pm

'Rao accuses AP govt. of not doing much'

BJP member GVL Narasimha Rao makes his maiden speech in Rajya Sabha.

BJP member GVL Narasimha Rao makes his maiden speech in Rajya Sabha.   | Photo Credit: RSTV

 

GVL Narsimha Rao (BJP) continues his speech. He claims the backward districts of Andhra Pradesh have been granted income tax sops and excise exemption, a feature not given to other States that were previously bifurcated.

Mr. Rao points out at a speech of former Commerce Minister Anand Sharma. Mr. Sharma objects to it and wants to clarify. Let him complete first, says the Chair.

The 14th Finance Commission has granted more than double of its existing allocation to Andhra Pradesh, he says. Andhra Pradesh is the only State to get revenue deficit grant among the general category State, he claims.

By SCS, the State would have 16,000 crores but now Andhra Pradesh has been given more than double, Mr. Rao claims. TDP members object to it. The Chair asks them to bring privilege motion if they feel Mr. Rao is factually wrong.

Two out of four industrial corridors announced pass through Andhra Pradesh. Krishnapatnam would be developed as industrial city but the State government is yet to acquire land. Mr. Rao claims one crore ten lakh jobs will be created through the Chennai-Vizag industrial corridor, he says. 

Industrial manufacturing zones would come up in Prakasam and Chittor but the State hasn't done much, he says.  He claims Polavaram is Modi's gift to the State.

He lists the State-specific centrally-sponsored initiatives that have benefited the State.

The Chair asks him to end the speech citing paucity of time. He continues to speak but the microphone is cut. BJP members thump the desk as he sits.

Rajya Sabha | 3:00 pm

Lok Sabha continues its discussion on amendments proposed to Prevention of Corruption Act. MoS Jitendra Singh moved the Bill, while Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury spoke against the Bill.

He cast apprehension of misuse of the clause that allows punitive action against the bribe giver. He also points out the Lokpal and Whistleblower protection are yet to be enacted.

Pralhad Joshi of BJP supports the Bill.

Rajya Sabha | 2:30 pm

GVL Narsimha Rao (BJP) says as a Telugu Bidda I am a grieved at the mass scale propaganda against the Union government. This is the first speech of Mr. Rao in Rajya Sabha. He says the Union government has given special focus to the State. He accuses the UPA government of bringing the Bill in a hurried manner. He says the Vice President, the then Opposition leader M. Venkaiah Naidu as the champion of the State.

In Lok Sabha, Prevention of Corruption amendments are being discussed.

Mr. Rao says the Opposition is provoking people to go to streets. While the UPA promised a central finance assistance in the House, the NDA has implemented it, he says. He says the Centre has already extended the loan repayment mechanism granted to SCS states to Andhra Pradesh as well. He is quoting Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandra Babu Naidu thanking the Union Government on the floor of State Legislative Council. Telugu Desam members raise objections. You may bring a motion if you want, says the Chair.

Mr. Rao goes on to quote previous speeches of Mr. Chandrababu Naidu. He claims until recently the Chief Minister was on the same page with the Centre and he has changed the stance now. 

Mr. Rao speaks in Telugu. Members want translation, he translates and continues in English.

Mr. Rao says when the Centre has provided all incentives, why are they insisting on the Special Category Status?

Rajya Sabha | 2:20 pm

'People of Andhra have suffered a lot'

Leader of Opposition Ghlam Nabi Azad speaks during special discussion on Andhra Pradesh.

Leader of Opposition Ghlam Nabi Azad speaks during special discussion on Andhra Pradesh.   | Photo Credit: RSTV

 

Leader of Opposition Ghlam Nabi Azad speaks. He briefly recalls the history of the two Telugu States.

Mr. Azad recalls how the Seemandhra was with Madras Presidency and the present Telangana was part of Hyderabad State. After the first State reorganisation, a unified Andhra Pradesh for Telugu population was created on October 1, 1956. 2014 was the fourth time the region faced reorganisation. The people of Seemandhra need sympathy. They weren't given reasonable time to settle. The demand of Andhra is as just as people of Telangana, Mr. Azad says. We have to ensure both the States progress. Telangana has the advantage of having a Capital, which AP doesn't have. The Government of India must support the new-born State, he says.

