Parliament proceedings live | RS to hold discussion on need for electoral reforms

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is set to introduce the The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha today, while Health and Family Welfare Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey will move the The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan will also move a motion for election to 10 All India Institute of Medical Sciences hospitals.

In the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank is set to introduce the The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, 2019 for consideration and passing. The House will also hold a short duration discussion on the need for election reforms.

Rajya Sabha | 12.30 p.m.

On the revival of Air India

Sambhaji Chhatrapati asks that as Air India is incurring losses, why aren’t other airlines being given Jet Airways’ slots. Minister Hardeep Singh Puri says that Jet Airways is only in debt, and Air India will have to be disinvested.

Lok Sabha | 12.15 p.m.

New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill is introduced in the Lok Sabha. Congress Member Shashi Tharoor urges the Minister to make changes in the Bill and bring it back so that it can be truly of international standards.

The Minister says that this can be debated after the Bill is introduced and the Bill is introduced. Opposition Benches begin shouting slogans.

Rajya Sabha | 12.15 p.m.

On data regarding employment in Groups A, B, C and D

P. Bhattacharya of the Congress asks if removing the interview process for group D, employees are still selected. Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar says that it usually took one year for recruitment, and with this new system, it can happen faster.

Ravi Prakash Verma of the SP asks what the government is doing to increase employment in the agro-processing sector. Mr. Gangwar responds that the government is working on the unorganised sector.

On the fire at the coaching centre in Gujarat

Rajkumar Dhoot of the Shiv Sena asks if there is a central coordinating agency to know the requirement of fire stations across the country. Home Affairs MoS Nityanand Rai says that there is an advisory looking into this even though this is a State subject.

Mr. Dhoot wants to know what action the government takes against authorities who allow buildings which don’t follow the fire code. Mr. Rai says that there are laws in place to inspect all places.

Lok Sabha | 12 noon

Zero Hour is on in Lok Sabha.

The BJP’s Manoj Kotak speaks about the Mumbai rains, and the Malad wall collapse.

Satyadev Pachauri of the BJP presents the case of a BIC Mill in Kanpur that is not working since 2013. The workers who used to work there are yet to be paid their salaries. He urges the government to ensure that mill workers get their wages.

Rajya Sabha | 12 noon

Question Hour begins in Rajya Sabha

MoS Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri handles several questions about development of a second airport in important cities.

On rising air fares to Jammu and Kashmir:

“Air fares are set by airlines. We have considered putting a cap, but the danger is airlines will start charging the higher amount.”

On the new airport in Vizag:

“Have provided clearance, ready to start operations once work is completed. Tenders have been awarded.”

On the airport in Trivandrum that is on the verge of privatisation:

“If the reference is the bidding process held for the six process, we have to take a view on this. Kerala govt, if I am not mistaken, is the second bidder there. Seen a communication from the Kerala CM, will take a view on this.”

Lok Sabha | 11.45 am

MoS Suresh Angadi handles questions about revamping of railway stations of aspiration districts and the time-frame set for the completion of these projects in various States and UTs including Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and North-Eastern States.

Rajan Vichare asks about the Railway Ministry’s plans to refurbish stations across the country and whether the historical Thane railway station at the central railway route has been selected for this purpose.

“We have already spent Rs. 27 crores to refurbish stations in hill stations. This is an on-going process. Progress is being made on the Thane railway station front,” says Mr. Angadi.

Piyush Goyal answers a question on the steps taken/being taken by the Government to increase trade with Central Asian countries during the last three years and the current year along with the success achieved. “There is a good relationship between India and countries of Central Asia,” he says. “We undertook a joint feasability study on this issue and we found that there is signficant potential for trade in this area. If trade agreements can be worked out with these countries, will do so.”

Shashi Tharoor raises a point about accessibility and connectivity to these countries.

“Can assure the honourable member that the government is working towards this issue,” says Mr. Goyal.

Newly elected BJP’s Nitesh Ganga requests the Minister to see to an unmanned crossing in his first question in the House.

Dayanidhi Maran asks for a specific timeframe in which unmanned level crossings will be eliminated.

“We are focusing on them as a priority, especially those in the urban areas and in the golden quadrilateral,” says Mr. Goyal. “We are working with State governments on this issue. We will work in a graded manner to eliminate unmanned level crossings.”

Members of House now lay their papers on the table.

Rajya Sabha | 11.20 am

Rajya Sabha discusses Matters Raised With the Permission of the Chair during Zero Hour.

Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa from Punjab talks about the drug menace in Punjab, asks why foreign expertise cannot be taken in the handling of drug menace.

BJP MP Shwait Malik from Punjab brings up the issue of burning of crop residue, lists out the issues that arise from crop burning. “The orders of the NGT are not being implemented in Punjab,” he says, blaming the Punjab government.

CPI (M) MP from Kerala K. Soma Prasad talks about the risks of e-cigarettes. “12 states have already imposed restrictions on e-cigarettes,” he says. “They pose a high health risk. I request the government to impost strict restriction on this.”

INLD MP from Haryana Ram Kumar Kashyap makes a case for the government to analyse the reasons for forest fires.

INC MP from Uttar Prades, P.L. Punia talks about the protocol behind registering a case under the Prevention of Atrocities Against SC/ST Act. He talks about the recent incident where members of a Dalit family were killed for objecting to an attempt at sexual harassment and molestation, and says procedures were flouted while registering a case. He asks for relief and rehabilitation for the family, and that the perpetrators be arrested.

CPI (M) MP from Kerala K.K. Ragesh brings up the use of Potassium Ferrocyanide in salt, saying companies do not adhere to the permissible levels of the compound.

What is Potassium Ferrocyanide and is it harmful? Click here to read.

Lok Sabha | 11.10 am

Speak Om Birla is in the Chair in the Lok Sabha.

Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal handles several questions regarding rail connectivity, passenger safety, modernising of trains, maintenance of trains, revamp of stations and more.

My. Goyal talks about corporatisation of Railways, to the ire of some members of the House. “Congress tried to privatise Railways, we are trying to corporatise it,” he says. Much of what he speaks is drowned out by the disruption caused by some members of the House.

Ajay Mishra Teni asks the IT Minister if Government has received any request from electronics manufacturing industry with regard to the banning of import of televisions from Vietnam after a twenty-five times jump in the import of the same from Vietnam within the last one year. “When we have Make In India, why are we importing TV sets,” he asks.

Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says televisions sets and other electronic items are being manufactured in the country and reads out numbers to show that manufacturing of such items in India has actually increased.

11 am

Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha proceedings begin.

Question Hour begins in the LS, while papers are laid on the table in Rajya Sabha.

MoS Parliamentary Affairs, V. Muraleedharan moves several motions in Rajya Sabha — Motion to constitute Committee of both the Houses to be called the ‘Committee on Welfare of Other Backward Classes (OBCs); Motion for nominate seven Members from Rajya Sabha to associate with the Committee on Public Accounts of the Lok Sabha; Motion for election to the Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

The ayes have it for all the motions, but the sound is not enough for Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu. “Have you all not had breakfast?” he asks the House, to laughter. 


10.45 am

Members of the Left parties protest outside the Parliament, demanding that GST be withdrawn from job works.

Members of the Left party protest outside Parliament against GST.

Members of the Left party protest outside Parliament against GST.  
| Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena


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