Parliament LIVE: Rajya Sabha adjourned as Opposition demands apology from Narendra Modi

The Budget Session will probably not be smooth for the Narendra Modi government.

FP Staff February 09, 2017 11:42:41 IST
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Parliament LIVE: Rajya Sabha adjourned as Opposition demands apology from Narendra Modi


13:52 (ist)

Budget at a glance: Highlights

    * Tax rates halved to 5% for income of Rs 2.5-5 lakh, tax slabs unchanged
    * 10% surcharge on people earning between Rs 50 lakh-1 cr
    * 15% surcharge on annual income above Rs 1 cr to continue
    * Cash transactions above Rs 3 lakh to banned
    * Corporate tax for SMEs with turnover up to Rs 50 cr cut to 25%; 96% companies to benefit
    * Customs duty of LNG halved to 2.5%
    * Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.2% next year, 3% in FY'19
    * Political parties barred from accepting cash donation beyond Rs 2,000 per individual
    * They can receive donations via cheques, electronic mode; electoral bonds to be issued by RBI
    * Aadhaar-based health cards for senior citizens; a scheme for them to ensure 8 pc guaranteed returns
    * FIPB to be abolished; further FDI policy liberalisation
    * Government to have time-bound procedure for CPSE listing
    * Railway PSUs -- IRCTC, IRFC, IRCON to be listed
    * Payment Regulatory Board to be set up within RBI to regulate digital payments
    * Negotiable instruments Act to be amended to deal with cheque bounce cases
    * Legislative changes to confiscate of assets of economic offenders who flee country
    * Demonetisation bold, decisive measure; to help GDP growth, taxes mop up to rise
    * Effect of demonetisation not to spill over to next year
    * GST, demonetisation 'tectonic changes' for economy
    * Service charges on e-tickets booked via IRCTC waived
    * Capital expenditure of Railway fixed at Rs 1.31 lakh cr
    * Rail safety fund of Rs 1 lakh cr over 5 years, unmanned level crossing to be eliminated by 2020
    * Budget based on 3 agenda -- Transform, Energise, Clean India (TECIndia). MORE PTI JD
    * 3 yr period for long-term capital gains tax on immovable property reduced to 2 years; base year indexation shifted from April 1, 1981 to April 1, 2001
    * Disinvestment target at Rs 72,500 cr, up from 56,500 cr 
    * Gross market borrowing pegged at Rs 6.05 lakh cr
    * Duty exempted on POS machines and Iris readers for encouraging digital payments
    * Tax benefits for Start ups to be for 3 out of 7 yrs
    * FPI to be exempt from indirect transfer provision
    * Integrated public sector oil major to be created to match global giants
    * Direct Tax collection growth 15.8%, indirect tax 8.3%
    * Total expenditure pegged at Rs 21.47 lakh crore
    * Capital expenditure up 24%; to have multiplier effect
    * Allocation to states hiked to Rs 4.11 cr
    * FRBM Committee suggests Debt-GDP ratio of 60% by 2020
    * Retail inflation to remain within 2-6 pc
    * 2 new AIIMS to come up in Jharkhand, Gujarat
    * Highest ever allocation of Rs 48,000 cr to MNREGA
    * Farm sector to grow at 4.1% this fiscal, to double farm income in five years
    * Farm credit target for next fiscal at Rs 10 lakh crore
    * Fasal Bima yojana increased to 40% of crop area; raised to Rs 1.41 lakh crore in Kharif 2017 season
    * Infrastructure investment pegged at Rs 3.96 lakh cr
    * To double irrigation fund corpus to Rs 40,000 cr
    * Infrastructure status accorded affordable housing
    * Dairy processing fund with Rs 2000cr corpus to be set up
    * Rs 1.84 lakh cr allocated for women, child initiatives
    * Rs 1.87 lakh cr allocated to rural, agri, allied sectors
    * 1 crore houses by 2019 for homeless
    * PM Awas Yojana allocation up from Rs 15,000 cr to Rs 23,000 cr
    * 100% village electrification to be achieved by May 2018
    * Rs 31,920 cr allocated for Scheduled Tribes, Rs 4,195 cr for nminority affairs, outcome based budgeting to start
    * Road sector allocation hiked to Rs 64,000 cr
    * Innovation Fund to be created for Secondary Education
    * Allocation of Rs 2.41 lakh crore rail, road, shipping to create jobs, spur economic activity
    * New metro rail policy to be announced
    * New crude oil reserves proposed at Odisha and Rajasthan; to take strategic reserve capacity to 15.33 mmt 
    * India on cusp of digital revolution
    * FDI increased 35 pc to Rs 1.45 lakh crore in H1 FY'17.

