Parliament Winter Session updates | December 8, 2022

Rajya Sabha passes Wild Life Protection Amendment Act, 2022, discusses the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill; Lok Sabha resumes debate on sports

December 08, 2022 11:03 am | Updated December 21, 2022 11:28 am IST

Minister of Environment Bhupender Yadav replying to the debate in the Rajya Sabha on The Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022.

Minister of Environment Bhupender Yadav replying to the debate in the Rajya Sabha on The Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022.

On the second working day of the Winter Session, the Wild Life Protection Amendment Act, 2022 was taken up in the Rajya Sabha post a calm Question Hour and lunch break. The Lok Sabha, however, witnessed sporadic protests as the Opposition raised issues such as the Indo-China border dispute and the ongoing dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka. Several leaders of the Opposition later staged a walk out alleging that they were not allowed to raise issues in the House. The Lower House is scheduled to consider the Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill and Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022 for passing later today, as per the list of business.

Day 1 of the Winter Session was business as usual for Parliament as opposed to a turbulent Monsoon Session. While two Bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha, proceedings commenced in the Rajya Sabha with MPs welcoming the new Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar. The government plans to introduce a total of 16 new Bills during the session which concludes on December 29, as per notified schedules.

Explained | What’s on agenda for the 2022 Winter Session of Parliament?

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Rajya Sabha | 6.05 p.m.

Rajya Sabha adjourns for the day and will reconvene at 11 a.m. on Friday (December 9).

Lok Sabha | 6.00 p.m.

Lok Sabha adjourned until Friday, December 9; 11 a.m.

Rajya Sabha | 5.50 p.m.

House hears Special Mentions

Several members submit their Special Mentions. DMK’s Kanimozhi Somu mentions the need to create adequate workforce in the animation, visual effects, gaming and comics (AVGC) industry. Neeraj Dangi of the Congress raises the issue of unregulated fee-hike by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM).

Several members submit their Special Mentions. DMK’s Kanimozhi Somu mentions the need to create adequate workforce in the animation, visual effects, gaming and comics (AVGC) industry. Neeraj Dangi of the Congress raises the issue of unregulated fee-hike by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). Other issues such as the situation in the border between India and Myanmar and the introduction of GM mustard.

Rajya Sabha | 5.40 p.m.

‘Bill rushed; need to re-examine’: Jawhar Sircar

Trinamool Congress MP Jawhar Sircar says that the government has rushed with the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and says that he had submitted that the bill be sent to a Select Committee. “We need to re-examine the law,” he says and mentions that the bill empowers the bureaucracy at the wrong level.

He says that the government has placed a lot of emphasis on non-fossil fuels but they are nowhere to be found. “Where are the non-fossil fuels?” he asks and goes on to say that Green Hydrogen is the “biggest gimmick” in recent times. He says that the need for non-fossil fuels need to be accompanied by adequate capacities.

Regarding carbon credits, Mr. Sircar says that several studies have revealed the malpractices of the carbon credits market. While being desirable and inevitable, there have been no studies regarding the misuse of carbon credit, in the bill, he says.

Following Mr. Sircar’s remarks, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar says that the discussion on the bill will further continue and moves to hear Special Mentions.

Rajya Sabha | 5.20 p.m.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi raises concerns on parts of bill

While expressing his support, Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi says that the bill requires clarity on the agencies it intends to create for issuing carbon credit certificates and the steep penalities for those who are non-compliant with the requirement of reducing carbon footprints across various activities such as construction.

Rajya Sabha | 5.00 p.m.

Rajya Sabha discusses the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill

The House moves on to discuss the The Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, introduced by the Minister of New and Renewable Energy Raj Kumar Singh. The Minister says India has committed to reduce emissions and transition towards clean energy sources in various global conferences.

He also says India’s per-capita emissions are one-third of the global average and contributes very less to the total load of carbon dioxide of the world. India has emerged as one of the leading nations in energy transition and climate action. “We are the only major economy whose climate action is compliant with the sub two-degree rise in global temperatures. We have pledged in COP21 in Paris that by 2030, 40% of established power generation capacity from non-fossil (fuel) sources. We achieved this target nine years in advance. We achieved this November 2021. Today our non-fossil fuel power generation capacity is 42% of our total capacity,” he says.

This capacity includes renewables such as solar, wind, hydro and nuclear energy sources.

He further says since India achieved its COP21 target in advance, we are able to enhance our ambition target in COP26 to 50%. Regarding emission intensity for economy, he says India pledged to reduce it by 35% and has already achieved 30% and this target too will be achieved before 2030. “We are doing well. Our government believes in the environment. As a civilisation we have always believed in the environment. It is in our culture. We want to carry this forward,” he says.

