Rajya Sabha updates April 5, 2022 | House passes Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022; adjourned for the day

Proceedings in Rajya Sabha during the second part of Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, on April 4, 2022.

Proceedings in Rajya Sabha during the second part of Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, on April 4, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2022, and the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 were passed in the Upper House on Tuesday

Here are the latest updates:

8.00 p.m.

Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day

Rajya Sabha proceedings have been adjourned for the day and will resume at 11.00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 6.

7.43 p.m.

House takes up special mentions.

7.40 p.m.

Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill passed

After the discussion and the reply of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the Rajya Sabha passes the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill to amend the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957. The Bill seeks to to unify three municipal corporations of Delhi into a single body. It was passed in the Lok Sabha on March 30, 2022.

7.17 p.m.

Bill needed as Delhi government treats MCDs like ‘stepson’: Amit Shah

Union Minister Amit Shah says the Government had to bring the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill as the Delhi Government treated the municipal corporations like a “stepson”. He alleges the Aam Aadmi Party-led government of the Union Territory rejected a number of proposals sent by the three municipal corporations in the past few years, which affected the region’s development.

7.03 p.m.

Amit Shah replies on Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill

Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah begins his reply following discussion on the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill. He says the Bill is not against the federal structure of the country as the National Capital Territory of Delhi is not a complete State.

“Had I brought such a bill for a complete State then it would have been against the federal structure,” the Home Minister says.

5.55 p.m.

Why did the BJP not think about the reunification of Delhi Municipal Corporations in the last seven years, asks Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh.

“This Bill is not for the reunification of municipal corporations in Delhi, this is a Kejriwal-phobia Bill because you (BJP) are scared of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal,” says Mr. Singh.

5.45 p.m.

John Brittas quotes L.K. Advani during his speech to oppose the Amendment Bill.

“If the government ruling the entire country rules over Delhi, it will neglect its duties as the national government and will do injustice to the people...,” Mr. Brittas says, and asks the House to guess who made the statement before revealing it was said by Mr. Advani.

Mr. Brittas also requests Union Home Minister Amit Shah to withdraw the Amendment Bill if he is “receptive to Advani ji”.

5.35 p.m.

This Bill is an attack on our federal structure, says Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan while opposing the Bill.

The central government has too much on its plate, they should let the state governments be, the MP adds.

In response to interruptions during her speech, Ms. Bachchan says, “Empty vessels make the most noise.”

5.05 p.m.

BJP is trying to postpone elections in Delhi through the reunification of municipal corporations, alleges Trinamool Congress MP Jawhar Sircar

“Once you bring in a step like this, it will lead to delimitation, and that delimitation will take you 18 months,” says the MP.

Mr. Sircar also asks the government to not make a municipal issue into a national one. “Exactly two years from today, we’ll be facing a national referendum,” he adds. He advises the government to “not break down every institution that we have for the sake of retaining power”.

4.05 p.m.

Amit Shah introduces the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 for consideration and passing

“I have tried to find the reason why the operations of municipal corporations in Delhi were divided in the first place but was unable to find any,” says the Union Home Minister.

Mr. Shah says that the objectives of the division are not available on record.

Repeating his comments from his address in the Lok Sabha, the Home Minister has again said that the Delhi government has meted out stepmotherly treatment to the municipal corporations in Delhi.

3.55 p.m.

Rajya Sabha passes the Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The Bill was passed through a voice vote.

2:25 p.m.

Concerns of all stakeholders need to be addressed: NCP MP Dr. Fauzia Khan

The intent is to regulate CA and CS but do we have the infrastructure and manpower to deal with the changes, asked Dr. Fauzia Khan, NCP MP from Maharashtra.

She also said that financial literacy among men and women should be increased, and financial education should be made a part of our national curriculum. She said that in this way the public can themselves become regulators.

2:04 p.m.

There have been objections to the bill across party lines: MP John Brittas

John Brittas, CPI (M) MP from Kerala pointed out that BJP MP Suresh Prabhu had also objected to the bill. He said that after hearing Prabhu, the Finance Minister must be thinking of withdrawing the bill and that cutting across party lines there have been objections to the bill.

He said that the government wanted to control these institutes and that they believe that bureaucratic control is the panacea to all ills. He urged the government to enrich autonomy and not cripple it.

1:58 p.m.

Why are CAs being singled out: YSRCP MP Ayodhya Rami Reddy Alla

Pointing out that judges are appointed by other judges and all decisions about the profession are made by judges, YSRCP MP Ayodhya Rami Reddy Alla asked why CAs are being singled out when other professions are being allowed to function in this manner while facing even more issues.

