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Parliament Updates: Lok Sabha adjourned for the day; Sitharaman to reply on Budget debate at 10 am tomorrow

Parliament LIVE Updates: Meanwhile, BJP MP Sanjay Jaiswal moved a Privilege Motion Notice against Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, citing 'serious breach of privilege and contempt of the House on 11th February 2021'

FP Staff February 12, 2021 23:31:14 IST
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Parliament Updates: Lok Sabha adjourned for the day; Sitharaman to reply on Budget debate at 10 am tomorrow

File photo of Parliament building. PTI

Highlights

10:09 (ist)

Parliament LATEST Updates

Mallikarjun Kharge likely to replace Ghulam Nabi Azad as Leader of Opposition

Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge is likely to succeed Ghulam Nabi Azad as the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, according to several media reports

He will be the second person from Karnataka to be the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.

Azad's term in the Upper House will end on 15 February. Congress will be informing the Rajya Sabha chairman on the appointment.

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Feb 12, 2021 - 22:42 (IST)

Parliament LATEST Updates

Nirmala Sitharaman to reply to Budget discussion in Lok Sabha at 10 am tomorrow

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will reply to the Budget discussion in Lok Sabha at 10 am on Saturday.

Feb 12, 2021 - 22:08 (IST)

Parliament LATEST Updates

'Over 167 lakh dozes of COVID vaccine supplied to 20 countries so far'

Over 167 lakh doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been supplied to 20 countries till 9 February, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey informed the Lok Sabha on Friday and asserted that external supplies of the vaccine are being undertaken with due regard to domestic production and adequate availability for the national vaccination programme.

"Supplies have been made of 167.7 lakh doses to 20 countries until 9 February 2021. This includes gift of 62.7 lakh doses to 13 countries and commercial procurement of 105 lakh doses by eight countries," Choubey said in a written reply .

India is a member of COVAX facility (created by Gavi Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunization, CEPI  Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and WHO  World Health Organisation) and is both a recipient of vaccines from the facility as well as a supplier of vaccines.

Feb 12, 2021 - 21:36 (IST)

Parliament LATEST Updates

BJP MPs move privilege motion against Rahul Gandhi

BJP MP Sanjay Jaiswal moved a Privilege Motion Notice against Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, citing "serious breach of privilege and contempt of the House on 11th February 2021". Another BJP MP Rakesh Singh said, "Congress party should follow rules. Rahul Gandhi should have taken permission to observe two minute silence."

Feb 12, 2021 - 21:17 (IST)

Parliament LATEST Updates

Lok Sabha extended till midnight

Feb 12, 2021 - 21:14 (IST)

Parliament LATEST Updates

BJP MPs slam Rahul Gandhi over 'mourning' farmer deaths in Lok Sabha

BJP MPs on Friday termed as "contempt" and "derogatory behaviour" Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's motion to observe a "mourning" tribute for the farmers who have lost their lives in the duration of the protests. On Thursday, Gandhi led Congress, DMK, and TMC MPs in observing the tribute in the Lok Sabha.

"The action Rahul Gandhi took yesterday was not his place. It is only the prerogative of the Speaker or Chair to initiate such actions. His action was in contempt of the House and appropriate action should be taken against him," said Rajasthan BJP MP PP Chaudhary.

Feb 12, 2021 - 21:03 (IST)

Parliament LATEST Updates

Creation of health ID under NDHM not mandatory for citizens, says Centre

Creation of a health ID under the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) is not mandatory for citizens, Minister of State for Health, Ashwini Choubey, informed Parliament on Friday. On 15 August, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the NDHM, following which NDHM pilot mode was launched in the Union Territories of Chandigarh, Ladakh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.

The budget allocated for the NDHM for 2020-21 is Rs 30 crore, Choubey said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha. The budget allocated for health IDs for the year 2020-21 is Rs 1.06 crore. The expenditure on health IDs till December 31 is Rs 52.02 lakh. There is no provision for state and UT wise budget and expenditure, the minister said.

Feb 12, 2021 - 20:43 (IST)

Parliament LATEST Updates

Lok Sabha discusses welfares for aanganwadi workers

In the time stipulated for the Private Member's Bill in the Lower House, the members are discussing welfare measures and working conditions of the aangandwadi workers.

While MPs have also pitched for increased wages for the workers to at least Rs 10,000, some also listed the tasks that are part of the workload for anganwadi workers.

BJP MP Ajay Misra Teni said that a resolution must be brought in for the welfare measures for anganwadi workers and anganwadi helpers.

