On Tuesday, the government hoped to discuss and pass four Bills each in both Houses of Parliament. The Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue, which led to the adjournment of the Rajya Sabha on Monday echoed in the House on Tuesday also.
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till noon. When it reconvened, the Chair allowed a discussion on the issue of non-inclusion of over 40 lakh names in the draft NRC and was adjourned for the day at 1.10 p.m. Lok Sabha passed Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Bill.
Here are the live updates:
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 is passed.
House is adjourned for the day.
The Congress walks out of the Lok Sabha.
N.K. Premachandran, RSP, Kollam, Kerala: "What has happened from June 6 till the day this monsoon session started? We can see that promulgation of ordinance was a necessity. At the time of passing and consideration of the bill, I had moved the amendment in case of creditors. But I don't see the amendment. What is the significance of the 66%? We are challenging the credibility of the government. We oppose the amendment."
Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai extends the house to continue the discussion.
Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal replies to the many concerns raised by members: "All the proposed amendments were accepted. We tightened our own powers. Committee had given a suggestion for a big power but we said Centre shouldn't get the power. Bringing an ordinance became necessary."
"We won't know whether the law is secured or not. NCLT will determine that. Qualitative and quantitative criteria is taken into consideration. Committee of creditors take decision based on many factors. Evaluation matrix will also be determined and decided in the COC file."
"When it comes to loans, restructuring keeps happening over the years. After this law came to force, people came forth to pay off their Rs. 1380 crores of money. We have changed the situation and now bank loans are being paid off by the people."
"Bankers have made an inter-bank agreement for recovering loans, cooperation and more. Now banks will work together in an organised fashion. We take an oath to make banks work better."
"For common man, underprivileged, youth and women, Mujra loans and Pradhan Mantri Yojanas has helped and given strength to the lower and middle class to own a house."
Rajesh Ranjan (Pappu Yadav), RJD, Bihar: "What is the way for 120 crores of middle class youth, farmers? This IBC bill should be helpful for common man. Law should be for common man."
Sharad Tripathi, BJP, Uttar Pradesh: "It is good that due to this Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Bill, companies run behind banks instead of vice versa. NCLT has got many applications and our govt has solved many issues."
Prem Singh Chandumajra, SAD, Punjab: "Is there any bill for farmers like this IBC bill? To avoid their bankruptcy and suicides. It would be great if measures are being taken for farmers."
Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav, RJD, Banka, Bihar: "A goat doesn't make friendship with grass." Members oppose his remark. Mr. Jay Prakash says, "Please listen to my words. Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi are all gone. But Dalits are not spared. Farmers are not spared. Demonetisation, GST, spoiled the common man's jobs and lives. An association should be made and justice should be given to all."
Dushyant Chautala, INLD, Hisar, Haryana: "How many 1000s of cases should be put under NCLT? When we talk about ten special courts, lets think that they'll get justice in 3 years. When matters go to NCLT, no one would be able to become the owner of their house even for 10 years. Under the definition of a financial creditor, would you give me the authority of my house or to the creditor? Only the flats under the BJP majority states have been looted."
Renuka Butta, YSRCP, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh: "Recycling activity in economy will lead to employment creation which leads to growth in economy. Insolvency and bankruptcy laws make recovery of debt a cumbersome process. But these amendments provide relief to home buyers. Reduction of voting threshold is aimed at quick dispersal. I support the amendment."
P. Karunakaran, CPI-M, Kasaragod, Kerala: "What is the objective of this ordinance? Here we can see that it is not a social or administrative demand? But only one committee is moving this, so I strongly oppose this. Insolvency is a situation where individuals or companies are unable to pay their debt. Here, the govt has to clarify for whom the amendment has been made. As stated by other members, it is clear. It is not for social or economical purpose. It is only for one committee."
Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, TRS, Telangana: "We've accumulated bad karma in the form of insolvency. Ease of doing business is important, but equally important is ease of resolution. The nature of the frauds triggering insolvency has increased. Why is there such a stark difference. We are by and large honest people. This Bill is also used to protecting the honest people. Should the law be tight, should it be liberal. I agree with Mr. Goyal because in some cases, 76% threshold is very harmful. The ordinance route definitely raises eyebrows and voices in the Parliament."
Jaidev Galla, TDP, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh: "The bill is silent on whether the allottees are secured or unsecured. I request the Finance Minister to clarify this. Whether the amendment in relation to home buyers is prospective or retrospective. I'd like to know the recommendations that were not accepted in this bill. I'd like to know what the Ministry is doing in this regard. Since we are talking about bankruptcy, due to the undemocratic way in which AP was bifurcated, we demand the Special Category Status should be accorded to Andhra Pradesh."
