Parliament Updates: LS passes AERA (Amendment) Bill; legislation reduces number of major airports under tariff regulator

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Parliament Updates: LS passes AERA (Amendment) Bill; legislation reduces number of major airports under tariff regulator
  • 22:36 (IST)

    Lok Sabha passes Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill


    Lok Sabha adjourned for the day.

  • 22:20 (IST)

    Hardeep Singh Puri responds to debate on AERA India (Amendment) Bill, 2019


    Fares have gone down overall, Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. He also said that when operators win bids for privatisation of six airports, they will pay Rs 2,300 crore to airport authority. "This sustains regional connectivity schemes," he said.

    He also said that IndiGo will begin operations on the Agra-Varanasi, Agra-Lucknow routes in December.

  • 22:17 (IST)

    Hardeep Singh Puri responds to debate on AERA India (Amendment) Bill, 2019


    The two airports - Mumbai and Delhi - which were privatised in 2006, account for 34 percent of the air traffic, Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. "Safeguards built in request for proposal that no state of monopoly is reached," he said.

    Puri said that Patna airport expansion is in progress. "Joint use of airport with Indian Air Force has been approved and as soon as Bihar government gives land for greenfield airport, progress in the project will be made," he said.​

    AERA will concentrate on airports which will have 3.5 million traffic, he said. "Tiruptati is an declared international airport. Decisions on who wants to operate from a particular airport is made by the carrier, which is why no international flights operate from there. Air India is under unsustainable burdens due to these reasons, which is why we are looking at privatising it," Puri gave clarifications.

  • 21:37 (IST)

    Modern India seeks to move upward and forward, says BJD's Anubhav Mohanty


    BSP MP Danish Ali said that the government is handing over profit-making airports into private hands.

    BJD's Anubhav Mohanty of BJD  said that modern India seeks to move upward and forward. While supporting the Bill, he suggested a certain degree of monitoring even for the smaller airports, additional grievance redressal mechanisms and flights between Bhubaneswar and Dubai, since connectivity of Odisha with the Middle East is sparse.

  • 20:23 (IST)

    Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tables Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha


    How will civil aviation ministry have control on the tariff system, asks Congress' K Jayakumar. 

  • 20:12 (IST)

    Lok Sabha passes the Dam Safety Bill, 2019

  • 20:01 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha adjourned till 11 am on 3 August

  • 19:51 (IST)

    Fix accountability for owners of dams in case of failure, says BJP's Tejasvi Surya​


    BJP MP from Bangalore South supported the Dam Safety Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha. He suggested that the accountability be fixed on errant oficials and owners of the dam in case of failure. "It has penal provisions for non-implementation of guidelines, but none that fix accountability for dam failures. The Bill will be more comprehensive with this addition," he said.

  • 19:27 (IST)

    Developing unified systems of mega dams is need of the hour says BJP's Tapir Gao


    Supporting the Bill, BJP's Tapir Gao said the solution is not ministries working in silo. He said the government should concentrate on a unified system of setting up mega dams in Arunachal Pradesh. "Develop the northeastern states, concentrate on not just dam safety but on the downstream and upstream safety too," he said.

  • 19:06 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha passes The Code on Wages Bill, 2019


    The Bill amends and consolidates laws relating to wages/bonus and universalises the provisions of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all employees irrespective of the sector and wage ceiling.

  • 19:05 (IST)

    People in Idukki live in constant fear of dam breach, says Congress's Dean Kuriakose​

    Voicing support for the Dam Safety Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha, Congress' Dean Kuriakose said that people living around the Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala's Idukki disrict live in contant fear of a dam breach. "If there is a breach of the dam, Kerala will be divided into two parts, physically," he said.

  • 18:50 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha discusses Code on Wages Bill, 2019​


    AAP's Sanjay Singh said, "People will no more fear the labour inspector because he now has to warn the violator before going for investigation. Previously, violations were a criminal offence. But now, the violator will be let off with a fine."

    Congress' P Bhattacharya asks how the ESI Act, PF Act, etc can be amalgamated. Minimum wages are not the only problem of labourers, he said, adding that the Bill's definition of bonus is ambiguous.

  • 18:06 (IST)

    Lok Sabha sitting extended till two bill listed for the day are passed

    The Lok Sabha sitting has been extended till The Dam Safety Bill, 2019 and The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019 are passed.

  • 17:40 (IST)

    BJD MP says Centre shouldn't back top-down approach for dam safety

    As the Lok Sabha discussed The Dam Safety Bill, 2019, BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab. "There's a lot of incongruity in this bill. It has to be with public interest. And for that, it has to have a resolution passed in this House. There is apprehension that the Union government may take over the control of the dam... Through this bill, you (Centre) are acquiring the power. It is not the top-down function that will work. The dams have been created the states."

