Parliament proceedings updates: Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill under consideration in Lok Sabha

Supriya Sule speaks at the Lok Sabha.

Supriya Sule speaks at the Lok Sabha.   | Photo Credit: Lok Sabha TV

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On its 250th sitting, the Rajya Sabha will have a special discussion on its role in the Indian polity.

Members of Parliament have gathered in new Delhi as the winter session begins from Monday. Economic slowdown and Kashmir shutdown are likely to be the top agenda from the Opposition side, while the ruling party is armed with a series of Supreme Court judgments in favour of them, especially the one on Rafale deal.

The winter session is from November 18 to December 13.

Here are the live updates

Rajya Sabha | 6.25 p.m.

Session extended till the Deputy Speaker Harivansh completes his speech on the 'Role of Rajya Sabha on Indian Polity and The Way Forward' on the 250th sitting of the Upper House.

He quotes former President Pranab Mukherjee, "Even as we celebrate this momentous occasion, it will be desirable on part of the members of the Rajya Sabha to remember that they have to maintain the fine balance between becoming obstructionist or redundant," to remind MPs not to show opposition unecessarily. He asks members to maintain maturity in the House and to participate in its spirit. He said the people of the country expect dignified debate in the Rajya Sabha.

Mr. Naidu, concluding the special discussion concludes, "Improve attendance, pay attention, do not create tension. If you have tension, you cannot pay attention."

"Let the government propose, Opposition oppose and the House dispose," he says and adjourns the House till 11 a.m. tomorrow.

Lok Sabha | 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar is in the Chair.

Locket Chatterjee, BJP, West Bengal, talks about the Saradha scam. She attacks the TMC over chit fund scams in the State. Commotion ensues in the House. Speaker Om Birla intervenes.

Jayadev Galla, TDP, A.P., says unregistered chit fund operators are 25 times more than registered ones. It is an unregulated industry, he says. This happens in spite of the parent act passed in 1982, which has been unable to contain such unregulated funds, he says.

90% abatement is given to NBFCs but 30% to chit funds. The latter should also be given 90% abatement and should be exempted from GST, he says. He ends by lending his support to the Bill.

N.K. Premachandran, RSP, Kerala, says chit funds provide relief to low income households.

Lok Sabha | 5 p.m.

Bhartruhari Mahtab, BJD, says the basic question that should be addressed pertains to why chit funds are flourishing. The general public, especially low-income groups, are unable to go to banking institutions, he says.

"Why do such scams not happen in Tamil Nadu?" he asks. "These things need to be probed."

Chit funds flourish because they are a necessity in our country, he says. Perpetrators lure investors with the promise of "astronomical returns" and "disappear overnight", he says. 

He asks what the proactive mechanism being built into the scheme is, that can prevent a scam in the making. He proposes the establishment of a State-level coordination committtee. "Chit funds flourish through whisper campaigns," he says.

While going through the Bill, he found no clause that guarantees protection for the subscriber, he says. There is no nationwide guideline according to which all State governments should function, which leaves the subscribers vulnerable, he adds.

Supriya Sadanand Sule, NCP, says the focus should be on the state of economy rather than on chit funds and ponzi schemes. They are all schemes put together by those afflicted with poverty, she says. She questions how such funds are going to be regulated.

Lok Sabha | 4 p.m.

The Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2019, is under consideration.

Gopal Chinayya Shetty, BJP, Maharashtra, is speaking. The banking system needs to be made friendly to ordinary people, he says.

No MP and no Governor of the RBI has autonomy, Mr. Shetty says, adding that they are to conduct their function within the standard set by the Constitution.

Kalyan Banerjee, AITC, West Bengal, is speaking. With the passage of the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019, there is no need to continue with the Chit Funds Bill, he says. "Why should this sort of business be indulged?" he asks. "Do chit funds constitute a valid business?"

K. Raghu Rama Krishna Raju, YSRCP, says the changes to the Bill proposed by the Finance Minister are welcome. The States should not be given any discretion regarding this, he says.

Shrirang Appa Barne, SS, is speaking. All those who have been accused in chit fund scams have been let off even after investigation having been started, he says.

Dr. Alok Kumar Suman, JD(U), says the CBI has started investigation in 159 cases related to chit fund scams or ponzi schemes in the last three years. He also mentions the cases undertaken by the ED.

Rajya Sabha | 3:30 p.m.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh is in the Chair.

Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, JD(U), Bihar, says that the function of the second House is to improve any legislation that may have been passed in haste.

