Parliament Highlights: The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 3 pm Wednesday after the Opposition raised slogans over the ongoing Karnataka crisis and accused the government of horse trading. The Upper House was adjourned twice before today. Congress leaders also staged a walkout from Lok Sabha over the Karnataka issue, with their Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury saying there is a conspiracy going on to topple Karnataka government.
In Lok Sabha, the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019 and Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019 were tabled. On the appointment of judges in courts, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Lok Sabha said, “There is no shortage of judges in the Supreme Court. The SC has reached its full strength of 31 judges for the first time since 2009. However, as on July 1, 2019, there are 403 vacancies in the high courts.”
On Tuesday, both the Upper and Lower House of Parliament witnessed sloganeering and a walkout in Lok Sabha by Congress leaders who accused the BJP of poaching their MLAs in Karnataka. The BJP, on the other hand, accused the Congress of disrupting Parliament over “home matters”.
The Congress is expected to continue its tirade against the BJP over its MLAs leaving the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka. Follow Highlights from Parliament here.
Lok Sabha passes New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019
As the Lok Sabha passes the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019, the Lower House has been adjourned till 11 am tomorrow.
India must become global icon of arbitration with good lawyers and a robust set of arbitrators: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Arbitration Bill, 2019: New Delhi to become the global icon of arbitration and India must have good lawyers, teachers and a robust set of good arbitrators who are honest and transparent, we must understand the changing profiIndle of India. Hitting out at AIMIM leader Asauddin Owaisi, Union Law Minister appealed to him to stand by the law and said, "When majority leaders are supporting the Bill, I hope you also to support it in equal fervour and not stand as an obstacle to it. India's parliament has come in support of the country becoming a centre of arbitration."
Introduction of bills which lapsed with dissolution of 16th Lok Sabha is a criminal waste of public money: Pinaki Mishra
BJD leader Pinaki Mishra said that the NDIAC Bill is the fifth bill that has come again in Lok Sabha after the dissolution of 16th Lok Sabha. “This is a criminal waste of public money and replication of work. I have been told 28 bills remain pending after being lapsed. A simple amendment to Article 107 of the Constitution would remedy this,” he said.
Union Cabinet approves amendments to POCSO Act and Transgender Rights Bill
After both the bills had lapsed as the tenure of the previous Lok Sabha came to an end due to the Lok Sabha polls in April-May, Union Cabinet today approved the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019. The Cabinet also approved amendments in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012. The POCSO amendments Bill sought to enable gender-neutral laws to implement stringent punishment up to death penalty in cases involving children.
Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day
As BJP MLA Meenakshi Lekhi continues to speak on the need for an International Arbitration Centre in the national capital in the Lower Sabha, Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for the day.
Experience of fast track courts in the country is dismal: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
"The experience of fast track courts in our country is dismal. We need to device newer methods for expediating arbitration cases through infrastructure and awareness. The Indian judiciary has a greater responsibility to guard and ensure state policies are economically beneficial for the country. Appropriate infrastructure is required before turning India to a hub of arbitration destination," says Opposition leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on the New Delhi International Arbitration Bill, 2019.
Inflation has come down, food inflation down to 0.3% from 6.4% in 2014-15: Nirmala Sitharaman
Opposition raises slogans in the House, making it difficult for Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to continue speaking on the Union Budget. Amid slogans, the Finance Minister says: "Inflation management, from when we took charge has come down to 3 per cent. Whereas, talking about food inflation, the figures are even worse, which the Opposition will not want to hear because the Consumer Price Index for food inflation was pegged at 6.4% in 2014-15 whereas, as of March 2019, it stands at 0.3%."
Unlike during earlier govt, since 2014, farmers do not have to face lathi-charge while waiting to collect fertilisers: Nirmala Sitharaman
Nirmala Sitharaman in Lok Sabha: "Against what people like to believe that the Budget does not focus on the agriculture sector, I'd like to put the record straight, this year's Budget focuses majorly on agriculture. We have adopted comprehensive solutions for agriculture concerns as our Government realised the agriculture sector needs huge transformation by 2022, we are looking at doubling farmers' income. India tops the charts in production of several agricultural products since 2014, with farmers not having to face any lathi charge while waiting in queues to collect their fertilisers. Our measures have made a difference to the farmers in compliance with the Swaminathan committee. Under the adoption of new Minumum Support Price (MSP) policy, all the commodities which were notified have witnessed a big jump in MSP."
'Govt committed to path of fiscal consolidation without compromising on public expenditure'
Nirmala Sitharaman reasons the difference in the growth rate projected in the Economic Survey against the figures projected in the Budget 2019: "The growth rate of nominal GDP has been projected at 12% in the Union Budget 2019-20, whereas the growth rate of nominal GDP in the Economic Survey was projected at 11%. As compared to the Economic Survey, the one projected in the Budget is on a lower GDP base because the Interim Budget also used the same lower GDP base which ensures comparability between the Interim and regular. Deficit ratios projected can be compared so I hope scholars understand the consistency with which the budget document is produced as opposed to the figures in the Economic Survey."
Budget 2019 includes steps to ensure we achieve USD 5 Trillion economy target: Finance Minister
Nirmala Sitharaman's reply on Union Budget 2019-20: In order to achieve the USD 5 Trillion economy target, we spoke of effectively, 1. bringing investment into the economy, 2. for generating jobs, 3. towards manufacturing within India which are steps to ensure investment is drawn into the country.