Feb 12, 2021 - 20:22 (IST)

Parliament LATEST Updates

Lok Sabha passes Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill

Ravi Shankar Prasad addressed the arguments made by Opposition MPs on the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha.

He claimed that India's rank has improved from 186 rank in 2015 to 163 in terms of enforcing contracts, and also said that the country has improved in the ease of doing business.

He addressed the critcism over bringing in an amendment. "After an arbitral award is given, if it is found that fraud has been committed then this gives the option of stay by a court. If an award is given against the Union government or a State government is given by fraud and an investor wants to enforce it, is it fair that thousands of crore of tax payers' money.

"Why not ordinance? Should we part with tax payers' money?" He said.

"Today I take the freedom of this House to appeal to the judiciary to exercise their discretion in picking up the genuine PILs - issues like compensation of labourers, etc. Independence of judiciary is part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution."

"But there is also another basic structure that is separation of power. That governance should be left to the people who are elected members and are accountable to this House."

Feb 12, 2021 - 20:08 (IST)

Parliament LATEST Updates

Centre says seeking to make India 'hub for international, domestic arbitration'

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad begins his argument in favour of the arbitration amendment bill in the Lok Sabha. 

He said that the Centre "will make India a big hub for international and domestic arbitration".

He added that India needs a fillip to institutional arbitration.  "We welcome arbitrators of any nationality."

Feb 12, 2021 - 19:54 (IST)

Parliament LATEST Updates

Oppn cites India's poor ranking in enforcing contracts

MPs from the TDP, BSP, among others mentioned that India has a poor track record of enforcing contracts in the discussion on the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Parliament LATEST Updates: Over 167 lakh doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been supplied to 20 countries till 9 February, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey informed the Lok Sabha on Friday and asserted that external supplies of the vaccine are being undertaken with due regard to domestic production and adequate availability for the national vaccination programme.

"Supplies have been made of 167.7 lakh doses to 20 countries until 9 February 2021. This includes gift of 62.7 lakh doses to 13 countries and commercial procurement of 105 lakh doses by eight countries," Choubey said in a written reply .

India is a member of COVAX facility (created by Gavi Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunization, CEPI Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and WHO World Health Organisation) and is both a recipient of vaccines from the facility as well as a supplier of vaccines.

BJP MPs on Friday termed as "contempt" and "derogatory behaviour" Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's motion to observe a "mourning" tribute for the farmers who have lost their lives in the duration of the protests. On Thursday, Gandhi led Congress, DMK, and TMC MPs in observing the tribute in the Lok Sabha.

"The action Rahul Gandhi took yesterday was not his place. It is only the prerogative of the Speaker or Chair to initiate such actions. His action was in contempt of the House and appropriate action should be taken against him," said Rajasthan BJP MP PP Chaudhary.

In the time stipulated for the Private Member's Bill in the Lower House, the members are discussing welfare measures and working conditions of the aangandwadi workers.

While MPs have also pitched for increased wages for the workers to at least Rs 10,000, some also listed the tasks that are part of the workload for anganwadi workers.

BJP MP Ajay Misra Teni said that a resolution must be brought in for the welfare measures for anganwadi workers and anganwadi helpers.

Ravi Shankar Prasad addressed the arguments made by Opposition MPs on the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha.

He claimed that India's rank has improved from 186 rank in 2015 in terms of enforcing contracts to 163. and also said that the country has improved in the ease of doing business.

He addressed the critcism over bringing in an amendment. "After an arbitral award is given, if it is found that fraud has been committed then this gives the option of stay by a court. If an award is given against the Union government or a State government is given by fraud and an investor wants to enforce it, is it fair that thousands of crore of tax payers' money.

"Why not ordinance? Should we part with tax payers' money?" He said.

"Today I take the freedom of this House to appeal to the judiciary to exercise their discretion in picking up the genuine PILs - issues like compensation of labourers, etc. Independence of judiciary is part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution."

"But there is also another basic structure that is separation of power. That governance should be left to the people who are elected members and are accountable to this House."

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad presented the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

He said that the bill provides that if an application under Section 34 can be considered if an arbitration is awarded, for the purpose of setting it aside on certain grounds.

"There is also a provision for stay on Section 36 on filing of an application. But there was no provision to stay the arbitration award even if it is beset by fraud or corruption. We have done a very limited modification that if the court is prima facie satisfied that the agreement and award is vitiated by fraud/ corruption, the court can stay it till the conclusion of the proceedings," he said.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge will be the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, succeeding Ghulam Nabi Azad whose tenure comes to an end on Monday.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has written to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu for appointing Kharge to the post as Azad is retiring.