Vinayak Bhaurao Raut, of Shiv Sena, Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Maharashtra: "What is there for common man? There is a possibility of the NPA of cooperative credit societies. But it doesn't happen. Be it Mumbai, Kolkata or Pune, advertisements are being put up and people tend to believe them and buy houses. But even after booking in housing society or apartment complexes, they don't get the houses."
Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal: "Since many ministers have raised this issue, I'd like to talk about it. Because of a small minority, because the threshold was kept high, it may lead to liquidation. Since many members are under a wrong impression, let me clarify. There is no resolution which is complete as yet. The other option was resolution. I think the members are giving a wrong idea."
"This is the second amendment to The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2018. I would say it is a big amendment, number of clauses are there. This amendment runs into 40 clauses. I'm not opposed to all the clauses," says Bhartruhari Mahtab of BJD, Cuttack, Odisha.
"What prompted you for an amendment in the month of June? What specific steps have been taken through this ordinance that has helped to do away with bad debt? We are just trying to amend the act in just an afterthought. This government is a thinking government. In this specific process of the law, number of sections are being amended."
"Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code provides a forum for businesses. If a company has defaulted, surely, admitting such a case should be an administrative matter. Similarly, if a checklist approach is adopted, surely the process of admission would be quicker. What if there in an error in the calculation. For all this, the apex court has said, judicial bench should hear out parties. A template approach is made to reduce the time drastically."
"The questions that beg answers are, 'How can misconduct be established without adjudication'? 'Why should stakeholders who are victims be excluded from the process'?"
"When haircut is done, all are happy. Bad loan resolution does nothing. Banks face no punishment for writing off the loan. This is not something one should relish. Who is going to protect the public money. But adequate measures need to be taken. If IBC is able to do that, then let the Minister share his wisdom."
West Bengal MP of AITC, Prof Saugata Roy says, "We are in the worst crisis. There are so many defaulters who owe banks. Now RBI has introduced a prompt correction action. It has told a bank like Dena Bank, not to lend at all. Bank's income is by lending money. In this crisis under Mr. Moily's committee, they see some hope in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). IBC is leading to what Mr. Venugopal mentioned it as it is leading to crony capitalism."
"Before I start my speech, I would like to ask a question. Is Piyush Goyal a caretaker Finance Minister or a full-fledged Finance Minister. Banks have lost Rs. 21,000 crores. The dues to the banks are Rs. 13,600 crores. Banks sacrifice Rs. 25,000 crores. IBC is a good law. But IBC is not a panacia. We've led this country into a blind ally. IBC bill is limited in individual bankruptcy. As an Indian I cannot see our banking industry collapse. The haircut advantages do not go to the pockets of the banks."
“Minister Piyush Goyal has written to the Chairman of the Committee saying that the government has decided to withdraw the bill... This is a victory of the opposition.”
K. Venugopal of the AIADMK says it would be better if the government provides a debt threshold. He says he welcomes the amendment.
Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai is in the Chair.
Congress member M. Veerappa Moily is asked to speak next. But party leader Mallikarjuna Kharge says that the Opposition has the right to initiate a debate on a Bill.
Mr. Moily says that there should be checks and balances for any business.
He says the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has become an easy instrument now.
He says the Ordinance is tainted. Point at the BJP, he says, “Your stock answer is that NPA is a problem passed down to you, but what have you done about this problem other than just raise your hands?”
Mr. Premachandran claims that the Ordinance was passed to benefit certain corporates. He says the Ordinance was promulgated just in time for Reliance to benefit from it for the purchase of another company.
Kirit Somaiya of the BJP rises to speak. He says if the previous government had taken NPAs seriously, this wouldn’t have happened.
He says the BIFR exercise was a miserable failure. He says nothing was done for 10 years.
He says the government gives open, transparent loans.
Piyush Goyal introduces The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 for consideration and passing.
- The Bill amends the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 to clarify that allottees under a real estate project should be treated as financial creditors.
- The voting threshold for routine decisions taken by the committee of creditors has been reduced from 75% to 51%. For certain key decisions, this threshold has been reduced to 66%.
- The Bill allows the withdrawal of a resolution application submitted to the NCLT under the Code. This decision can be taken with the approval of 90% of the committee of creditors. - PRS India
N.K. Premachandran rises to oppose the Bill. He wants to know the urgency involved in promulgation of an Ordinance.
Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day.
Lok Sabha, in the mean time took up Zero Hour. Members raise the NRC issue. Speaker allows them to speak but reminds that it was raised yesterday as well.
George Baker, nominated member, claims local elections in West Bengal were conducted in undemocratic manner.