By bifurcating the State, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised a SCS for a period of five years. The then Opposition had demanded 10 years SCS. Today the same political party is not initiating. The promise is unfulfilled, he says. In lieu of SCS, this government promised a special package. Of the 16,447 crores promised only 400 crores have been disbursed, he says. The government has alloted peanuts for development of backward districts. How can a world class capital city be developed with Rs.1,500 crores, he asks. There should be a privilege against this government. It has deceived the people and the parliament, he says.

The promises must be fulfilled forthwith, he says ending the speech.

Rajya Sabha | 2:15 pm

'Not seeking charity, demanding our dues'

TDP member Y.S. Chowdary during a short duration discussion on Andhra Pradesh in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

TDP member Y.S. Chowdary during a short duration discussion on Andhra Pradesh in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.  

 

Y.S. Chowdary accuses the BJP of indulging in the politics of power. We are not seeking charity. We are demanding what is due to the State in accordance with the Act, he says.

He accuses the BJP of bringing back colonialism. When the State wanted Rs.1.5 lakh crores, but we have received only Rs. 13,500 crores. At this rate, it will take 44 years to implement the Act, Mr. Chowdary says.

When Bundelhand received over Rs. 4000 per head, the backward districts of AP got only Rs. 428 per head. I don't mind others getting more funds. But we should also get the same amount, he says.

Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu asks him to cut short his speech.

He says the TDP has no other go to cut ties with the NDA since they failed to implement even the special package announced by their own Finance Minister. He accuses the BJP of ignoring the TDP since they are now moving closer to YSRCP.

There was once Quit India, now it's Split India, he alleges.

He ends the speech emphasising a special category status to Andhra Pradesh.

Rajya Sabha | 2:05 pm

'Modi  failed to keep up his promise'

Y.S. Chowdary (TDP) initiates the debate. He begins by thanking the five crore people of Andhra Pradesh. He accuses "blatant violation of reorganisation Act" by the Union government. He says the promise of Manmohan Singh wasn't honoured. He accuses BJP 's political agenda is "all for power." He also accuses the Union government of violating federal structure of Constitution.

A centrally-sponsored lynching is going on in Andhra Pradesh. The people are made to plead for central help, he says. "I know I am using harsh language, I don't have a choice," he adds.

During the election campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi  promised a special category status thrice in Andhra Pradesh. He said he would provide 10 years SCS, he recalls. But the PMO drastically reduce the funds allocated to the State, Mr. Chowdhry claims.

He also refutes Centre's claim that the 15th Finance Commission disallows special category status to any State.

Rajya Sabha | 2:00 pm

Rajya Sabha takes up short duration discussion on implementation of State Reorganisation Act that led to bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

TDP member Ramesh points out the Home Minister is absent in the House. Jairam Ramesh asks who will respond on behalf of the government.

Rajnath Singh will be replying, Mr. Naidu says.

Lok Sabha | 1:00 pm

Premachandran raises the issue of raising pension paid by the EPFO. Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar assures him the process would be expediated.

M.B. Rajesh (CPI-M) says abolishment of UGC will increase political control of higher education, academia and free thought. The academia is unhappy with government's decision. This is not in sync with federal principles as well as against higher education, he says.

Shivaji Adhalrao Patil (Shiv Sena) speaks in Marathi. He says while Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have enacted laws to allow bull taming sports, the Maharashtra government hasn't taken any step to conduct the traditional sport in his State.

Arvind Savant (Shiv Sena) talks about pollution in rivers. Adhir Ranjan Choudhury of Congress raises local polls-related violence in West Bengal. Trinamool members object.

Ram Chandra Hansdah (BJD) says currency notes must be printed in all languages mentioned in the 22nd Schedule.

Members are quickly placing matters of urgent importance. Lok Sabha proceeding is extended till 1:30 pm. Some prominent issues are reservation for Marathas, development of birthplace of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, floods in Bhubaneswar, package to revive Arani silks, development of Konark temple, and increasing MSP to maize.

House adjourned till 2:30 pm

Lok Sabha | 12:50 pm

Bishnu Panda Ray, BJP member from Andaman & Nicobar says Indian-origin Sri Lankan Tamils were settled in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. They were promised land 42 years ago, but haven't been given so far.

Deependra Singh Hooda (Congress) says Assam Rifles comes under both Home and Defence Ministries. This is causing problems to personnel in terms of payment-related grievences. He also says the NPS is not beneficiary for paramilitary personnel. Paramilitary personnel should be treated on par with military personnel, he says.