1:55 p.m.

Indian Institutes of Accounting an innovative idea: BJD MP Sujeet Kumar

BJD MP Sujeet Kumar spoke up in support of the bill. Disciplinary proceedings are non-adversarial and based on the principles of natural justice, he said, saying that he disagreed with the apprehensions about having non-CAs in the disciplinary committees. If a non-doctor can be a health minister, why can a non-CA not be a part of this committee, he asked.

He also agreed with the parliamentary committee suggestion to create Indian Institutes of Accounting similar to IITs and IIMs. He called it an innovative idea and said that it will end end statutory monopoly of the ICAI on the profession, thereby making the profession more inclusive.

1:35 p.m.

Scope for service exports, bodies should be strengthened: BJP MP Suresh Prabhu

BJP MP Suresh Prabhu from Andhra Pradesh said that the Institute of Chartered Accountants were not opposed to all provisions of the bill and raised some points against specific provisions of the bill. Can an issue about a medical procedure be decided by a non-medical professional, he asked, saying that having a non-chartered accountant sit in judgement may lead to unintended consequences.

He pointed out that there was a huge potential for service exports in all the financial services. There is a great opportunity for all these professional bodies, so they should be strengthened, he said.

Mausam Noor, AITC MP, started her speech by taking about how the bill prevents white collar crime but the house is not allowing discussion about the looting of the public due to the price rise. She was asked to stick to discussion of the bill.

She said that the term ‘misconduct’ has been defined vaguely under the bill, and said that this vagueness coupled with the presence of the government in these institutes may set a dangerous precedent in the future.

DMK MP P Wilson also outlined objections to the bureaucratic control of the bodies and asked about the independence of these bodies.

1:15 p.m

Non Chartered accountants should not be part of disciplinary committee: Congress MP Dr. L Hanumanthaiah

Dr. L Hanumanthaiah, Congress MP from Karnataka, outlined his objections to various provisions of the Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

He pointed out that other professional bodies have professionals in charge, and questioned how can anyone apart from chartered accountants could unnderstand issues of this field. Non Chartered accountants should not be part of disciplinary committee because specialized knowledge is required, he said.

He also said that withdrawal of complaints should be allowed, but such provision has not been made in the bill.

1:00 p.m.

The Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2022 taken up for discussion

The house continues to work over lunch after earlier discussion to do so given that only three working days remain to conclude legislative business.

Check out this comment for an insight into the bill

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12:45 p.m.

Questions raised about food adulteration and nutritional information labelling

SP MP Jaya Bachchan said that many packages are not labelled or packaged properly and asked whether the government provide information to the public about where to complain and how many days it would take to resolve issues. She also said that children are the main consumers some of these products

Bharati Pawar, MoS of Health said that we always run awareness programmes through the ministry, including about nutritional details and food adulterations. She also pointed out that programmed like FitIndia are being run, and that complaints are also redressed.

BJP MP Mahesh Poddar also raised a question about the lack of labelling of harmful substances like fats, trans fats and asked if the government will take action to provide comprehensive information on labels so consumers can know if they are exceeding the limits. The MoS of Health pointed out that it was necessary to include this information on labels.

12:36 p.m.

When will all Indians have second vaccine dose, asks Dr Santanu Sen

Dr Santanu Sen, AITC MP from West Bengal, asked if the MoS for Health can give a specific date by which all Indian citizens will be vaccinated with both doses.

Bharati Pawar, MoS of Health, said that first dose has been given to 97% of people and second dose to 85% of people. She said that vaccinations are voluntary and hoped that everyone could work together and participate in this initiative.

12:30 p.m.

Will four lakh compensation be given for COVID deaths: Congress MP

Congress MP Shaktisinh Gohil said that the government had promised fours lakh rupees as compensation for COVID deaths and asked why this was reversed hours after the announcement and questioned whether this this money be given.

Bharati Pawar, MoS of Health, replied that arrangements had been made to take care of patients through insurance schemes for poorer patients. She also said that ex-gratia payments had been examined at central, state and district levels and it has been determined that the amount to be given is not four lakhs.

12:20 p.m.

Will the govt stop direct consumer advertising for healthcare, asks NCP MP

Dr. Fauzia Khan, NCP MP, pointed out that online healthcare aggregators have been pushing surgeries and tests without medical necessity and asked whether there was a plan to stop direct consumer advertising in this sector.

Bharati Pawar, MoS for Health said that she would reply with specific details, but pointed out that any discrepancies in prescriptions can be addressed at the hospital level.