Azad was elected to the Upper House from Jammu and Kashmir, which does not have an assembly currently after it was made a Union Territory with the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.

Kharge, a Dalit leader from Karnataka, was the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha from 2014 to 2019. The grand old party could not get the Leader of Opposition's post in the previous and the current Lok Sabha as its numbers were less than the mandated 10 per cent of the total number of seats in the Lower House.

BJP MP Manoj Kishorebhai Kotak said that content on OTT platforms should be included under the "censorship system". "Obscenity is being dished out through certain TV series and Web series," another BJP MP Kirit Solanki added.

Replying to questions, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that in areas that are at risk of rising sea-level, a wall is being built. Such areas are the Sundarbans and in parts of Kerala, he said.

On a query about action to reduce air pollution, Javadekar said, "The prime minsiter had launched the air quality index in 2015, and subsequently several scientific measures were taken. In this Budget, for 46 cities, Rs 50 crore each has been provided. A huge amount is now available with local municipal corporations to combat air pollution, we are creating new infrastructure and are involving citizens for reducing air pollution."

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told the Lok Sabha that 15 new AIIMS facilities have been sanctioned by the Centre since 2014.

"There are states like Kerala which have demanded institutions like AIIMS, it is under consideration. In Kerala there has never been a consensus on where they want AIIMS," he said.

Union Health, and Science and Technology minister Harsh Vardhan answered questions from MPs on the setting up of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) across the country. MPs from Kerala and Tamil Nadu questioned the Budget allocation for setting up AIIMS in their states.

However, Vardhan replied saying that the Centre requires coordination from the state governments in setting up the facilities.

He also replied to TMC MP Saugata Roy, who mentioned the Budget allocation for the science sector. He said, "This year's Budget allocation on science related sectors is 20 percent improvement over the last year's Budget."

The Lok Sabha session has started for Friday. The Lower House has taken up Question Hour.

The first question has been posed to Union minister Prakash Javadekar by a BJP MP from Uttarakhand on the vacant positions in the local Doordarshan and Akashwani offices.

The first leg of the Budget Session in the Parliament will conclude on Friday. The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 8 March (Monday), said chairman Venkaiah Naidu.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hits out at the Congress for taking the credit for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). "You may have given birth to the scheme but you left it in a mess," said the finance minister.

Taking a veiled dig at the Congress, the finance minister told the Upper House that the policies of Narendra Modi govt were aimed at benefiting the poor and not the 'damads of this country'.

The finance minister said that Union Budget 2021 is one which clearly draws on the experience, the administrative capacities of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During the discussion on Union Budget in the Rajya Sabha, the Aam Aadmi Party leader called the 2021 financial statement "a Budget to sell the country and its wealth".

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will respond to the Budget discussion at 2 pm in Rajya Sabha, said Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday.

Lauding Narendra Modi, under whose leadership India is "among the top six economies in the world", Union Minister Anurag Thakur in the Rajya Sabha said the prime minister has done more for the poor and the downtrodden in this country more than any other leader.

On being asked about the eligibility under MGNREGA, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in the Rajya Sabha said that 14 crore job cards have been issued under MGNREGA so far.

"10 crore people are working, and women participation is 52 percent. I can provide district wise data later," said Tomar.

The finance minister on Friday will respond in the Upper House to the discussion on Union Budget 2021, which she presented on 1 February.

The first leg of the Union Budget session in the Parliament will conclude on Friday, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said. Proceedings in the Upper House sitting has been extended till 3 pm.

The sitting for Saturday is cancelled. It was earlier decided that the session would conclude on 13 February instead of on 15 February.

Parliament will stay adjourned till 8 March. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be speaking in the House on Friday.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked the government for the three agriculture laws that have triggered protests by farmers at Delhi's borders, saying these legislations will allow industrialists to buy unlimited quantity of foodgrains and hoard them.

Lending his support to the ongoing farmers protests, he said in Lok Sabha that it was not an agitation of the farmers only but a movement of the country and the government will have to repeal the laws.

Rahul also led his party members and those from the TMC and the DMK to observe a two-minute silence by standing to mourn the death of "200 farmers" during the ongoing agitation and said he was doing this as the government has not paid tributes to those who died during the protests.

"The intent of the three laws are to allow industrialists to buy unlimited quantity of foodgrains and hoard them as much as they want," he alleged.

The former Congress president cited the old family planning slogan hum do hamare do to attack the government and said just four-five people are running the country.

"The new farm laws will destroy India's food security system and will hurt rural economy," he said.

The Congress leader also said that the farmers are not going anywhere but will overthrow the government.

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