Parliament Mansoon Session: Oppn attacks govt over price rise, corners govt over atrocities on Dalits, Muslims

On day 8 of Monsoon session parliament went with the same slogan shouting which can’t be ignored. Both Houses took up Question Hour and Zero Hour. During the latter half, Rajya Sabha was discussing price rise, while Lok Sabha will likely pass the Benami Transactions Bill.

Today issue on Dalits and Muslims attacked were raise by Mayawatiin Rajya Sabha.

Live Updates:

5.29 pm: Husain Dalwai of the Congress asks about the dhal pact with Mozambique.

5.26 pm: C.K. Sangma urges coordination with States as land is a State subject. Local laws and local land laws should be taken into account, he says.

5.22 pm: Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha is continuing its discussion on the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill.

5.18 pm: Congress MP Ripun Bora from Assam speaks. Kurien tells him only five minutes as your party time is over. Bora too is reeling out statistics, comparing UPA regime and the Modi rule.

5.15 pm: Budania accuses the govt. of being hand in glove with big traders thereby depriving the poor of essential commodities. Kurien has to cut him short as Budania kept speaking despite warning.

5.12 pm: There’s no dearth of dhal availability. But the govt.’s failure to rein in hoarders and black marketeers has stifling availability and pushing up prices, he says.

5.10 pm: Narendra Budania of the Congress expresses regret that instead of presenting steps to contain price raise, the Treasury benches are indulging in blaming the UPA governments. My question is what have you done in the last two-and-a-half years, he asks?

5.06 pm: Why the govt. is not intervening to contain price rise, says Raja

5.05 pm: Is the govt. sincere in implementing the Food Security Act, says Raja. Why do we have to link Aadhaar with PDS, he asks. We started off as a welfare state, now we are a neo-liberal state, he says.

5 pm: D. Raja begins his speech with an appeal to the Chair that the discussion should not end up as a ritual “as we do during every session or year”. The only thing whose price is not going up relatilvely is that of the commodity of labour power, says Raja.

4.58 pm: Kurien intervenes with his “trickle down theory” when GDP grows; Yechury counters saying “nothing trickles dow, sir. the only thing that trickles up is price.”

4.55 pm: Yechury says the farmers are not gaining, but only middlemen. We are turning economic theory on its head, he says. Here producer doesn’t gain, consumer doesn’t gain only middlemen gain.

4.51 pm: Ban furtures trading in essential commodities, says Yechury.

4.49 pm: Yechury says the cesses imposed by the Central govt. is putting an extra burden on the people. He says this to stress his point that State govt.s are responsible to only some extent.

4.44 pm: According to Yechury this government’s fuel policy is main reason behind price rise. Says fuel price crash across the worls hasn’t been passed on to the people. Govt.’s raising of excess duty nine times has made people pay more, he says.

4.42 pm: Sitaram Yechury rises to speak, quotes the answers given in the House to stress his point that price rise has become an issue of life and death for the poor.

4.39 pm: NDA govt. has taken a lot of steps to control price rise, he says. It’s normal that prices of items like tomato and onion to go up during off season, says Netam.

4.37 pm: Only prices in five star hotels have gone up. Why are you going to such hotels, asks Neta. He says prices of liquour and tobacco products have gone up, not of essential items during “garibon ka sarkar”

4.32 pm: Ram Vichar Netam of the BJP blames “corruption during UPA sarkar” for price rise.

4:00 pm: Praful Patel, a former Minister, speaks on price rise. He recalls how the ertwhile Planning Commission said if a person earns Rs.30 per day, then he is above poverty line. Price rise is not just about food. It includes education, transportation and health too, he says.

3:52 pm: Ladu Kishore Swain suggests the list of family members checked for benami transactions should include in-laws such as daughter-in-law and sisters-in-law too.

3:50 pm: In Rajya Sabha, BSP MP Ashok Siddarth begins speech paying respects to Behenji Mayawati. Looks like the practice of AIADMK MPs is catching up with other parties too.