Of the total emission in the country, 40% is due to power manufacturing and the other factors that contribute 60% needs to be adjusted. “Electrifying the economy” to enable people to move from coal is one of the strategies that the government is following. We should also change the feedstock from fossil to non-fossil.

Rajya Sabha | 4.42 p.m.

Rajya Sabha passes Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill

Rajya Sabha passes the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022.

Rajya Sabha | 4.10 p.m.

Bhupender Yadav answers to debate on Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill

Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav answers to the debate on The Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022.

In his reply, the Minister thanks the the Standing Committee and says “When the Bill goes to a Standing committee, there are several recommendations that are made,” and points to the concerns raised by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh on provisions of the Bill. Mr. Yadav says, “I want to assure that rules will be framed in accordance with the provisions of the Act to protect the elephant community. We won’t deviate.”

The approved Bill allows the transfer and transport of captured elephants for religious or any other purpose, a deviation Mr. Ramesh has alleged, from the Committee’s recommendation that they be allowed only for temple elephants (religious purposes).In his reply, the Minister thanks the Standing Committee and says, “When the Bill goes to a Standing committee, there are several recommendations that are made,” and points to the concerns raised by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh on provisions of the Bill. Mr. Yadav says, “I want to assure that rules will be framed in accordance with the provisions of the Act to protect the elephant community. We won’t deviate.”

The approved Bill allows the transfer and transport of captured elephants for religious or any other purpose, a deviation Mr. Ramesh has alleged, from the Committee’s recommendation that they be allowed only for temple elephants (religious purposes).

Lok Sabha | 4.04 p.m.

House is discussing the need to promote sports in India and the steps taken by the Government in this regard. The discussion is under Rule 193 of the proceeding regulations.

Rajya Sabha| 3.40 p.m

MPs mention elephant-human conflict

Kamakhya Prasad Baishya, MP from Assam, expressed that the elephant transport provision should be retained, because there were too many in narrow forest lands and they attacked human habitation.

His words echoed that of MP Abdul Wahab, who also pointed out that elephants near his home at the foothills of the Nilgiri damaged solar panels and caused disruption.

Rajya Sabha | 3.05 p.m.

INC MP Jairam Ramesh expresses concerns about elephant transport provision

INC MP Jairam Ramesh rose to oppose the Bill in its current form.

He says that Minister Bhupender Yadav has accepted some recommendations from the Standing Committee and cleaned up the Schedules, and further has dropped the most dangerous amendment relating to the transport of live elephants. For this Mr. Ramesh complimented him.

But he reiterated concerns regarding the protection of elephants under the Act. The elephant is a national heritage animal for India, he said. The Standing Committee accepted the religious significance of the elephant, but the Minister has included the words “any other purpose.”

Mr. Ramesh asked what these words were supposed to stand for, and asked that they be deleted from the Act.

Lok Sabha | 3 p.m.

Lok Sabha discusses issue of sports promotion

Under Rule 193, a discussion is taking place on the need to promote sports in the country and steps taken by the Centre. The rule allows discussions to be had without introducing a formal motion in the House. The discussion has been continuing since the last session of Parliament.

Lok Sabha | 2.57 p.m.

‘For their safety, security…’: YSRCP MP demands exclusive trains for women

YSR Congress Party MP Chinta Anuradha urged the Centre to introduce an exclusive sleeper class train for women to ensure their safety and security. Making a case for her demand, the MP said, “Despite efforts, the safety of women in public transport, especially trains, has not been accomplished so far. Women still face eve-teasing and sexual harassment and thus avoid travelling long distances. This issue prevents their access to public transport and affects their mobility choices. These barriers can affect their access to opportunities and their autonomy. Having women-only trains will help to ensure they are safe and secure.”

Rajya Sabha | 2.51 p.m

Huge discretion for transportation of live elephants: AITC MP

Sushmita Dev, AITC MP from West Bengal, says that certain Bills require experts, and this is one. She applauds the Standing Committee for its consultation work. She says that this Bill is a prime example of how a Standing Committee can act as a watchdog of the nation and points out that is a pity that the number of Bills being reviewed by such committees is falling to 13% from 60%.

She says that the Bill has become very cumbersome and said that these provisions could have been brought about in the Biological Diversity Act.

There are two authorities which deal with the trade of species under the Act, but she points out that this is a matter under the Concurrent list and hence due care must be taken to constitute them in line with the principles of federalism.

The MP highlights that huge discretion has been given for the transportation of live elephants, and expresses concern about protecting the animal. She says that the amendment contravenes Section 27 of the Act.

Rajya Sabha | 2.23 p.m.

We should have both progress and conservation: NCP MP Praful Patel

Praful Patel, NCP MP from Maharashtra says that he had no difference of opinion about the root of this legislation, even if they may have differences about provisions.

