Parliament HIGHLIGHTS: Rajya Sabha unanimously passes NIA (Amendment) Bill 2019

Parliament HIGHLIGHTS: Rajya Sabha unanimously passes NIA (Amendment) Bill 2019

Parliament HIGHLIGHTS: The NIA (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed in the Rajya Sabha unanimously on Wednesday. The bill was introduced in the lower house yesterday by Home Minister Amit Shah where it was passed.

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LS Speaker Om Birla commenting over the thin attendance in the evening session, appealed to the members of the House to spend maximum in the House and benefit from the debates. (File)

Parliament HIGHLIGHTS: A day after the Lok Sabha passed the National Investigating Agency (Amendment) Bill, the upper house on Wednesday unanimously passed it, following a long discussion on the issue. The bill, which was introduced in the lower house on Tuesday, aims to strengthen NIA. The Act makes NIA the only truly federal agency in the country, along the lines of the FBI in the United States, and more powerful than the CBI.

In the Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that India and China have been respecting the mutual agreement and ensuring that peace and tranquillity are being maintained at the border. He added that there is complete restraint by the armed forces of India and China at Doklam, which witnessed a stand-off in 2017.  Meanwhile, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said 1,25,000 km of roads will be built under third phase of Gramin Sadak Yojana at the cost of Rs 80,000 crore.

Rajya Sabha which, was marred by protests yesterday proceeded without much disruption, however, was adjourned till 2 pm. After passing the NIA (Amendment) Bill, the house was adjourned till 11 am on Thursday.

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Both the Houses will resume sessions today after it witnessed a long day in the Lok Sabha and violent protests in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. Stay tuned for latest updates:

Lok Sabha adjourned till 11 am on July 18, Thursday

Parliament approves bill to give NIA more teeth

Parliament Wednesday approved a bill to enable the National Investigation Agency to probe terror attacks on Indians and Indian properties abroad, with Home Minister Amit Shah assuring the Rajya Sabha that the legislation will not be misused.

Shah defended the government for not filing an appeal against the acquittal of all four accused, including the radical right-wing's Swami Aseemanand, in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blasts case. He said the four were charge-sheeted by the previous Congress government without proof.

Replying to the debate on the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, he attacked the Congress for questioning the efficiency of NIA, saying 184 terror accused have been convicted since the BJP government came to power in 2014.

Two days after Lok Sabha passed the bill, Rajya Sabha approved it unanimously. The bill gives powers to the NIA to probe terror attacks targeting Indians and Indian interests abroad. (PTI)

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 11 am on July 18, Thursday

After the NIA (Amendment) Bill was unanimously passed in Rajya Sabha Wednesday, the upper house was adjourned till 11 am tomorrow. The House witnessed a heated discussion on the NIA Amendment Bill in the afternoon. 

Amit Shah addressing the House on NIA Amendment Bill

After members from various parties shared their views on NIA Amendment Bill, Home Minister Amit Shah is speaking on the issue. While speaking in support of NIA Amendment, Shah said the Opposition should not undermine the efficiency of the bill. He had on Tuesday introduced the bill in the lower house in which it was passed. The bill is under scrutiny in the upper house today.

Formulation of national retail trade policy underway: Govt

The commerce and industry ministry is formulating a national retail trade policy and aims to take a decision in this regard at an early date, Parliament was informed Wednesday.

"Necessary steps for formulation of a national retail trade policy are underway. The government aims to take a decision in this regard at an early date," Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

He said a number of interactions with industry, trade associations, ministries concerned and states have been held by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to consider issues facing retail sector and possible solutions for resolving them.

In a separate reply, the minister said the US imposed additional customs duties of 25 per cent and 10 per cent on certain steel and aluminium products, respectively in March 2018 on a global basis. (PTI)

Centre to identify illegal immigrants, deport them: Amit Shah

The Centre will identify illegal immigrants staying in any part of the country and deport them as per international law, Home Minister Amit Shah said in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

The minister was replying to a supplementary query by Samajwadi Party member Javed Ali Khan on whether the National Register of Citizens will be implemented in other states as well.

Currently, the NRC is being updated under the strict monitoring of the Supreme Court in Assam and July 31 has been set as a deadline for final publication of the registered data.