  • 16:57 (IST)

    Bill silent on flow of funds from Centre to state, says TMC's Mahua Moitra


    Trinamool Congress's Mahua Moitra says that fortunately, water is a state subject. She says that the Bill is silent on funds sanctioned from the Centre to the State to look after dam safety. "We look after and pay for everything, but you tell us how to do it," she said.

    All 21 people of dam safety committee are appointed by Centre, she pointed out. "How does this committee have 10 people from Centre and only seven from the state, when people from state have a better sense of the geographical location of the dam?" she asked, adding that the Bill leaves the state with no say.

  • 16:38 (IST)

    Tamil Nadu had a Dam safety Directorate in 1990, says DMK's A Raja


    During the discussion on the Dam Safety Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha, Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, RSP's NK Premachandran and DMK's A Raja present their arguments.

    While Premachandran said that India has experienced 36 dam failures, the most recent being the Ratnagiri dam breach, while Chowdhury suggested that pre and post-monsoon checks should be taken seriously.

  • 15:40 (IST)

    The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been passed by the Lok Sabha

  • 15:35 (IST)

    Lok Sabha begins discussion on Dam Security Bill, 2019


    Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat says that building dams for producing electricity, preserving water and preventing floods is a historic practice.

  • 15:23 (IST)

    Lok Sabha polls on Jallianwala memorial trust amendment bill by division of vote

    The Lok Sabha has already defeated the motion to refer the bill to the select committee. The voting is underway on whether the amendments moved by MP NK Premchandran be accepted. 

  • 15:04 (IST)

    War of words in LS as bill to amend Jallianwala Trust law moved for consideration

    Acrimonious scenes were witnessed in Lok Sabha on Friday during the debate on a bill which seeks to remove the Congress president as a permanent member of a trust that runs the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial. Seeking the passage of the bill, Culture Minister Prahlad Patel said the government wants to end politics involved with regard to the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust.

     
    Opposing the bill, Congress member Gurjeet Aujla said the government wants to re-write the history by removing the Congress president from the trust. 
    As Aujla attacked the ruling BJP and like-minded​ organisations for "not taking part in the freedom struggle", the ruling party members countered him with slogans. "You have no contribution to the country's freedom struggle. Why do you want to control the memorial," he alleged.
     
     
    Participating in the debate, Akali Dal member and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said it was members of the Congress which were involved in the 1984 riots against Sikhs.​ Badal alleged that a person involved in the 1984 anti- Sikh riots has been made chief minister, and a close relative of Punjab chief minister had lauded the role of General Dyer who was involved in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. "This was a recorded history and you cannot forget it," she said.
     
     
    With this, the Congress countered Badal shouting slogans and made counter allegations. At one time, a few members of the Congress were seen showing placards about drug mafia in Punjab. 

  • 14:59 (IST)

    Rajya  Sabha takes up The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019, for consideration and passing.

  • 13:37 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha passes UAPA (Amendment) Bill 2019 with 147 ayes against 42 noes

  • 13:21 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha negates motion to send UAPA Bill to Select Committee by division of votes

  • 13:19 (IST)

    Amit Shah says no reason to worry about power granted to NIA officers

    Amit Shah further says that the issue that the state police will no longer be able to weigh in on the cases filed under the UAPA is a misnomer. "There have been many problems, especially inter-state, that have arisen as a result of the cases being with the state police," he says to justify the cases being taken over by the National Investigation Agency. 

  • 13:13 (IST)

    Our stand same even when UPA brought the bill, Congress changes views with shift in sides: Amit Shah

     

     "I have only brought an amendment, I didn't bring the law. We can only be one step ahead of the terrorists if we keep bringing in reforms. All the previous amendments had been brought in by the Congress. The moment they went to the other side, they change their perspective, why is that."

  • 13:09 (IST)

    Amit Shah says NIA's case against Samjhauta, Mecca Masjid blast accused didn't hold water because they was mere political vendetta 

    Responding to Digvijaya Singh's comments, Shah said, "The honourable member asked why did the NIA couldn't build case against Samjhauta and Mecca Masjid blast case, so I would like to tell him, this happened because the cases were nothing but political vendetta."

    Shah said, "I know you might say that we came to power and did this, but let me tell you chargesheet in one of the cases was made in 2012 and all the evidence was collected by then. We only argued the case post 2014. So it is on the basis of those same evidences that the court dismissed the cases." He said the other case which Singh mentioned was completed under UPA tenure, only final stretch of hearing was remaining."

