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Parliament Updates: Lok Sabha passes Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill; Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day

Parliament LIVE Updates: The Lok Sabha has passed the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill. The Bill states that a 'fraternity fund' will be considered a chit fund and makes several other changes to the principal Act.

FP Staff November 20, 2019 18:12:10 IST
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Parliament Updates: Lok Sabha passes Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill; Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day

Highlights

17:40 (ist)

Lok Sabha live updates

 

LS members demand strict action against chit fund managers who siphon money of poor

 
Lok Sabha members on Wednesday demanded strict action against chit fund managers who siphon money of the poor.
 
Participating in a debate on the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, several BJP members lauded the government's move, saying this will help protect the money of the economically weaker section.
 
Saugata Roy (TMC), however, questioned the delay in bringing the bill. He said the bill was also introduced in the last Lok Sabha but was then forwarded to the Standing Committee on Finance.
 
The panel gave its recommendations in August 2018 but it has taken more than a year for the government to bring the fresh bill with amendments, he said.
"We have to address the anomalies in the financial system," he said.
 
Roy said two BJP members from West Bengal had wrongly referred to state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the chit fund scam and her name should be expunged from the record.
 
Anurag Sharma (BJP) said there are over 30,000 registered chit funds in the country and the unregularised would be more than 100 times the number. He stressed that more people should be brought in the formal sector.
 
Meenakshi Lekhi (BJP) said there was a need for financial literacy in the country to avoid people from falling into the trap of such financial system.
 
She said people who invest in chit funds are many a time unaware that when banking system gives an interest rate of nearly 8-9 per cent, then how can one provide an interest of nearly 30 to 40 per cent.
 
P P Chowdhary (BJP) said the amendments to the bill may appear small but will have long term ramifications in saving people's money.
 
PTI
 

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Nov 20, 2019 - 18:10 (IST)

Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill passed in LS

The Lok Sabha has passed the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill. The Bill states that a "fraternity fund" will be considered a chit fund and makes several other changes to the principal Act.

Nov 20, 2019 - 18:03 (IST)

The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for the day.

Nov 20, 2019 - 18:02 (IST)

The Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill is presently being voted upon in the Lok Sabha

Nov 20, 2019 - 17:46 (IST)

No proposal to link social media accounts of individuals to Aadhaar, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

 
The government has no proposal for linking Aadhaar with social media accounts of individuals, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
 
"There is no such proposal with the government for linking Aadhaar with social media accounts of individuals," Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
 
He was replying to a specific query on whether the government proposes to enact a law for linking Aadhaar with social media accounts of individuals.
 
Prasad said that as a matter of policy and by design, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) precludes itself from aggregating information arising from the use of Aadhaar, tracking and profiling individuals.
 
"...the system by intent is blind to the purpose for which Aadhaar may be used at the front end by the resident. Also, the core biometrics is encrypted at the time of enrolment/updation. It is never kept unencrypted and is never shared," he added.
 
PTI
 

Nov 20, 2019 - 17:40 (IST)

Lok Sabha live updates

 

LS members demand strict action against chit fund managers who siphon money of poor

 
Lok Sabha members on Wednesday demanded strict action against chit fund managers who siphon money of the poor.
 
Participating in a debate on the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, several BJP members lauded the government's move, saying this will help protect the money of the economically weaker section.
 
Saugata Roy (TMC), however, questioned the delay in bringing the bill. He said the bill was also introduced in the last Lok Sabha but was then forwarded to the Standing Committee on Finance.
 
The panel gave its recommendations in August 2018 but it has taken more than a year for the government to bring the fresh bill with amendments, he said.
"We have to address the anomalies in the financial system," he said.
 
Roy said two BJP members from West Bengal had wrongly referred to state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the chit fund scam and her name should be expunged from the record.
 
Anurag Sharma (BJP) said there are over 30,000 registered chit funds in the country and the unregularised would be more than 100 times the number. He stressed that more people should be brought in the formal sector.
 
Meenakshi Lekhi (BJP) said there was a need for financial literacy in the country to avoid people from falling into the trap of such financial system.
 
She said people who invest in chit funds are many a time unaware that when banking system gives an interest rate of nearly 8-9 per cent, then how can one provide an interest of nearly 30 to 40 per cent.
 
P P Chowdhary (BJP) said the amendments to the bill may appear small but will have long term ramifications in saving people's money.
 