"It is a very good question. The NRC is part of the Assam Accord and was also in (BJP's) election manifesto based on which the government has came to power. The government will identify illegal immigrants living on every inch of the country's soil and will deport them as per the international law," Shah said in the Upper House. (PTI)

Issue of breach of privacy by tech devices raised in RS

A BJP member in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday raised the issue of smart TVs and other electronic devices breaching privacy and demanded strict action to prevent such incidents.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, BJP member Amar Shankar Sable referred to a recent case in Surat in Gujarat where an intimate video of a couple was made by hackers using Smart TV and then uploaded on the Internet.

He said there is a threat to privacy of people and wanted that strict action should be taken.

To this, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said: "This is a sensitive matter".

Samajwadi Party member Sanjay Seth raised the issue of reports of deaths of cattle, particularly cows, in Uttar Pradesh. He said a particular community is being targeted while transporting cattle in some states.

He said steps should be taken to provide fodder and water to prevent deaths of cows in shelter, and added that this matter should not be seen as vote bank politics. (PTI)

Cabinet approves repealing of 58 obsolete laws

Cabinet approves repealing of 58 obsolete laws and introduction of the Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019 in Parliament, news agency ANI reported.

A cyber-crime would become cyber terrorism: Derek O' Brien on NIA Amendment Bill

Derek O Brien, AITC, West Bengal, also spoke against the NIA (Amendment) Bill which seeks to strengthen the investigating agency. He said there is a big chance of conflict as there is a federal structure of government. He said that if this bill is passed, then a simple case of cyber-crime would become cyber terrorism. He also said that perhaps, the first act of terrorism in independent India was the assassination of "our beloved Bapu".

The Act makes NIA the only truly federal agency in the country, along the lines of the FBI in the United States, and more powerful than the CBI.

Opposition raises objection against NIA Amendment Bill

As soon as the discussion on NIA (Amendment) Bill started in the House, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu invited leaders of Opposition to speak on the issue. After calling out the name of Abhishek Manu Singhvi (who was absent), the chairman invited Vivek Tankha. The Congress leader protested against the amendment bill and said the actual intention to bring the law will be failed.

He said that constitutionality of a body like NIA is under challenge since policing is under state jurisdiction.

What’s changing in NIA: Wider jurisdiction, more offences, faster trial

ON MONDAY, Lok Sabha passed the NIA Act Amendment Bill, which gives more powers to the National Investigation Agency and extends its jurisdiction beyond India’s borders. The Bill was hotly debated, with the Opposition accusing the government of misusing the agency for political vendetta and turning India into a police state.

Home Minister Amit Shah assured the House that the Act would never be misused, but would be used to finish terrorism, irrespective of the terrorist’s religion. READ MORE

NIA Bill 2019 under scrutiny in Rajya Sabha; it was passed in Lok Sabha Tuesday

The National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill 2019, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on July 15, is under scrutiny in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is in minority in the upper house. The bill was yesterday initiated in the lower house by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani speaks about Poshan Abhiyan, a nutrition scheme.

SP leader Jaya Bachchan raises questions on the issue and asks how many years shall it take for the government to produce healthy children, non-stunted children? "Malnutrition in women and children are usually seen in rural India or poor sections. Mindset needs to change, we need to educate mothers through easily-understandable methods. We need focused planning to ensure Poshan Abhiyan reaches right from Gram Panchayat level. Next aspect is communication and delivery system, for places where the problem is severe. Is the government going to provide special care to these kids?"

Satellite-based monitoring in place to check illegal mining

A satellite-based monitoring system has been successful in curbing illegal mining activities in the country, Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi said in Lok Sabha on Wednesday Joshi also said that almost all mining leases of major minerals in the country have been mapped on the Mining Surveillance System (MSS). (PTI)

After last night's extended session, LS approves demands for grants for rural development

Deliveries of S-400 system from Russia likely by April 2023: Shripad Naik

Union MoS Defence, Shripad Naik on being asked in Lok Sabha the details of S-400 deal, said, "A contract had been signed on 5 October, 2018 for delivery of S-400 system from Russia. The deliveries are likely to be made by April, 2023." (ANI)

Tomar responds to questions related to crop insurance, gender-neutral farming, PM-KISAN yojana

MPs raise questions about women farmers and making ownership of farmland gender-neutral. He seeks clarification on how to ensure removal of patriarchy in farming. Meanwhile, a BSP MP asks if the premium of crop insurance can be voluntary and if compensation was being provided to individual farmers. TDP MP asks whether PM-KISAN yojana is aimed at rural consumption or rural production to which now Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is responding.