We should have progress, and we should also have protection of wildlife, he says. He says that there has been an increase in human-wildlife conflict. He points out that there used to be a lot of animals, but now there is a reduction in prey. Leopards are coming into the city from Sanjay National Park and killing humans, since they do not have access to their prey, he says.

We stop work on National Highways, saying it will disrupt wildlife. Why don’t we have a national policy in this regard, he says.

Lok Sabha | 2.09 p.m.

Lok Sabha takes up issues under Rule 377

MPs are discussing issues of importance under Rule 377 of the Rules of the Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha. The rule allows MPs to raise issue which cannot be raised under the rules relating to Questions, Short Notice Questions, Calling Attention, Motions etc.

Rajya Sabha | 2.04 p.m

Rajya Sabha resumes, takes up Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill 

Session resumes at 2 p.m, the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill is taken up for consideration and passing.

Read more about the Bill and proposed amendments here: Explained | What India’s Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill seeks to change

Lok Sabha | 2.02 p.m.

Proceedings resume

The Zero Hour was underway in the Lok Sabha when the House was adjourned for an hour.

Rajya Sabha | 1.02 p.m

Rajya Sabha adjourns till 2 p.m

Post a question regarding infrastructure for Char Dham Yatra, including the progress on road work and the Kedarnath ropeway, the House stands adjourned till 2 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 1.01 p.m.

Lok Sabha breaks for lunch

A heated discussion broke out over the Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute and alleged disrespect meted out to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, following which the Lok Sabha was adjourned for an hour. 

Rajya Sabha | 12.54 p.m

Chair calls for inputs to showcase India’s culture during G-20

The Chair says that the world will look to ‘feast’ on India’s cultural wealth during G-20 and calls for inputs and suggestions in this regard within a fortnight.

Leader of the House Piyush Goyal compliments him on this initiative.

Rajya Sabha| 12.52 p.m.

Questions range from hospitals to culture

Prof. Manoj Kumar Jha asks about ESI and ESIC dispensaries and hospitals in Bihar.

Ghanshyam Tiwari, BJP MP, asks if there is a scheme to protect monuments related to the Sanatan culture of the country. What is being done to restore the culture destroyed in the past due to invasions, he asks.

The Minister of State for Culture says that the government is already working towards this.

Lok Sabha | 12.40 pm.

Women’s Reservation Bill back in spotlight: DMK MP slams govt over delay

Demanding the Centre to introduce the women’s reservation bill, DMK MP T. Sumathy (A) Thamizhachi Thangapandian said, “Nine years since the NDA government came to power with a thumping majority, the Bill has not seen the light of the day. This shows that everything is a sham and a farce.” “Article 4 guarantees women equal opportunity and equality. It is high time this Bill sees light of the day since it has been already delayed. Our PM and Cabinet ministers will talk about uplifting women... if they really mean to do what they say, this Bill should be taken up,” she added.

The bill seeks to reserve one-third of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies. It was first introduced in 1996 and introduced several times. The bill was passed in Rajya Sabha in 2010, but it lapsed after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.

12.34 p.m.

Questions raised about Indians detained or taken abroad illegally

Harbhajan Singh asks a question about regulation of unregistered travel agencies in Parliament, says he is satisfied with the answer of the Minister laid on the table. “One of the ablest bowlers is satisfied by the batsman,” Chair jokes.

Question is raised about the issue of Indians illegally transported to Thailand, and V Murleedharan MoS External Affairs, says that several have been brought back.

MP Fauzia Khan says that Siyasat has reported that over 4000 Indians are languishing in prisons of Middle East countries, mainly due to offences under the Kafala system. She asks what the Government will do to tackle this issue.

Mr. V Murleedharan says that all efforts are being taken for their release through legal means in those countries.

Rajya Sabha| 12.23 p.m.

MoS Culture fields questions about India’s cultural heritage, says 229 artefacts brought back so far.

Sujeet Kumar, BJD MP, asks about establishing a National Heritage Protection policy. Government should consider creating a database to document ancient centres in India, he says.

Minister of State for Culture Meenakshi Lekhi responds that this work is under progress, saying that 4 lakh and above pieces have been documented in Odisha and 8 lakhs overall.

She also responds to question about artefacts in musuems abroad, saying that 229 have been brought back in recent years.

Rajya Sabha| 12.15 p.m.

What measures taken to prevent flooding in Odisha: BJD MP

Dr. Sasmit Patra. BJD MP, asks a question about Odisha’s saline embankment to prevent flooding due to rise in seawater levels.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Earth Sciences mentions the launch of two Central schemes which will help to reduce erosion and disaster management, including a fund. He mentions a 75-day ocean clean-up initiative and says that the government is also researching ocean resources.

Measures taken in other areas are also being taken in Odisha, he says.

Lok Sabha | 12.08 p.m.