KC Venugopal raises the issue of TRAI Chairman's "dare" on Twitter.
Joice George,Idukki member, was the Central government to issue advisory to neighbouring Tamil Nadu on possible spate of Periyar river since the Idukki dam will be opened.
Newly-elected Phulpur member Nagendra Pratap Singh says local people are not given preference in factories functioning in his area.
Santosh Ahlawat (BJP) wants Philani to be connected through UDAAN.
Jitendra Chaudhury (CPI-M) talks about Bru refugees living in Tripura.
Shrikant Shinde talks about railway fractures. He wants the vacancy of gang men and safety posts must be filled up as a priority.
House adjourned till 2:20 pm
Amit Shah (BJP) says the reason for bringing out an NRC must also be adressed. He says the proposal was brought at the time of Rajiv Gandhi but they didn't have courage to implement it.
Mr. Shah asks if it was not the Congress, whose Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, had given commitment under the Assam Accord in 1985 to come up with NRC by excluding illegal immigrants?
He makes remarks comparing Bangladesh with Assam. Opposition members protest. His speech is interrupted.
Members troop the Well and raise slogans. "Only God can save this democracy," says M. Venkaiah Naidu. We are House of Elders. We must behave responsibly and in a dignified manner, Mr. Naidu says urging members to get back to the seat.
Rajya Sabha is adjourned for 10 minutes.
Jose K. Mani (KC-M) wants to know what will happen to the people who, say, do not have the proper documents? The government should show the road map, he adds.
Swapan Das Gupta (Nominated) says there is a perception that a lot of "foreigners" stay in Assam. Citizenship is different from being on the electoral rolls. The Assam Chief Minister has clarified that no one will be deportated. He appeals that there must be a real and fair scrutiny but let us not deny that there is an issue in Assam.
Sukhendu Shekar Roy raises Point of Order and objects to Biswajit Daimary's certain remark, and claims it's unparliamentary. After deliberation, the Chair expunges the remark.
Biswajit Daimary (BPF) says the left out persons include children born after the exercise was started. Even Assamese who have married or living outside the State have been left out. This is because they don't have proper documents. The issues are being sorted out. No Indian citizen will be harmed, he assures the House.
It is not an issue in Assam today people are confident that all issues will be sorted out, he adds.
Mr. Daimary represents Assam in the upper House.
Tiruchi Siva (DMK) says the issue is not confined to Assam. Forty lakhs is not a small number. Where will they go? We have to imagine the consequence that follow if these people are deprived of citizenship.
Sukhdev Singh Dhinsa (SAD) recalls Punjab faced a similar issue during Partition. He recalls how migrants from Pakistan who came to India seeking refuge are waiting to get citizenship.
Sanjay Singh (AAP) warns the exercise will trigger issues between States. We can't allow Indians to be refugee in India, he adds.
Vijaysai Reddy (YSRCP) says the legal maxim says hundreds of culprits may go unpunished but an innocent must never be punished.
D. Raja (CPI) says the issue has the potential to impact our relationship with Bangladesh and also disrupt the peace in many eastern and northern states. Government should take Parliament and political parties into confidence while taking a decision, he says.
Sukhendu Shekar Roy speaks in Bengali. Members say they are not able to get translation. Officials immediately fix it. He continues to speak in Bengali. He says he shares the concerns of Ms. Vijila since many Bengalis are left out of the NRC.
Prasanna Acharya (BJD) says it is a sensitive issue. Let us not politicise as well as de-politicise it. The Home Ministry must ensure all discrepancy must be addressed. The national security is also involved so is humanitarian issues. The government must balance both, he says.
Y.S. Chowdhury (TDP) says it is a clear cut failure on NRC. In the technological era, how so many names have been left out, he wonders. He also wants to know what the government decides to do with the list. Will they be deported? If yes, where? Many of them are Indians. We already have a lot of problems in the name of caste, creed and colour. This should not be add to the list of problems, he says.
T.K. Rangarajan (CPI-M) says in history we have seen migration. You can see Odiya in Kerala and Bengali in Tamil Nadu. You cannot say they should leave the place. In my opinion this exercise is illegal, he claims.
Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD) says NRC cannot remain a heartless bureaucratic exercise. We are dealing with a humanitarian crisis, he says.
Veer Singh (BSP) says people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have also migrated to Assam. Their citizenship should not be revoked.
Majeed Memon (NCP) says leaders are casually commenting that they can be sent back to their parent country. These people are living in India for generations. Are you going to dump them in Bengal, he asks.
Dharmapuri Srinivas (TRS) says at least the government should address the issue of refugee in the beginning itself. Government should reconsider, reevaluate and take an appropriate decision.