12:05 p.m.

CSR funding discussion under way

Pointing out that CSR funding plays an important role in development of backward regions, MP Birendra Prasad Baishya asked how much money has been spent in northeastern states.

Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs, said that they suggest that companies spend money not only in the area of operation but broadly throughout the country. We cannot direct any company to spend money in the northeast, he said.

12:00 p.m.

Zero hour ends, question hour under way

11:50 a.m.

Signboards in every state should have local language instructions: Naidu

Sukhendra Sekhar Ray, MP from AITC, speaking in Bengali, requested that signposts in Kolkata have instructions in Bengali.

Chairman Naidu agreed and said that the model should be that government signboards in every state should have mother tongue, state language, Hindi and English. He said he hoped the government will take note of this and respective agencies take required steps.

11:48 a.m.

Drinking water issue raised, HD Devegowda raises issue of scarcity in Bangalore

JD(S) MP HD Devegowda said that only 4.75 TMC of water was assigned to Bangalore, even though there are 1.30 crore people in Bangalore. We are suffering because of lack of drinking water he said.

11:45 a.m.

CUET does not take weaker students into account: CPI(M) MP

John Brittas, CPI(M) MP from Kerala questioned the merit of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET.)

He said that education is on concurrent list, but the Union takes unilateral decisions about education with no discussion with states. He pointed out that the UGC decided that CUET will be held and Standard 12 marks will not be taken into account. But students from weakest section are not considered because they cannot afford coaching and there is an inherent advantage for well-to do students. The CUET is against the cardinal principle of social justice, he said.

He also said that the distinct character of each university was not taken into account

11:32 a.m.

Adopt Mumbai bus model in Delhi: Shiv Sena MP

Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai said that Delhi needs the same kind of organization as the Mumbai bus system, as the capital city. Naidu said it was up to each state to adopt its own system, and this was a suggestion that Delhi could adopt.

11:30 a.m.

Amravati needs to be developed:TDP MP

TDP MP K Ravindra Kumar requested the central govt to urge public sector undertakings to establish their offices in Amravati and create employment for Andhra Pradesh residents.

11:25 a.m.

Make Election manifesto legally binding: RJD MP

Chairman Naidu said that all parties should come together to discuss this issue. “We have 75 years of experience by now,” he said.

11:22 a.m.

Asiatic lions vulnerable, need human-free area: Congress MP

Congress MP Rajani Patil said that lions in India are facing a lot of challenges. Reserves need to be human-free, she said, pointing out that Gir has only 250 sq km of human-free area, and other areas in Saurashtra are shared with humans.

She said that a proposed lion hospital is the last step in the process, and arrangements need to be made to protect the endangered species beforehand.

11:19 a.m.

Saudi Arabia needs to decide when Hajj yatra happens, not us: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

During Zero hour, Union minister for Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the Hajj yatra is an international journey, and the government will follow what the Saudi Arabian government decides. He was replying to an incomplete question about the Hajj yatra after the pandemic years.

11:13 a.m.

Opp Leader says price rise should be discussed, opposition says walk-out is only option

MPs submitted notice of procurement of parboiled rice and also of price rise issue.

Chair Naidu said the discussion of price rise has already happened during the Finance Bill proceedings. Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said that this issue needs to discussed given its impact on the public and rise in price about a number of essential items.

Opposition members said they had no option but to stage a walk-out.

11:04 a.m.

Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill laid on table

During laying of papers, the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill passed in the Lok Sabha on April 4 was also laid before the Rajya Sabha for consideration.

11:00 a.m.

House proceedings commence with oath and affirmation by two new members

Tuesday’s proceedings kicked off with oath and affirmation by two new members of the Rajya Sabha.

These members, with state and party affiliation, are:

  1. Dr Sikander Kumar (BJP, Himachal Pradesh)
  2. Manik Saha (BJP, Tripura)
10.30 a.m.

List of Business

1. Bills for consideration and passing:

  • The Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
  • The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 
  • The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2022. 

2. Reply to the discussion on the working of the Ministry of Labour and Employment

3. Papers and Reports to be laid on the Table

4. Question Hour

10.00 a.m.

Day 15 recap

The Rajya Sabha saw an early adjournment, after facing multiple adjournments and resumptions as Opposition members wanted to raise the issue of fuel price rise for discussion, which Chairman Venkaiah Naidu refused to allow.

The Upper House inducted seven new members.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2022 11:43:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajya-sabha-april-5-2022/article65292016.ece