11:53 (ist)

Rural schemes continue. But are job losses factored in?

Jaitely’s speech reaffirms the government’s aggressive focus on the rural push, a key item in the government’s agenda. Jaitley said this government wants to take one crore households out of poverty by 2019 and complete rural electrification by 1 May, 2018. The FM has almost started from where PM Modi stopped in his New year speech as far as government’s big rural push is concerned. More sops were doled out for the farmers. As usual, the bank credit target for agriculture was further increased to Rs 10 lakh credit target this year. Whether the banking system have the capacity to take up the additional burden given the existing high level of bad loans from the segment is a question.

The additional sops for the farmers include increase in Fasal bima yojana coverage to 40 percent and crop insurance coverage by 50 percent, a Rs 5,000 crore micro irrigation fund and Rs 8,000 crore dairy processing fund. Further, the government will support NABARD to digitise 63,000 primary agri societies, the FM said. Rs 48,000 crore has been allocated to MNREGA from Rs 37,000 crore last year, Jaitley said. But, isn’t also due more number of people moving from factory jobs to informal sector? The government has increased the allocation for rural agriculture and allied sectors by 24 per cent to Rs 1,87,223 crore, which should ideally help revival in rural sector post demonetisation impact. But are job losses factored in?

11:38 (ist)

Hits and misses from President’s budget session address last year 

The President's address, a day before the Union Budget is presented, sets the tone for the upcoming Budget Session as the broad initiatives taken by the Union government and objectives for the coming year are listed out.

According to a report prepared by the New Delhi-based think tank PRS Legislative Research, which analysed President Mukherjee's address to Parliament on 23 February 2016, not all targets of increasing GDP and lowering inflation, fiscal deficit and current account deficit were achieved.

The GDP is estimated to grow at 7.1% in 2016-17 as compared with 7.6% in 2015-16. However, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in December 2016 was 3.4% down from 5.6% in December 2015.  Read the report here.


Apr 12, 2017 - 13:08 (IST)

Rajya Sabha adjourns sine die

Apr 12, 2017 - 12:59 (IST)

Opposition and ruling united over bounty row on Mamata Banerjee's head

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday condemned a BJP youth wing leader's offer for a bounty of Rs 11 lakh to anyone who beheads West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Raising the issue soon after the House assembled to take up the day's business, TMC member Saugata Roy said a BJP youth wing leader had made the "announcement" of giving the reward for beheading Banerjee, after police resorted to lathicharge in Birbhum district to disperse a rally during Hanuman Jayanti. "Mamata Banerjee is not only an elected chief minister but a former member of this House too. It is a serious and alarming behaviour and the House must condemn it. She is a grassroot leader and government must take action on it," he said.

Apr 12, 2017 - 12:52 (IST)

Apr 12, 2017 - 12:50 (IST)

First leg of Budget Session productive: LS functioned for 113%, Rajya Sabha for 97%

The first part of the Budget Session was very productive as Lok Sabha functioned 113 percent while Rajya Sabha 97 percent. The productivity in the second half of the budget session till now for Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has been 112 percent and 87 percent. 

The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2017 is scheduled for consideration and passage in Lok Sabha today.

Apr 12, 2017 - 12:44 (IST)

MPs create ruckus in Parliament

The matter echoed on in the Parliament on Wednesday as TMC leaders raised the issue in Rajya Sabha, which garnered support from other parties as well. Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bacchan expressed anguish on the BJP leader's remark, stating that the BJP was keen on protecting cows but not women.

TMC's Saugata Roy also strongly condemned the BJP leader's statement urging strong action against people who make such provocations. Meanwhile, BJP has distanced itslef from Varshney's comments, stating that the West Bengal state government is free to take action against him.