So we are looking at an FDI policy aimed at liberalisation by lowering of corporate tax from 30% to 25% along with additional income tax deduction on the purchase of electric vehicles and increasing the scope of voluntary pension scheme for traders and shopkeepers. The government has also made it clear that its intention is to push infrastructural development with Rs 100 lakh crores investment over the next 5 years.
Budget 2019-20 gives a big picture of the newly elected govt: Nirmala Sitharaman
The projected strength made in the Budget document is realistic and reflective of the goals that the newly established government. Necessary resource mobilisation have been envisaged while documenting this Budget. "This budget certainly comes at a time when an interim budget had already been presented and it's the last year of the 14th Finance Commission. This Budget has two bookends and it gives a big picture of this newly elected government which has returned to power with a bigger mandate."
WATCH: What does the Budget mean for you?
The 2019-20 Budget reflects govt's commitment to boost investments into various sectors: Finance Minister
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her reply on the Union Budget says, "After the constitution of the 17th Lok Sabha, the regular budget for 2019-20 has been proposed to the parliament which is the second budget after the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST). The entire financial data was provided in the budget documents which amounts to nearly Rs 13 lakh thousand crores which entails an increase of nearly 8 thousand crores. Under the Central Sponsored scheme, amounts being spread are far higher than earlier, which reflects government's commitment to boost investment in agriculture, social sector—education and health. The fiscal deficit is pegged at 3.3% against the 3.4% mentioned in the interim budget which marks the path of Fiscal Consolidation without compromising on the requirement of public expenditure. "
NC says road blocking due to Amarnath Yatra in J&K affecting livelihood
Discussion on Budget in Lok Sabha
Mohd Akbar Lone, NC raised questions in Lok Sabha over the blocking of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway due to Amarnath Yatra, which he said is causing difficulty to the local people. He also highlighted that this is a big season for tourism in the state and halting of roads will affect the livelihood of people. He also pointed out that unemployment among youth is a huge problem and the budget does little in this direction. The budget does not offer anything on the health issue, he said, adding that the AIIMS project is yet to take off.
Parliament reconvenes after lunch, uproar continues in Rajya Sabha
The Parliament reconvened in the post-lunch session and the Opposition continued their protest in Rajya Sabha. As a result, the Upper house had to be adjourned again till 3 pm. The house had been adjourned twice before today on the Opposition's uproar over Karnataka crisis.
Foreign ministry has no means to verify travels of Nirav Modi: MoS External Affairs
V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs said in Lok Sabha: Ministry revoked the passport of Nirav Modi as per provisions of Section 10(3)(c) of The Passports Act, 1967, on February 23, 2018. The Ministry has no means to verify the travels, if any, of Nirav Modi and passport used for such travels by him.
No shortage of judges in SC, need more judges in high courts: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Union Minister RS Prasad in Lok Sabha: There is no shortage of judges in the Supreme Court. The SC has reached its full strength of 31 judges for the first time since 2009. However, as on July 1, 2019, there are 403 vacancies in the high courts.
Prasad agreed that the appointment of judges in high courts is a continuous collaborative process between the Executive and the Judiciary, as it requires consultation and approval from various Constitutional authorities.
Congress leaders stage a walkout in Lok Sabha over Karnataka issue
On the Karnataka crisis, Congress' Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "Martial law is being applied in Maharashtra. Karnataka Irrigation Minister D K Shivakumar was prevented by Mumbai police from entering the hotel where our MLAs are kept. They (government) are destroying the democracy.
In reply, Prahlad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said, "All the MLAs have given it in writing to the commissioner, saying that there is a threat to them from D K Shivakumar. That is why they are being given protection."
Congress leaders stage a walkout.
Tejasvi Surya in Lok Sabha: Illegal Bangladeshis in Karnataka a security threat, extend NRC to state
Tejasvi Surya in Lok Sabha: Karnataka, especially Bengaluru, is facing a security threat from illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who are now taking away jobs from locals. They have procured Aadhar card and ration cards due to the negligence of the state government. Since the NRC was exercised in north-east states, these illegal refugees have spread to other states. I request the central government to extend the NRC exercise to Karnataka as well to weed out these immigrants.
Sloganeering continues from the Opposition.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury: Conspiracy to topple Karnataka government
During the hearing of matters of urgent public importance, Congress Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said there is a conspiracy going on to topple Karnataka government.
As BJP's Kolar MP S Muniswamy replied to him, Opposition members started raising slogans in the house.
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2pm
Rajya has been adjourned till 2 pm after the Opposition raised slogans over the ongoing Karnataka crisis and accused the government of horse trading.
Question hour ends, Speaker congratulates Rajnath Singh on his birthday
During the question hour, BJP's Pritam Gopinath Munde asked: Just like the government is upgrading the Airways through a public-private partnership, will there be upgradation of railway stations as well?
MoS Railways Suresh Angadi replied that the matter is under consideration.
Ending the question hour, Speaker Om Birla congratulates Rajnath Singh on his birthday.
Piyush Goyal to MPs: Impossible to placate everyone's demand, focus on bigger picture of railways
Ravi Kishen: Want to congratulate the railways. Gorakhpur is one of the largest stations in the world so I want to know if there will be new trains and carriages.
Piyush Goyal: It is impossible to placate everyone's demand. Right now we don't have the capacity to run consistent trains with stoppages on short stations. More stoppages mean more delays. So I would request everyone to focus on the bigger picture on the discussion on railways tomorrow.
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 12 pm
The Rajya Sabha proceedings were disrupted as Opposition members started raising slogans over the Karnataka crisis. The house will reconvene at 12 pm.