There are certain Union Territories which do not have representation in the House, he says.

Dr. K. Keshava Rao, TRS, A.P., quotes Dr. Radhakrishnan's statement on the House being not just a legislative body but also a deliberative body. He discusses the system of checks and balances.

He also brings up the Punchhi Commission recommendations. It can be a Council of States if all voices are heard, he says.

Lok Sabha | 3 p.m.

Meenakshi Lekhi is in the Chair. Matters under rule 377 are under discussion.

Nishikant Dubey, BJP, Jharkhand, is speaking. He speaks on low literacy rates, high dropout rates and poverty in Jharkhand. He asks that central schools be established in certain areas to ensure proper education.

Suresh Kodikunnil, INC, Kerala speaks on the cashew industry in the State and asks for timely pensions for cashew industry workers.

Dr. Gaddam Ranjith Reddy, TRS, Telangana, requests for the release of adequate amounts of urea to facilitate agriculture in the State.

Rajya Sabha | 3 p.m.

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, AITC, is speaking.

It is heartening to note that Mr. Modi, Dr. Singh and others have been advocating for the Rajya Sabha in contrast to others having deliberated its abolition in the past.

He speaks on the recommendations of Punchhi Commission not having been implemented. He reads out some of the recommendations with regard to the Rajya Sabha.

He speaks on acute centralisation of powers based on majoritarianism and says it is of utmost importance that Punchhi Commission recommendations be implemented.

Rajya Sabha | 2:45 p.m.

Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh rises to speak.

He expands on the need for a second chamber in sound legislation. He cites B.R. Ambedkar's statement in the Constituent Assembly where he deemed the Rajya Sabha an essential component in maintaining the Constitutional system of checks and balances.

"It is our responsibility to ensure that no law is passed in haste or in an atmosphere of heightened emotion," Dr. Singh says.

He suggests that the Rajya Sabha should find time to debate centre-state relations.

The Rajya Sabha is designed to be a permanent House, without the need to start afresh after every general election, he says.

He assures full cooperation in making the House a more effective instrument of legislation.

Rajya Sabha | 2:15 p.m.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulates the House on its contribution to the evolution of India and its capacity to lead in various sectors.

He praises the House on being "permanent" or "eternal" and on its "diversity". The soul of India's federal structure, and its diversity derive strength from the House, Mr. Modi says.

He hopes that the current and upcoming generations would continue to fulfill the expectations set by Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

He commends the House for its propagation of the idea of One Nation One Tax, notwithstanding what improvements the GST might require, which is an ongoing process, he says.

He cites former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's statement on not considering the "second House" the "secondary House".

Rajya Sabha | 2 p.m.

House reconvenes. Papers are laid on the table.

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu speaks on the "unique role" of the Rajya Sabha. He mentions the passage of the The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill and the UAPA Bill in 2019, alongside other Bills passed by the House through the years.

He thanks all the members, panel chairpersons, Ministers, leaders of various parties and other persons who contributed to the journey of the Rajya Sabha.

Lok Sabha | 1.30 p.m.

Hans Raj Hans speaks about piped drinking water and air pollution in Delhi.

Pratima Mondal of the Trinamool Congress says that most private sector companies have long hours of work plus commute time impacting people's health and organisations' productivity. We don't have any law to restrict this, she says.

Supriya Sule of the NCP wants all farm loans in Maharashtra to be waived. She says if the government can help MSMEs, they can help farmers too.

Jaydev Galla of the TDP speaks about the media gag by the YSR Congress government in Andhra Pradesh.

Lok Sabha | 1 p.m.

Anto Antony of the Congress speaks against the RCEP.

Ram Vilas Paswan speaks about piped drinking water standards.

Shriniwas Patil speaks about very few Kendriya Vidyalayas in Maharashtra.

Lok Sabha | 12:45 pm

Hibi Eden (Congress) speaks against government's move to privatise Bharat Petroleum. The BPCL is doing well, why privatise it? he asks. He likens the move to the folkore of a greedy man who kills the goose to get more eggs.

Another MP joins the issue. More members associate with him.

A Kerala MP speaks about the killing of alleged Maoists in Kerala. He says FIR wasn't filed. He wants a judicial inquiry into the matter.

Shrirang Appa Barne asks for a Bharat Ratna for Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule.

Lok Sabha | 12:40 pm

Faizal P.P.Mohammed, Lakshadweep member, says most bureaucrats appointed to his UT are entry-level cadre. Language is a huge problem and seniors are not willing to travel this far, he says.