Apr 12, 2017 - 11:54 (IST)

Last day of Budget Session - here's a quick recap of the session

Today is the last day of the Budget Session of Parliament. The first half of the session was held from 31 January to 9 February and after a month-long recess the second half of the session began on 9 March. During the session till now, the Lok Sabha has passed 21 bills and the Rajya Sabha 14 bills. They include the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, The Mental Health Care Bill, The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill, The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and the crucial four supporting bills for the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax. 

Scrapping a colonial-era tradition of presenting the Budget at the end of February, for the first time in the history of Independent India, the Government presented the annual accounts on 1 February. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday described the Budget Session as a winner for the treasury benches. He said, the government was able to secure passage of many key bills in the Parliament.

Apr 12, 2017 - 11:49 (IST)

BJP leaders distance themselves from Yogesh Varshney's comment

BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi disowned Varshney's comment, saying: "I condemn this type of statement. The state government can take proper action." BJYM leader Varshney issued the outrageous threat while hitting out at Mamata over police action on a rally held on Sunday to mark Hanuman Jayanti in Birbhum district.

Alleging that people were beaten up brutally by the police, Varshney described Mamata as a "demon" and said, "When I saw the video, I only had one thought... that if anyone gets me Mamata Banerjee's head I will give them 11 lakh."

Apr 12, 2017 - 11:39 (IST)

Last leg of budget session favourable for BJP govt

The second half of the budget session of Parliament, which ends on Wednesday, has been favourable to the ruling NDA, which not only managed to push its economic reforms agenda but also put up a united front. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told the parliamentary party of the BJP that the session was a victory for the Union government.

Apr 12, 2017 - 11:34 (IST)

Actor and MP Jaya Bachchan, along with BJP leader from Bengal Rupa Ganguly, reacting sharply to the comments against Mamata

Apr 12, 2017 - 11:30 (IST)

Bounty announced for Mamata; Rajya Sabha slams BJYM leader Yogesh Varshney

After a day of ruckus in Parliament over the "illegal" death penalty given to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, MPs in Rajya Sabha were up in arms after a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader announced a reward of Rs 11 lakh to whoever who beheads West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and gets her head.

The remark, which came shortly after a lathicharge which happened at Birbhum district to disperse a rally raising slogans of "Jai Sri Ram" on Hanuman Jayanti, recieved a lot of flak and criticism.

BJYM leader Yogesh Varshney told ANI, "Those who will cut and bring West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee head, I will give that person Rs.11 lakh. Mamata Banerjee never allows Saraswati Puja, fairs during Ram Navami and during Hanuman Jayanti procession, people were lathi charged and brutally beaten up. She organizes Iftar party and always supports Muslims."

Ruling NDA ally Shiv Sena joined Opposition in picking holes in demonetisation decision of the government which was also slammed by Congress and several other parties over various other steps like surgical strikes and fund allocation for MNREGA, agriculture sector and Scheduled Castes.

During the day-long debate on Motion of Thanks to the President's Address in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the opposition parties, including Trinamool Congress, Left, RJD, said the government had failed on all fronts despite which it is trying to "fool" the people.

In the Lok Sabha, Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge repeatedly targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was present and said he should apologise to the nation for the demonetisation decision which caused a "lot of troubles" to all sections of the people.

The government, on the other hand, asserted that the schemes and programmes initiated by it had been a success. Minister Mahesh Sharma, who initiated the debate, said the entire nation had stood with Modi on the "bold" decision aimed at curbing black money, ending corruption and choking funds to terrorism.

He said the Opposition chose to be with the corrupt people by criticising demonetisation.

The government faced attack from ally Shiv Sena, whose leader Anand Rao Adsul, echoing the opposition contention, said even RBI Governor Urjit Patel and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had not been taken into confidence while deciding on demonetisation.

He said the government should have called an all-party meeting a day after the announcement of demonetisation to take everyone's views and seek support for the move.

He countered the government's view that normalcy has been restored in cash circulation, saying crunch still exists in villages.

"You had said after 50 days things will be normal. It has already been 90 days and there is still not enough currency in rural areas. Farmers have to sell their produce at half a price...District Cooperative banks do not have money to lend... What name can we give it? Is it democracy or dictatorship," Adsul said.

"I say this out of pain, I don't appreciate just for the sake for appreciating," the Sena leader said.