3:40 pm: Kalyan Banerjee of Trinamool Congress questions the senority clause in the Bill. Between a Senior Revenue Officer and a Judicial officer, how will you distinguish the heirarchy, he asks. The Bill doesn’t have any provision to file appeal, he says.

3:30 pm: A recap on what happened in Lok Sabha. S.P.Muddahanume Gowda of Congress spoke against the Bill. He said the bill is silent on white-collar offences. “Lot of vacant and barren lands have become banks of blackmoney. These are WhiteCollar offences, he says.

3:26 pm: Main reason for price rise is increased fuel prices, says R.S. Bharati, DMK MP. To curtail prices Mr. Bharati gives three points. Check hoarding, improve food storage and supply chain management, and do away with middlemen.

3:20 pm: Back to Rajya Sabha, Narendra Jadhav says, “Inflation is the cruellest form of taxation because it hurts the poor the most.” He says farming is losing because we lack storage infrastructure and irrigation. We have to move away from cereal-centric MSP policy.

3:18 pm: AIADMK MP R.P. Marutharajaa says land is the State subject, so any benami land should be given to the State and not kept by Centre. The Bill does not give adequate protection to Whistleblowers, he says.

3:15 pm: Meanwhile in Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved the Benami Transactions Bill. The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015 seeks to amend the definition of benami and benami transaction to include transactions made in fictitious name and grants exemptions if the benamidar is spouse or children or a member of Hindu Undivided Family.

3:10 pm: Harivansh, JD(U), takes the name of every food product to highlight how the prices of increased. Because of cities, the prices have increased in villages as well, he says.

2:55 pm: S.R.Balalsubramoniyam, AIADMK MP, gives his maiden speech in Rajya Sabha. Well, technically not maiden because he has represented the State in Parliament a few decades back. He says the government did not reduces fuel prices, despite the crude rates have fallen. He narrates how ‘Amma schemes’ help in curtailing prices in the State.

2:45 pm: Rajani Patil criticises NDA government. Says the government is good at making slogans, has big dreams but donot implement anything. Common man does not get pay commissions. He income is static. How will he cope up with the price rise, she asks.

2:40 pm: Here is the speech by Derek O’Brein on price rise

2:10 pm: O’Brein shows the prices in prominent mandis in West Bengal and claims the State has reined in prices. He says I am not mentioning any other state because, if I say for example Tamil Nadu, my colleagues will be upset. Navaneethakrishnan protests the use of the word Tamil Nadu.

2:05 pm: Derek O’Brein initiates the discussion. He says it’s worse to be vegetarian than non vegetarian today because meat is comparitively cheaper.

2:00 pm: Rajya Sabha reconvenes. Members discussing price rise in the country.

1:00 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm

12:50 pm: Kiran Rijiju responds on ceasefire with insurgent groups in Assam, says the government is open to accept their surrender with a condition that they should not set up a splinter group to keep terrorising people. Insurgents are using Meghalaya since it shares 20km border with Assam. Both Assam and Meghalaya are supporting the Centre. Incidents of violence have come down in both Sates, he says.

12:40 pm: Vijila Sathyanath, AIADMK MP, asks if government will check the sale of medicines through internet. It has to be completely discouraged and abolished, she says. Drug regulator have taken note of online sales of medines and Health Ministry will come up with a solution, says Ms. Sitharaman.

12:35 pm: Derek O Brain raises the issue of spurious drugs and rising cost of medicines. He says Make in India is Take from India. Chairman Ansari says no slogans during Question Hour. O’Brain withdraws the comment. Ms. Sitharaman answers him. She says the spurious drugs are not made in India but made outside. The government is keeping a check on such drugs getting into the country. On life-saving drugs, she says the Health Ministry effectively monitors the availability of such drugs and ensures they are sold at affordable rates.

12:26 pm: Rijiju said there is no dearth of funds when it comes to assuring effective policing. Juvenile welfare officiers and NGOs have also been deployed to work with the police and examine the circumstances of child disappearances.