Mr. Mohammed had raised this issue earlier as well. He suggests Lakshadweep to be removed from DANIC cadre and start a separate cadre for them.  He appeals the MHA to consider his demand.

Lok Sabha | 12:30 pm

Jugal Kishore Sharma (BJP) claims the Hational  Highway project connecting Jammu to Poonch is in a slow pace.

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' responds to Kanimozhi. He says an inquiry has been ordered into the death of a Humanities student in IIT-Madras.

Gopal Jee Thakur speaks in Maithili. He seeks Doordarshan to start a 24-hour channel in Maithili.

S.S. Chowdhury (Congress) raises the issue of demolition of Guru Ravidas temple in Delhi.

Lok Sabha | 12 noon

Speaker says that he has gone through adjournment notices given to him.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury speaks about the absence of Farooq Abdullah from the House.

Zero Hour begins. N.K. Premachandran brings up the death Fathima Latief, the IIT student who died by suicide. DMK MP Kanimozhi also speaks about student suicide in IITs.

Lok Sabha | 11.30 a.m.

Question Hour continues in Lok Sabha despite consistent slogan shouting from the Opposition Benches. The next question is on steel scrap policy, followed by a question on the development of a new tourism circuit.

Anurag Thakur, MoS Finance answers a question on increase in investments. There are slogans of "We want justice" echoing through the House.

Rajya Sabha | 11.30 a.m.

Derek O'Brien (Trinamool Congress) says they used to call Arun Jaitley "plantation manager" as he would sit in Parliament and plant stories in the media. He adds that they learnt the meaning of decency from those who have passed.

House is adjourned till 2 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 11 a.m.

House is in session, with Speaker Om Birla in the Chair. The national anthem is played.

Prince Raj of the Samastipur constituency takes oath as a Member. He is followed by Himadri Singh (BJP) from Shahdol (Madhya Pradesh), Shrinivas Patil (NCP) from Satara (Maharashtra), Kathir Anand (DMK) from Vellore (Tamil Nadu).

The Chair makes obituary references to Sudhir Ray, Raja Paramasivam, Sushma Swaraj, Jagannath Mishra, Arun Jaitley, Sukhdev Singh Libra, Ram Jethmalani, Naramalli Sivaprasad, B.L. Sharma ‘Prem’ and Gurudas Das Gupta.

Question Hour begins and the first question is on a Centre of Excellence for studies in Telugu.

Raghu Rama Krishna Raju of the YSR Congress says that there is no centre in Andhra Pradesh and only in Telangana.

The next question is on a database of artists.

Rajya Sabha | 11 a.m.

House is in session. The national anthem is played.

Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu reads out obituary references to Jagannath Misra, Arun Jaitley, Gurudas Dasgupta, Sukhdev Singh Libra and Ram Jethmalani.

Leader of the House Thaawarchand Gehlot and Leader of the Opposition pay their respects to those who have died.

10.50 am

Rajya Sabha @ 250

Today marks the 250th session of Rajya Sabha. The upper house will have a special discussion on its role in Indian polity.

“The upper house, since its inception in 1952, has come a long way contributing to the socio-economic transformation of the country but still has miles to go towards proper functioning,” Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Sunday, ahead of an all-party meeting.

To mark the landmark 250th session of Rajya Sabha, beginning Monday, celebratory functions include release of a publication titled ‘Rajya Sabha: The Journey since 1952’ providing glimpses of various aspects of functioning of the House and its Hindi version.

Also, a commemorative volume on the evolution of Rajya Sabha and its functioning with 44 articles in Hindi and English by the sitting and former members and those associated with the functioning of the House will be released.

There would be a discussion in the House on the ‘Role of Rajya Sabha in Indian Polity: Need for Reform’ on the first working day.

A silver coin of Rs 250 and a postal stamp of Rs 5 will also be released.

10.40 am

 

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi protests on growing pollution in the country.

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi protests on growing pollution in the country.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi makes a symbolic protest against government inaction on pollution in from of Gandhi statue inside Parliament complex. Other MPs including Danish Ali of BSP and Pinaki Misra too has raised this issue at all party meeting.

10. 25 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media on the maiden day of Winter Session. “We are open to discussions on all issues,” the Prime Minister says.

There should be high quality debates in which all MPs should contribute, he appeals to all members.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 9:53:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/winter-session-of-parliament-day-1-live-updates/article30004519.ece

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