PTI
 

Nov 20, 2019 - 17:36 (IST)

Rajya Sabha live updates

Transgenders should also get redressal under Atrocities Act, says Ghulam Nabi Azad

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "Transgenders belong to all religions and castes and they live in all provinces in the country. They face a lot of discrimination. I suggest that just as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes can get redressal under the Atrocities Act, transgenders should also get redressal under the Act."

Nov 20, 2019 - 17:25 (IST)

CERT-In issued notice to WhatsApp seeking info on Pegasus spyware: Ravi Shankar Prasad

 
Cybersecurity agency CERT-In has issued a notice to WhatsApp seeking details on targeting of mobile phones of Indian citizens by Israeli spyware Pegasus, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
 
Replying to a Lok Sabha question, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government is committed to protecting fundamental rights of citizens, including the right to privacy and added that attempts to malign the government for reported breach are "misleading".
 
Last month, the Facebook-owned company had revealed that Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally spied upon by unnamed entities using Pegasus spyware.
 
According to WhatsApp, the spyware was developed by Israel-based NSO Group and had been used to snoop on about 1,400 users globally, including 121 users from India.
 
Following government's notice seeking more information on the attacks, WhatsApp had responded saying it had alerted the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) in September that 121 Indian users had been targeted by Pegasus.
 
"Based on media reports on October 31, 2019, about such targeting of mobile devices of Indian citizens through WhatsApp by spyware Pegasus, CERT-In has issued a formal notice to WhatsApp seeking submission of relevant details and information," Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
 
The minister pointed out that the CERT-In had published a vulnerability note on May 17, advising countermeasures to users regarding a vulnerability in WhatsApp.
 
PTI
 

Nov 20, 2019 - 17:12 (IST)

Congress supports Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill

The Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has said that the party supports the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill. The Bill states that a "fraternity fund" will be considered a chit fund and makes several other changes to the principal Act.

Nov 20, 2019 - 16:54 (IST)

Rajya Sabha live updates

Transgender Bill should provide for free sex reassignment surgeries, says TMC MP Shanta Chhetri

The TMC's Shanta Chhetri further said, "The Bill should provide for free sex reassignment surgeries for transgender persons in public as well as private hospitals. Further, just as there are commissions for women, there should be commissions for transgenders as well."

Nov 20, 2019 - 16:49 (IST)

Rajya Sabha live updates

Lok Sabha passed Transgender Persons Bill in haste, says TMC's Shanta Chhetri

TMC MP Shanta Chhetri, speaking on the Transgender Persons Bill, said,"For centuries, transgenders have faced discrimination, hate and abuse.

She further said, "The haste with which the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha is clear. The proposed law on transgenders' right to self-identification, which is a very basic right for them."

Parliament LATEST Updates: The Lok Sabha has passed the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill. The Bill states that a "fraternity fund" will be considered a chit fund and makes several other changes to the principal Act.

The government has no proposal for linking Aadhaar with social media accounts of individuals, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

In the Rajya Sabha, Congress MP Rajeev Gowda is speaking on the Transgender Persons Bill.

Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has also responded to questions on whether the government received prior intimation regarding alleged snooping from social media owners like WhatsApp, Facebook.

The home ministry has responded to a question in the Rajya Sabha on why European MPs were allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir, and why a delegation of Opposition MPs was not allowed to do so.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee assured people that she will never allow NRC in the state even as Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha said a citizen's list on the lines of the exercise in Assam will be carried out across the country.

The TMC supremo sought answers from the BJP over exclusion of 14 lakhs Hindus and Bengalis from the final NRC list in Assam.

Commenting on the detention of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy compared the situation of Kashmir to that of Emergency declared across the country by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from 1975 to 1977.

When asked whether the home ministry was considering to allow member of Lok Sabha from Srinagar and NC patron to join in the winter session, Reddy argued that Abduallah is detained out of national interest. "Desh ke hit ke liye alag alag time pe logon ko arrest kiya gaya hai (In national interest ,at different times, different people have been arrested). During Emergency you arrested 33 MPs just to save 1 MP. People have been detained for national interest, to maintain law and order."

After discovering that his seating position in the Rajya Sabha chamber was changed from third to fifth row, firebrand leader Shiv Sena reacted strongly and in a letter directed to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the decision was taken in a bid to hurt sentiments of the Shiv Sena.