Sloganeering as Congress raises Indo-China border dispute

Zero Hour is underway in the Lok Sabha. Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury speaks on reports of heightened Chinese activity along the border with India. The MP, however, is not allowed to raise the issue. Later, a few members of the Opposition were seen staging a walkout from the Lower House.

Lok Sabha | 12.06 p.m.

Speaker refuses to admit suspension of business notice

Speaker Om Birla has refused to admit notices to suspend business. The notices were earlier submitted by the Opposition over the Maharashtra-Karnataka row. The Speaker had refused to admit such notices on the first working day of Parliament also.

Rajya Sabha | 12.05 p.m

Question Hour underway in Rajya Sabha

The first question pertains to layoffs in the IT industry, from CPI(M) MP A.A Rahim. He says that the industry is side-stepping the law by asking employees to resign voluntarily.

Minister of Labour and Employment Bhupender Yadav says that there was no kind of forceful layoffs.

Rajya Sabha | 11:47 a.m

Chair welcomes Speaker, Members of Zimbabwe’s Parliament

The Chairman welcomes Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and members of the parliamentary delegation of Zimbabwe on a visit to India.

They are seated in a special box in the Parliament. He wishes them a happy and fruitful stay and conveys the House’s best wishes to the members of Zimbabwe’s Parliament and the people of Zimbabwe.

Rajya Sabha | 11.38 a.m

Set up separate Public Services Commission for Puducherry: BJP MP

S. Selvaganabathy, BJP MP from Puducherry pointed out that Puducherry does not have a public service commission. Group A and Group B vacancies such as those in the department of health, medical officers, professors, and vice-principals are only filled through Union Public Service Commission

Selection is done at the national level, and Puducherry has fewer employment opportunities, he says.

He highlights that language is also a barrier for those who come from outside. For example, vice-principals of schools are not conversant with the local language, Tamil.

He concludes by requesting the concerned minister to consider setting up a separate Public Services Commission for Puducherry.

Rajya Sabha | 11.25 a.m

Increase pension to Rs. 9000: CPI(M) MP from Kerala

Elamaram Kareem CPI(M) MP from Kerala raises the issue of pensions in Kerala. He says that after the decision of govt and the EPFO, the minimum pension has been set at Rs. 1000. But of 7 million pensioners, 3 million are getting an amount less than Rs. 1000, he says. He asks that the minimum pension should be increased to Rs. 9000. Universal coverage of the EPFO for all sectors should also be achieved, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.21 a.m.

Opposition gives Suspension of Business notice over Maharashtra-Karnataka row 

The Nationalist Congress Party and Congress have submitted a Suspension of Business notice in the Upper House to discuss alleged outrageous remarks by the Maharashtra Governor. The notice was moved by the two parties under Rule 267.  

Rajya Sabha| 11.08 a.m

Rule 267 notices moved by members to suspend business of the house

Chair mentions that he has received Rule 267 from members, discusses rule at length. He says that the notices do not mention which rule must be suspended.

He says there will be ‘structured discussion’ of the matters raised by members if they follow the required procedure.

Lok Sabha | 11.01 a.m.

Lok Sabha begins with Question Hour

Proceedings of the Lok Sabha on the second working day of Winter Session have resumed. As per notified schedule, Question Hour is underway in the Lower House.

Rajya Sabha | 11.00 a.m

Rajya Sabha session commences

The Rajya Sabha commences its proceedings for the day, presentation and laying of reports under progress.

This includes statements from parliamentary standing committees related to labour and information technology.

Rajya Sabha | 10.57 a.m

Bills for consideration and passing in Rajya Sabha

The Upper House will further consider the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022 which was moved by Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav on the first working day of Parliament.

The second Bill on legislative agenda is the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022. Union Power and Renewable Energy Minister Shri R. K. Singh will move that the Bill is taken into consideration.

Lok Sabha | 10.56 a.m.

Legislative list of business in Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha will consider the Anti- Maritime Piracy Bill, 2019, which was moved by External Affairs Minister on Wednesday. Union Minister Amit Shah, meanwhile, will move a Bill to amend the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002.

Parliament | 10.46 a.m.

Opposition not allowed to speak in Parliament, alleges Rahul Gandhi

On Wednesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that Opposition members were not allowed to raise issues in Parliament. He also accused the BJP and the RSS of suppressing institutions meant to defend democracy. “India is a democratic country and separate institutions work to defend and protect democracy. These institutions include Assemblies, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, judiciary, media…. but the BJP and the RSS have suppressed all these,” Rahul Gandhi said as he addressed a gathering during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan. Mr. Gandhi also took a dig at the Lok Sabha Speaker. “The Speaker is from Rajasthan and Lok Sabha TV likes his face too much. They keep showing his face for 24 hours, whereas whatever we say is heard by none,” the Congress leader said. The Congress leader is likely to skip the Winter Session due to the yatra.

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