  • 12:53 (IST)

    Amit Shah justifies need to term individual as terrorist under UAPA law 

     

    Countering the argument raised by P Chidambaram Amit Shah said, "My contention is the same. If we ban one organisation, another one comes up by same individuals. Till when will we keep banning organisations? Till we blacklist an individual as terrorist, it is impossible to reign in their work."

  • 12:50 (IST)

    Amit Shah defends UAPA amendment bill in rajya Sabha

     

    Home Minister Amit Shah begins his response in the debate on UAPA Bill. "The nature of cases pertaining to terrorism registered by the NIA is very complicated. There are issues that arise between countries and states... and the Opposition is mixing two sets of figures to make their point in Rajya Sabha" he says trying to assert the importance of Bill's provisions.

  • 12:43 (IST)

    Digvijaya Singh claims two of NIA's three most-wanted are ex-RSS workers, triggers uproar during UAPA debate

  • 12:43 (IST)

    P Chidambaram questions need for UAPA amendment bill 

     

    "Now the act deals with Unlawful Activities and it deals with terrorist acts. They are not the same, they are defined separately... Why I say this is, even before the Amendment individuals are covered under this act - an individual who commits an act is punishable under this act. There is no distinction between punishing an unlawful association and punishing a member of an unlawful organisation. If they are covered, why do you bring this amendment?"

  • 12:28 (IST)

    Can't compare Hafiz Saeed with Gautam Navlakha, says P Chidambaram opposing UAPA Bill

    Congress MP P Chidambaram wondered who does the government have in mind when they insist on naming individuals as terrorists under the stringent bill. He said, when you talk of internal security and such a disproportionately stringent law, let me remind you you can't compare Hafiz Saeed to Gautam Navlakha, a Left-wing rights' activist who is currently under detention on charges related to the sedition law. 

     "I think that they are advocating compassion, that they advocating peaceful resistance. Police thinks otherwise, and lodged a case. Let the law take its course on that. But if this Bill were to come into existence, they can name him a terrorist just because they believe so," says the former Union Minister.

  • 12:15 (IST)

    The Bill reinforces the 'zero tolerence' policy, says YSRCP's Vijaysai Reddy; supports bill 
     

    YSRCP MP V Vijaisai Reddy said, "In the matter of national security, and countering terrorism, YSR Congress fully supports Prime Minister's stand on it."

    He said, "The Bill reinforces the 'zero tolerance' policy of the government. National security cannot be strengthened without countering the internal threats, and that is what this amendment seeks to strengthen."

    "The Bill rightly allows the central government to declare individuals as terroists (earlier it was restricted to organisations). Critics say the Bill will be misued. To this I say, it is this principal opposition party who has misused laws and jailed opponents," he adds.

  • 12:13 (IST)

    Binoy Viswam of CPI says SCs STs disproportionately hit by anti-terror laws 

    Speaking on the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019, Binoy Viswam, member of CPI party representing Kerala in the Rajya Saha, said that there is a clear discrepancy in the arrest and conviction rates of minorities like Muslims, Dalits and Scheduled Tribes. 

    "Why are you bringing religion into this?" the Chairman asked Viswam.

    "SC and STs are the most opressed in this country, sir. Please be on their side," replied Viswam. "Everyone has to be on the side of the law, not the offender," said Chairman Venkaiah Naidu.

  • 12:09 (IST)

    Kashmir will face the brunt of this law, says PDP's Mir Mohammed Fayaz

     

    Mir Mohammad Fayaz of PDP, Jammu and Kashmir narrated the stories of many people who have been arrested and questioned illegally in many areas of India.  

    The misuse of this law will be on the people of Jammu & Kashmir, I assure you, says Mr. Fayaz. The situation in Kashmir has never been as bad as it is now, he adds. 

    "In Kashmir, whenever there is an encounter, militants would force themselves with the house of civilans and ask for food or such. Since they have guns, the civilians do not refuse. And then the police comes in and again tortures them for aiding militants. How can a Kashmiri get out of this quandry?" asks Fayaz, getting emotional.

  • 11:40 (IST)

    DMK opposes UAPA bill 

    P Wilson of the DMK said that the UAPA bill should be referred to the Standing Committee because it puts the burden of proof on the accused. He said that his party opposes bill and way it was introduced. "We will gladly join hands with government if real measures taken." 

    He said, "We are concerned that the Bill is an assault on freedom and an abuse of power by Central government." He said that those who drafted the law were perhaps not aware of the Article 21 of the Indian Constitution which guarantees certain rights to a citizen. 