"I also fail to understand reason for this unwarranted step since there is no formal announcement about the removal from NDA. This decision has affected dignity of the House.I request to allot us 1/2/3 row seat and uphold House decorum," said Raut.

Rajya Sabha member and RJD leader Manoj Kumar Jha said that the morality and ethics of surrogacy must be jettisoned, and the medical requirements should come first.

"What about same sex couples? it does not talk about that. live in relationships? This Bill looks only at married couples", said Jha.

The Rajya Sabha begins discussion on crucial legislation, the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, that was moved by Union minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday.

Asserting that the NRC will be applicable throughout the country, Amit Shah said the NRC is a Supreme Court monitored drive and no religion will be targeted during the exercise.

"The NRC exercise was monitored by the SC. No religion has been targeted or isolated during the NRC exercise," Shah said, adding that the government will provide asylum to people of all religions.

On being asked by NCP's Majeed Menon about an approximate time for the situation in Kashmir to be normalised, Home Minister Amit Shah said " normal life has resumed in every way possible in the Valley", citing government data on school attendance to support his arguments.

"The situation is normal only. Schools and colleges are open, the apple industry is recovering well and normal life has resumed in every way possible in the Valley," Shah said.

Shah is now addressing Rajya Sabha, taking up the Opposition's questions on the situation in Kashmir — where a lockdown has been in place ever since the govt ended the state's special status. "As we all know, the situation in Kashmir remains tensed due to threats from across the border. As far as internet is concerned, its restoration will be carried out at an appropriate time on admin inputs," he says.

Immediately, Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad rises to counter Shah's statements, and begins by highlighting the dismal state of education in the Valley. "Schools and colleges have been opened, but there is negligible attendance. There is no provision to ensure that students are able to commute from school to their homes safely," he says. Coming to the home minister's arguments on snapping internet services, the Congress leader then says, "There has been threat from Pakistan for several years, there is nothing new about the situation. Then why such draconian measures? How will students continue their education without integral internet services?"

He is also expected to speak on the recent removal of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi's Special Protection Group (SPG) cover.

Countering Congress Anand Sharma's argument, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that the threat surrounding the Gandhi family disappeared with the end of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who were responsible for the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on 21 May, 1991.

Putting forward the Grand Old Party's concerns over the removal of security cover for the Gandhis and Manmohan Singh, former Union Cabinet Minister Anand Sharma said, "We urge government that issues of security of our leaders have to be beyond partisan political considerations."

Expect a stormy session in Parliament today as Home minister Amit Shah will speak on the recent removal of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi's Special Protection Group (SPG) cover in Rajya Sabha at 11.10 am. In Lok Sabha, the Trinamool Congress has given an adjournment notice on the issue of communication blockade in the Kashmir Valley.

The subject of SPG cover is likely to create a storm in the upper House as it is the first time that the House is in Session after the SPG cover for the Gandhis was withdrawn and they were placed under the Z-plus category. The Z plus category ensures security cover by around 100 personnel, but strips them off the protection of the elite SPG commandos, which was incidentally formed after the attack on former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Leader of Opposition Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Tuesday gave a notice in Lok Sabha on the Home Ministry's move to remove the special protection from the Gandhi family. Congress MPs are continuing with the protests even as the House proceedings continue in Lok Sabha.

Meanwhile, the Indian Youth Congress will organise a Parliament Gherao at 12 pm to protest the removal of SPG cover granted to party’s interim chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

In Rajya Sabha, the home minister is also expected to table a report regarding the President's rule in Maharashtra amid a prolonged political stalemate that was necessitated after the NDA allies – the BJP and Shiv Sena – ended their alliance in the state which elected a Hung House.

Matters Listed Before Upper House

The Rajya Sabha will see a discussion on two crucial legislation, namely the The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 that was moved by Union minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019.

Ahead of the Parliament proceedings, the Congress held a strategy meet at 10.15 am. Parliamentary panel on urban development will meet at 3 pm on air pollution in Delhi. This comes after many members were rapped for not showing up at the last meeting called on Friday. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar will also speak on the air pollution crisis in the Parliament.

A parliamentary standing committee headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor will take up the WhatsApp snooping case at 3 pm.

Matters Listed Before Lower House

The Lok Sabha will take up the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill is a pending legislation meant to put in place a mechanism to ensure transparency in chit fund schemes and to protect subscribers. The bill was brought in in the wake of a number of such schemes blowing up in the recent past, leaving several subscribers penniless.

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