Discussion on NRC
Rajya Sabha reconvenes. The Chair allows members to speak on Assam's draft NRC. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks. He says the onus to prove nationality must be on the government too. The Centre and State must ensure legal assistance to those who have been left out from the list. The government must ensure these people are not subjected to any form of harassment. This must not be politicised, he says.
Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) recalls how an elected MP's name was left out in the draft released earlier. It is fine if the names left out are genuinely foreigners. But most of them are Indians, where will they go? he asks.
Vijila Sathyananth (AIADMK) says most people are Indians. These 40 lakh people are having sleepless nights. She says a Tamil Nadu woman who married an Assamese man has been left out from the list. She is an Indian and not a foreigner. She was born in 1973 and she is living in Assam for many years, she says.
Abhishek Banerjee (TMC) asks details about money spent of Centre of Excellence run by the Heavy Industries Ministry. Minister Babul Supriyo lays the answer in table and says the ministry runs centres in IIT-Chennai, IISc-Bengaluru and IIT-Kharagpur.
P.R. Sundaram (AIADMK) asks if a new Centre of Excellence will come up anywhere in Tamil Nadu. Mr. Supriyo says three centres are functioning in Tamil Nadu — two in Coimbatore and one in Chennai. The minister adds Bengaluru to the list and quickly changes it realising that it is the capital of Karnataka!
That brings to the end of Question Hour.
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh is responding questions pertaining to the plight of farmers. This in turn becomes a heated debate between the Treasury Bench and opposition on the crop insurance schemes, farm loan waiver and hike in MSP.
Protests at a glance
Members of Trinamool Congress sought the withdrawal of draft NRC that was released in Assam on Monday. Samajwadi Party and Aam Aadmi Party members too supported the TMC's protest.
Members from RJD highlighted the Muzzafarpur shelter home rapes.
Members of TDP continued their protest seeking Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh. Party MP N. Shivaprasad attended the session dressed up as Sree Sathya Sai of Puttaparthi.
A TDP member seeks farm loan waiver. Radha Mohan Singh, Agriculture Minister, says Adhra Pradesh has been supported in every possible way. We don't neglect any State, he says.
Muddahanumeghagowda (Congress) notes a noted economist Manmohan Singh waived off farmer loans. He also seeks farm loan waiver claiming farmers commit suicide due to increase in debt. The Minister replies in negative.
A costly slip
Professor Sugata Bose (Trinamool Congress) says it is unfortunate that India is deporting Rohingya when we as a country is known for humanity. On one hand the Indian government is helping Rohingya is Cox Bazaar, Bangladesh which is providing shelter to over nine lakh refugee. We are sheltering only 40,000 Rohingya and we want to deport them?
MoS Kiren Rijiju says our priority is to protect our citizens firsts. We are ready to help Rohingya deported to India to resettle in Myanmar. He also says India is providing shelter to millions of refugee.
Mr. Rijiju says we are providing shelter to Tibetans and refugees from Tamil Nadu! A costly slip of tongue. AIADMK MPs protest and seek apology. Mr. Rijiju says it is a slip of tongue and he meant Sri Lankan Tamils.
Barely five minutes into the proceedings, Rajya Sabha is adjourned till noon over the draft NRC list.
Rohingya getting voting rights, claims Shiv Sena member
Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) raises the issue of Rohingya refugee getting voting rights. Some of them even have Aadhaar cards now. Many of them are not even refugee, they are illegal immigrants, he claims. He wants to know how many Rohingya were deported from India so far.
MoS Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju says no Rohingya will be getting any legal document to show they are Indians. If there are evidence, the member may produce the details, we'll investigate, he says.
Mr. Sawant also claims the northeastern border is porus and that is why Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants enter India.
Mr. Rijiju says our borders with Bhutan and Myanmar are not fenced, but the border security have ensured no illegal migration through these routes.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh joins the issue. He says all States have been asked to ennumerate the number of Rohingya in their region. Assam Rifiles are also ensuring that illegal migration don't happen. On the issue of deporting Rohingya, we are collating the details with External Affairs Ministry and the States, he adds.
Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi raises a Point of Order as soon as Lok Sabha convenes. Dr. Joshi points out the discrepancy over the English and Hindi versions of List of Business. When the English version says Tuesday, Hindi version says Thursday. These issues come often, Dr. Joshi points out.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who is in the Chair, says it is a serious issue and says she'll look into it.
The Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party members joined hands on Tuesday to protest against several lakhs on names not included in the draft National Register of Citizens released in Assam.
The BJP Parliamentary Party met ahead of the session. The party felicitated the Prime Minister for defeating the no-confidence motion brought by the erstwhile ally TDP.