  • 11:25 (IST)

    RJD's Manoj Kumar Jha says UAPA law draconian, arbitrary 

    Referring to a Shahrukh Khan starrer film on the concept of Islamophobia post 9/11 in United States, Jha said, "How many people in this country would have the privilege of saying 'My Name is Khan and I am not a terrorist.'"

    "This is a Draconian law, pushing our country to an Orwellian state, and I don't understand why we are heading in this direction, Jha asked. "The people who are going to be most affected are the poor and the minority, and their avenues for recourse are bleak. In our country, we have been hearing of cases where people have been arrested and termed terrorists, and then acquitted after a while. It is easy to frame someone as a terrorist, but then, the things that family will have to go through even after their acquital is heartbreaking," he said.

  • 11:20 (IST)

    Congress gives adjournment motion notice on Unnao rape case 

    Congress Chief Whip in Lok Sabha K Suresh has given an adjournment motion notice on Unnao rape case The Opposition parties have been waging protests in the Parliament over the Rae Bareli accident case claiming government inaction.

  • 11:19 (IST)

    New UAPA bill reminiscent of POTA, TADA laws

    CPI(M)'s Elamaram Kareem in his argument against the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act says, "This will lead to large scale harassment." He cites the previous POTA and TADA laws under which, he says, thousands of Muslims were arrested. "You don't want the opposition to speak against you," Kareem says in a scathing statement. 

  • 11:16 (IST)

    Bills for Consideration and Passing in Rajya Sabha

    • Code on Wages, 2019
    • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019
    • Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019

  • 11:15 (IST)

    Bills for Consideration and Passing

    • Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019
    • Dam Safety Bill, 2019
    • Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019

  • 11:13 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha continues discussion on UAPA bill; LS takes up 'matters of public importance'

    The Rajya Sabha is continuing the discussion on the UABA bill from yesterday, while the Lok Sabha is taking up matters of urgent public importance raised with the permission of speaker.

Parliament Updates: The Lok Sabha passed the Dam Safety Bill and Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019. BJD's MP Bhartruhari Mahtab said, "There is apprehension that the Union government may take over the control of the dam... Through this bill, you (Centre) are acquiring the power. It is not the top-down function that will work. The dams have been created the states." The Lok Sabha sitting has been extended till The Dam Safety Bill, 2019 and The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019 are passed.

Acrimonious scenes were witnessed in Lok Sabha on Friday during the debate on a bill which seeks to remove the Congress president as a permanent member of a trust that runs the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial. Seeking the passage of the bill, Culture Minister Prahlad Patel said the government wants to end politics involved with regard to the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust.

Rajya Sabha passes UAPA (Amendment) Bill 2019 with 147 ayes against 42 noes.

Countering the argument raised by P Chidambaram Amit Shah said, "My contention is the same. If we ban one organisation, another one comes up by same individuals. Till when will we keep banning organisations? Till we blacklist an individual as terrorist, it is impossible to reign in their work."

Congress MP P Chidambaram wondered who does the government have in mind when they insist on naming individuals as terrorists under the stringent bill. He said, when you talk of internal security and such a disproportionately stringent law, let me remind you you can't compare Hafiz Saeed to Gautam Navlakha, a Left-wing rights' activist who is currently under detention on charges related to the sedition law.

"Now the act deals with Unlawful Activities and it deals with terrorist acts. They are not the same, they are defined separately... Why I say this is, even before the Amendment individuals are covered under this act - an individual who commits an act is punishable under this act. There is no distinction between punishing an unlawful association and punishing a member of an unlawful organisation. If they are covered, why do you bring this amendment?"

CPI(M)'s Elamaram Kareem in his argument against the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act says, "This will lead to large scale harassment." He cites the previous POTA and TADA laws under which, he says, thousands of Muslims were arrested. "You don't want the opposition to speak against you," Kareem says in a scathing statement.

The Rajya Sabha is continuing the discussion on the UABA bill from yesterday, while the Lok Sabha is taking up matters of urgent public importance raised with the permission of speaker.

The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on Thursday, while the National Medical Council Bill, 2019 got the Rajya Sabha's nod.

The POCSO (Amendment) Bill, 2019 provides for stringent punishment for sexual crimes against children and death penalty in cases of aggravated sexual assault. Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said 6.20 lakh sexual offenders were listed in the national database and they were being tracked by investigative agencies. She also expressed concern that the number of juvenile perpetrators of crimes is increasing.

In her reply to the debate on the Bill, Irani said the government was working to create 1,023 fast track courts under the Nirbhaya fund to provide quick justice in cases of crimes against women.

"Eighteen states have come on board to see that these courts are established between 2019-20 and 2020-21," she said. She also said that about Rs 75 lakh would be spent in creating infrastructure for each court.