Janardhan Singh Sigiriwal (BJP) lauds government for hiking the MSP. He says government must invest on storage and cooling chain. He also wants a programme dedicated for cold-storage.

Alwar MP Karan Singh Yadav says Rs.800 crore was spent to set up a hospital in his constituency. The hospital is ready but it is not operational yet. 

Lok Sabha | 12:40 pm

Zero Hour continues in Lok Sabha

Vincent Pala, Shillong MP, seeks removal of ban on coal extraction since it is a key source of revenue in Meghalaya.

Manshankar Ninama (BJP) seeks speedy disposal of fertilizer subsidy.

Udit Raj (BJP) says the gender and caste discrimination are affecting the economy. As many as 10 people were killed on April 2 during Bharat Bandh. The bullets were not fired by police but by caste Hindus, he claims. He also seeks immediate release of Bhim Army Chandra Shekar.

In Tripura MP Jithendra Choudhury accusses the BJP government in Tripura of being a threat to democracy in the State.

S.R. Vijayakumar (AIADMK) wants the government to do away with frequent hike of LPG cylinder prices.

P. Karunakaran (CPI-M) says the depreciating rupee is due to withdrawal of FDI. He seeks government intervention.

P.Kumar, Tiruchi MP, speaks in Tamil. He speaks on road expansion in his constituency.

Rajya Sabha | 12:30 pm

In Rajya Sabha, members are asking Finance Ministry the details of money stashed in Swiss banks. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal says the money in Swiss banks have come down by 80%. The Swiss authority has clarified that the media reports on figures published by Swiss National Banks are many times misleading and misinterpreted. All money in Swiss banks need not be black money, he says.

Mr. Goyal says since 2014 Swiss authority have shared more than 10,000 details on Indians. From 2018, any transactions made by Indians in Switzerland is automatically shared with India.

Sukhendu Shekar Ray has how much money has actually been recovered and how many have been persecuted. The government has got 4823 specific information and they are being pursued, he says.

Opposition members protest. House is adjourned till 2 pm.

Lok Sabha | 12:10 pm

Mob violence

In Lok Sabha, Sudip Bandhipadhyay (Trinamool Congress) raises the rising incidents of mob violence. We are for a united India. We cannot tolerate such form of violence, he says. More members want to talk about the issue.

Speaker says Union Home Minister has made a statement in the House on Monday. I cannot allow the same issue to be taken up everyday, she says.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge also raises the recent mob lynching incident in Alwar. She disallows Mr. Kharge to take names. Instead of GoM and high-level committee, a Supreme Court judge should investigate, he says.

Mohammad Salim (CPI-M) says the mob violence in the name of cow protection or child-lifting rumours should be despised. This is dangerous and it is the hate crimes are spreading throughout the country. He compares the lynching with attack on blacks in USA in the name of White Supremacy.

M. Thambidurai says States want the support of Centre to modernise police system. He says such rumours have affected Tamil Nadu too. Intelligence must be strengthened to check spread of such rumours. Law and Order must be the first priority. Centre must aide states to provide technological support, he says.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh responds. Government is also concerned about such attacks. He says such violence is not new and the biggest mob lynching happened in 1984 during anti-Sikh riots. Congress members object.

He repeats yesterday's statement on high-level committee and Group of Ministers to look into such incidents. We are ready to take stringent steps to curb such form of violence, he says.

 

Rajya Sabha | 12:00 noon

Now Rajya Sabha takes up Question Hour and Lok Sabha takes up Zero Hour.

Narayan Rane wants to know if Ratnagiri temples will be included in Central list of religious places. Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma says the Archeological Survey of India maintains the list. The Ratnagiri temple was constructed in the medieval period and has been periodically renovated, hence cannot be added to the list, he says.

For a religious place of worship to be considered in the Central list it must be over hundred years old and the original architecture should not have been altered, the minister says.

Anil Desai (Shiv Sena) asks if Pandharpur will be added to pilgrimage circuit. Dr. Sharma says the annual Pandhapur yatra is significant and the ministry will consider the proposal if State government sends one.

Lok Sabha | 12:00 noon

Lallu Singh (BJP) asks if the government proposes to increase basic facilities in urban slums. Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS Housing and Urban Affairs, says flagship schemes such as Swacch Bharat, Awas Yojana and Amrut take care of basic amenities. Community toilets are being constructed, he says.