Farmers' schemes, zero budget farming and pension part of Narendra Singh Tomar's discussion

After an extended session till midnight yesterday, Narendra Singh Tomar talks about zero budget farming, productivity based on chemical fertilizers and making the farmers' health insurance scheme more widespread. Tomar also wants every farmer to have access to the Kisan Credit Card and hailed the Pension scheme for their development. 

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm

After discussion on Air India and aviation questions by MoS Hardeep Singh Puri, Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm

Geotagging for MGNREGA; Narendra Singh Tomar responds to questions

Demand for grant for Agriculture and Rural development in Lok Sabha to which Minister Narendra Singh Tomar responds. MGNREGA is a populist scheme. Many members wanted to increase allocation to the scheme. We have given 12 crore MNREGA card. About 11 crore have linked their Aadhaar and seven crore have linked it with their bank account.

The Minister says that geo-tagging is being done for MGNREGA. Mr. Tomar also says that MGNREGA should not go on forever, since poverty needs to be eradicated.

Hardeep Singh Puri answers questions regarding hiring co-pilots in Air India

Rajya Sabha: MoS Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri answers a question on the hiring of co-pilots in Air India after the airline disinvestment. The revival plan basically consists of reducing costs also, he says.

Infrastructure being developed on Indo-China border: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh takes up the issue of national security and Indo-China tension

Zero Hour begins in Lok Sabha. Gaurav Gogoi asks the Centre to take cognisance of the Assam floods. As Parliament takes up matters of importance, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is speaking on national security with reference to Doklam standoff and Indo-China tension. 

Question Hour underway in Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha: Question Hour underway as Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan answers questions on the setting up on plants across the country.

Gujarat MP raises question regarding revival of 4G network for BSNL

Lok Sabha: Gujarat's Bhavnagar MP Bharatiben Dhirubhai Dhyan raising concerns regarding revival of 4G network for BSNL plant, said: "In the past 55 years, Congress did not do anything whereas, Modi government has changed the scene of telecom and network in the past five years.   Is the government looking at revival of 4G network and when will it be completed?"

Lok Sabha: NCP's Supriya Sule, BJP's Sujay Vikhe Patil raise questions about rail zones and coal supply

Requesting for a transfer of rail jurisdiction from Solapur to Pune division, NCP Supriya Sule raised the question during the ongoing question hour in Lok Sabha to which the Minister of State (MoS) for Railways, said, the matter is being looked into. Meanwhile, BJP's Sujay Vikhe-Patil asks how the government plans to work towards enhancing the supply of coal. Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi says Coal India and private players are importing coal to manage the demand and supply. 

Parliament proceedings begin

Lok Sabha session has begun with the Question Hour as Ministers are directing questions regarding the doubling and electrification of railway lines. Whereas, in the Rajya Sabha, MPs are raising concerns of the state with the permission of Chairman Venkaiah Naidu.

TMC MPs protest outside Parliament for Data Protection Law

Rajya Sabha passed the Central University (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on Tuesday

Yesterday, Rajya Sabha passed the Central University (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which paves the way for the establishment of two central universities in Andhra Pradesh. These will be known as Central University of Andhra Pradesh and the Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh. The tribal university will take additional measures to provide higher education and research facilities in tribal art, culture, and customs to the tribal population of India.

Congress has given Adjournment Motion notice in LS

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After BJP's Rajveer Singh had to pause his speech last night as the designated hour approached last night, Lok Sabha will begin proceedings at 11 am today.  Rajya Sabha will also begin its session at the same time, so stay tuned to this space as we get you the latest updates from the Parliament!

Nearly 90 members participated in the agrarian debate which began around 2.45 pm. Speaker Om Birla said there were "technical" reasons and he has to adjourn the House at midnight otherwise he would have preferred to run the business till 3 am.

No one becomes a leader by coming into well of the House: LS Speaker

Speaker Om Birla said there were "technical" reasons and he has to adjourn the House at midnight otherwise he would have preferred to run the business till 3 am. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

The attendance was thin as several members and leaders of various political parties left though it was decided the House would sit late into the night to complete the discussion. He appealed to the political parties to request their members to be regular in attending the proceedings and spend maximum time in the House.

Meanwhile, Parliament Tuesday approved a Bill to set up a central university and a tribal university in Andhra Pradesh, with HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal assuring the two varsities will be completed in the next four years. The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in Rajya Sabha with a voice vote.

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