12:25 pm: Parvez Hashmi raises the issue of missing children in NCR, asks government why is the police unable to trace missing children. Kiran Rijiju responds that State police forces are well coordinated. And the government has a special helpline and also runs special programmes. He says while the rate of recovery of children should apprexiated it is indeed a matter of concern that many are still missing.

12:20 pm: Former Defence Minister A.K. Anthony points out defence can’t be compared to other industry. Doing away with the state-of-the-art, you’ll repend in the long-run, he says. This will kill DRDO and indegenous scientists, he says.

12:15 pm: Nirmala Sitharaman justifies 100 per cent FDI in Defence, saying this will help the nation as our major defence procurements are imported and if foreign companies manufacture in India, it will be cheaper. “We have not given any concession to Apple. They haven’t approached us yet,” she says. The norm is relaxed only for three-years, she clarifies.

12:12 pm: Tapan Kumar Sen questions government’s decision to give concession to Apple by doing away with the 30 per cent local sourcing norms. He also questions why almost every industry is opened to FDI, especially defence?

12:10 pm: Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan demands an inquiry into Narsingh Yadav doping controversy. She says some substance was mixed with his food with an aim to fail him in the doping test.

12:05 pm: In Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj responds to a question over fradulant NRI marriages. She says that the government has launched a portal named Madad and it has got several hundred complaints. Two expert committee have also been set up to ensure speedy response to the problem.

12:00 noon Question Hour begins in Rajya Sabha. Vice President Hamid Ansari is in the Chair.

11:55 am: In Rajya Sabha, JD(U) MP Harivansh raises the issue of cyber-security. Ahmed Patel seeks government’s attention to fast shrinking Narmada river. He pleads that an expert team should be sent to examine the water loss and soil erosion along its banks. He also says that water from Sardar Sarovar Dam should be released time to time so that the river stays alive.

11:53 pm: Meanwhile in Lok Sabha, Question Hour is underway. BJD MP Baijayant Panda says the government’s calculation of the rate at which the country is urbanizing is 31 per cent, which according to him is way lesser than what it looks like. Citing some Chinese calculations he says the country is actually urbanizing at 55 per cent.

11:50 am: CPI leader D. Raja raises the issue of the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) recruiting students, despite UGC declaring the MoU with a private University invalid.

11:45 pm: A Rajya Sabha MP quoting a news report that government is considering removal of creamy layer from reservation and quotas. Mr. Naqvi says there is no plans as of now. But Opposition is not satisfied with the assurance. They want to know how the report was telecasted in the channel, if government didn’t consider the idea. Mr. Naqvi says he’ll get back on that.

11:40 pm: Dola Sen, an MP from West Bengal, raises the issue of upsurge in accidents due to unmanned level-crossings. Ms. Sen argues that the road infrastructure that can avert accidents is inadequate.

11:35 pm: Congress MP Pramod Tiwari talks about dope testing in Olympics, says the test was used to wrongly disqualify Yadav. He wants the government to investigate the conspiracy angle. Deputy Speaker agrees that if there is a conspiracy, then it’s a serious isssue. Responding to Mr. Tiwari, Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says that it’s indeed a matter of serious concern and it will be taken up with the concerned minister.

11:30 am: Zero Hour discussions continue amidst slogan shouting. Trinamool MP Md. Nadimul Haque requests West Bengal to be exempted from National Scholarship Portal and allow the State to disperse scholarships to minorities, Dalits and under-previleged students.

11:20 am: Ghulam Nabi Azad intervenes to calm the tempers. The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha clarifies: “We are not against protecting cows. But these groups cannot be allowed to harm Dalits and Muslims or minorities in the name of cow protection ”

11:17 am: Opposition MPs join in with Mayawati. They shout slogans against the government. BSP MPs storm into the Well raising slogans: “Modi government doesn’t work”

11:15 am: Mayawati raises the issue of a woman beaten up in Madhya Pradesh for allegedly eating beef. She questions Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, if he accepts this kind of treatment meted out to Muslim women.

11:00 am: Rajya Sabha proceedings begin. Deputy Speaker Kurien is in the Chair. Ministers lay on table various reports on behalf on their ministry.

Wefornews Bureau

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