Mr. Singh asks if government plans to contain expansion of slums. The responsibility is primarily with the State governments, he says attributing demographic shift for slum expansion. We are willing to supplement State's initiatives, he says.

Lok Sabha | 11:50 am

In Lok Sabha, Agriculture Minister is answering questions pertaining to National Dairy Plan, Fertilizer allotment and MSP hike.

The Minister gives elaborate answers. Speaker asks him to trim it down citing paucity of time.

Gourav Gogoi (Congress) says when the government wants increase milk productivity, dairy farmers ought to be protected, highlighting the recent incidents of mob violence.

Rajya Sabha | 11:45 am

When DMK, AIADMK are on the same page

Manoj Jha of RJD raises the issue of government shelter in Bihar where reports of sexual abuse of children were reported. This was raised by Pappu Yadav in Lok Sabha on Monday.

Tiruchi Siva (DMK) says many students depend on education loan for higher education. The banks are charging interest for interim period between completion of education and employment. The interest should commence only from date of repayment. The students are brought under CIBIL and this has adverse effect, he says. Surprisingly AIADMK members associate with the issue and Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu notes it down with chuckles.

P.L. Punia (Congress) wants to indict housing developers for substandard construction that led to building collapses.

Elamaram Kareem (CPI-M) raises the issue of Kerala flloods. He asks for a substantial financial allocation for the State.

C.K. Gohel (BJP) speaks in Gujarati. Mr. Naidu says he hasn't given notice earlier, so translation couldn't be arranged. Mr. Gohel continues his talk in Hindi. Mr. Gohel speaks about an Indian passing away in Pakistan jail. Please don't play politics over bodies, he says.

Lok Sabha | 11:30 am

Deependra Singh Hooda claims the government is damaging the name of M.S. Swaminathan by giving menial hike in the minimum support price in the name of his panel. When will the Swaminathan panel recommendations will be wholly implemented, he asks.

Radha Mohan Singh, Agriculture Minister, passes the blame to successive UPA governments. Congress members object.

TDP members continue with their protest seeking Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh. They show placards, which the Speaker objects.

Rajya Sabha | 11:25 am

DMK member Kanimozhi raises the issue of Thhothukudi police firing. She says she was part a delegation that was supposed to pursue an independent inquiry into the incident. Police stopped the leaders and even a former judge, she claims. AIADMK members object to her speech.

Harivansh (JD-U) talks about bad loans and arrests of bankers over alleged irregularities. He requests a detailed probe into the banking crisis.

Lok Sabha | 11:15 am

Next set of questions pertain to minimum support price. Gajendra Siingh Shekawat, MoS Agriculture, says the government is working on a long term solution in the form of robust mechanism to make agriculture profitable.

A member wants a special package for Bundelkhand farmers. Mr. Shekawat says NITI Aayog decides on allocation of funds.

Rajya Sabha | 11:10 am

Zero hour

In Rajya Sabha's Zero Hour Shanta Chettri of Trinamool Congress raises the mob violence in the name of cow protection. Many member associate.

AAP's Sanjay Singh highlights the satyagraha of Sadhus seeking to clean Ganga. Swami Sanand also known as Professor G.D. Agrawal is on hunger strike for the past two weeks. Mr. Singh wants the government to initiate dialogue with him.

Lok Sabha | 11:05 am

Generic medicines

Krit Solanki (BJP) asks if the number of generic medical stores will be increased. Mansukh Mandaviya, Chemical Minister, says the government is working towards popularising generic medicines. OVer a lakh people have moved to below poverty line due to unaffordable healthcare.

Mr. Solanki asks if government plans to bring out law to curb unaffordable medicines. The Minister says fears on the quality of generic medicines are unwarranted as they are tested by NABL. Government-run Jan Aushadhi stores provide quality pharma products. He doesn't say anything on legal measures.

Tathagatha Satpathy says Jan Aushadhi centres are not adequately equipped with manpower or medicines. Does the government carry out an awareness campaign to make people aware the benefits of generic medicines, he asks. Minister Mandaviya says the penetration of generic medicines have raised to seven per cent. We are encouraging doctors to write generic names in the prescription.

11:00 am

Lok Sabha begins with obituary reference.

In Rajya Sabha, MoS Home Kiren Rijiju tables a statement on the situation arising out of floods in various parts of country.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 2:33:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-updates-live-day-5/article24501078.ece

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