The minister expressed concern over the "slow rate" of conviction in POCSO cases. She said that steps had been taken for witness protection and states were urged to create witness protection fund. Irani said children in CBSE-affiliated schools were being given awareness about "good touch and bad touch". She also said there were 680 child welfare committees of which 444 were working to full strength while 509 of 675 Juvenile Justice Boards were working at full strength.

Urging the Lower House to pass the Bill, Irani said that 60 percent of the people using the internet were of ages less than 24, and there had been an instance of 5,000 people subscribing to an online porn channel which had the video of a crime. She said the bill will protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensure their safety and dignity.

Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha passed the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2019, through a voice vote. The NMC Bill, which was tabled by Health Minister HarshVardhan, replaces the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a National Medical Commission.

"When history will be written, this Bill will be recorded as the biggest reform of the Narendra Modi government. You may mock the Bill but when it is passed today, the day will be written in golden words," Vardhan said. The Bill was cleared by the Parliament amid protests from the medical fraternity who fear it would lead to deterioration of medical education and degradation of healthcare services.

Vardhan asserted that the changes being brought in the medical education would lead to a better future. He also put to rest concerns raised by some MPs about NEET and NEXT exams, community health providers, reservation of the states and institutionalisation of quackery. "Twenty-one of the 25 members of the NMC are doctors and they will decide what will be the minimum qualification required to be community health providers. This is a WHO-approved practice," he said.

On concerns over less representation of states in the NMC, the minister said of the 25 members of the council, 11 are state representatives. He added that NEET has been accepted by aspiring doctors and that there will be a cap on fees for MBBS courses.

Congress' Jairam Ramesh opposed the Bill, saying 75 percent of the health expenditure is done by the state government and the Centre wants to control that. The former union minister said the current representation of members in the NMC is against the interest of states and asked if the proposed Exit Exam will be a test of theoretical knowledge or that of clinical capability as well.

AIADMK's Vijila Satyananth said, "The government should first introduce a standard education policy and system across the country and only then can they impose a common entrance test across the country." Trinamool Congress' Santanu Sen opposed the Bill calling it "of the ambiguous, for the ambiguous" and sought it to be sent to the Select Committee. He said appointments to the NMC and admissions to government medical colleges will be controlled by the Centre.

The Bill provides that the common final year MBBS exam be known as National Exit Test (NEXT) which would serve as a licentiate exam for entrance to post-graduate medical courses and as a screening test for foreign medical graduates.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019, that provides a 330-day timeline for insolvency resolution process and specifies minimum payouts to operational creditors in any resolution plan, was also passed by the Lok Sabha.

Tabling the Bill, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman referred to the death of Cafe Coffee Day founder-owner VG Siddhartha in mysterious circumstances and said the role that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) will play in terms of resolution will need combined efforts of all members.

Sitharaman said that letter and spirit behind IBC was to keep the companies "a going concern" and mergers, demergers and amalgamations were among means for achieving it rather than blindly going into liquidation. She said that as many as 6,079 cases had been disposed of even before admission under IBC.

Sitharaman said the amendments will bring greater clarity to mergers, demergers, and amalgamations as part of the resolution process. She said it lays greater emphasis on time-bound disposal at the application stage itself.

Lok Sabha also passed the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill before the House was adjourned for the day. The Bill provides for the speedy appointment of arbitrators through designated institutions and seeks to create an independent body to grade arbitral institutions.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that bill was an effort towards making India an international centre of arbitration. "Judiciary should also be consistent as far as arbitration is concerned," he said. Prasad said the government was keen to encourage institutional arbitration for settlement of disputes and make India a centre of robust Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism.

An uproar was witnessed in the Upper House when MDMK member Vaiko objected Vardhan for replying to a debate in Hindi. As soon as Harsh Vardhan started replying in Hindi to a debate on the NMC Bill, Vaiko objected to it and asked the minister to respond in English. "I will speak both in Hindi and English," the Health Minister said.

Rajya Sabha was adjourned for 10 minutes in the post-lunch session after the opposition parties created ruckus over the absence of Vardhan and his juniors during a debate on the NMC Bill, 2019.

As Satyananth was speaking on the Bill, Congress and Trinamool Congress members noticed the absence of ministers and raked up the issue. Responding to it, the Leader of the House Thaawarchand Gehlot said, "The Minister is coming. It is the collective responsibility of the Council of Ministers. I am taking notes on the issues raised by the members and will give it to the minister." As the din continued, the Deputy Chairman adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

The Rajya Sabha then discussed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, before being adjourned till 11 am on Friday.

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Updated Date: Aug 02, 2019 23:00:47 IST