Parliament LIVE Rajya Sabha adjourned as Opposition demands apology from Narendra Modi

Representational image. PTI

Kharge, while peppering his 90-minute speech with witty digs at the Prime Minister and BJP, said the government was misleading the countrymen by claiming that the nation is progressing fast.

"You can fool some of the people for some time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time," he said quoting Abraham Lincoln and added, "There is failure on all fronts. So what are you talking about?"

Referring to the decisions on demonetisation, digitisation and surgical strikes and programmes for farmers, backward castes, employment creation, Swacch Bharat and 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao', Kharge asked, "Is the government running properly? Or is just a jumla (slogan)?"

Taking a dig at Modi, he said, "woh bhashan mein tez hain, bolne mein tez hain, par bhashan se pet nahi bharta (he is great in delivering speeches but speeches do not feed people)."

Talking about demonetisation, Kharge said, "All the economists have said the decision to ban notes was bad. What steps did the government take before rolling out the plan?"

Kharge, who insisted that his party was willing to have a debate on demonetisation even during the last Winter session of Parliament which was a washout, said the decision to scrap old notes had hit all sections, particularly farmers and the unorganised sector.

He said 125 people lost their lives in the aftermath of this decision.

"The Prime Minister did not even say anything on this. The least he should have done was to introduce a resolution to condole the deaths or should have said that he wants to apologise to the people due to the hardships caused to them," Kharge said in his speech which was punctuated by poetry.

Kharge claimed that the decision to declare old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 as null and void was taken by the Prime Minister alone, without taking into confidence even taking his cabinet, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian.

"It all happened in 24 hours — RBI meeting, Cabinet meeting and the Prime Minister's announcement," he said, referring to the demonetisation decision of 8 November last year.

"At night (of 8 November), the Prime Minister declared that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 are just a piece of paper which has no value. There was panic among people. Imagine what message it would have sent to the people and foreign countries," he said.

He suggested that the demonetisation decision was thrust upon the RBI, saying the central bank did what it was told by the government.

He claimed that only two of 10 Directors of RBI were present at a meeting which decided in favour of demonetisation.

At this, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar raised a point of order.

He said Kharge had made "baseless allegations" as he has not referred to any documents and not substantiated anything.

"He (Kharge) was allowed to speak on all those things. Everything should be expunged. He should speak with authenticated documents and not mislead the House," he said.

Questioning what the government had achieved by abruptly removing 86.5 percent of currency in circulation, Kharge said economists have opined that there were better ways to end black money.

"In no other country, there would be a situation where you can't access your own money in banks.... People are still facing trouble. Farmers, small traders, construction workers, all are affected," the Congress leader said.

He said the government should have made proper preparations before taking the demonetisation decision by making the replacement currency available.

"You (government) did it without any preparation. The economic situation has been affected and growth has been hurt. It is not me who is saying so but big economists are saying so," he said.

He referred to the government's contention that demonetisation was to curb black money, fake currency, corruption and terror funding.

"Did black money end? Did fake currency come out?... I want to ask how much black money has been unearthed."

He also alleged that the note-ban decision was "leaked" to people and industrialists close to the government and BJP leaders bought vast tracts of land before the decision was announced.

Trinamool member Saugata Roy described the President's address as "half truth" and "cruel" and said it did not mention a word about 150 people who died while standing in queue following demonetisation.

Demonetisation is "the most senseless, cruel and heartless step taken by any government in the past 70 years," he said, adding it is common knowledge that only 6 percent of the black money is kept in cash while the rest in property, gold and other assets.

In the Rajya Sabha, Congress leader Rajeev Sukla said small traders, farmers and unorganised sector workers have been hit very hard by demonetisation.

Noting that the manufacturing sector has also been hit hard, he said alluded to 'inspector raj' and said "on top of it, the government has ensured that one "inspector is put behind each manufacturer. If they (manufacturers) are running away, how will you provide jobs."

Observing that the President's address had referred to the cross-border surgical strike, he said three such operations were carried out during the Congress-led rule which were spoken about only by a former Army chief and the Foreign Office.

Shukla's contentions received support from other Opposition members, including Sanjay Seth (SP) and Sharad Yadav (JD-U).

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date:

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