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Parliament Highlights: Lok Sabha passes two contentious farm bills by voice vote

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday moved The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, in Lok Sabha.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 18, 2020 6:48:22 am
The Left asked why the Bill does not ensure that the price of agriculture produce is linked with MSP.

Parliament Monsoon Session Highlights: The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed two contentious legislations ––– Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, through voice vote. Moving the bills in the Lower House, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said they are aimed at making farming profitable and clarified that these bills would not have any impact on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism which will continue. He further assured that these legislations would not encroach upon the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Acts of the states.

While opposition parties including Congress, Trinamool Congress, RSP opposed the bills, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur, belonging to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) which is a member of BJP-led NDA, resigned from the government in protest over the ordinances. Targeting SAD president Sukhbir Badal and his wife and Union Cabinet Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Congress, AAP and SAD (Democratic) had demanded that the latter resign from the Union Cabinet as her position is “untenable” following her party’s stance against the agriculture Bills. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana have been protesting against three ordinances promulgated by the Centre on June 5. After the Monsoon Session of Parliament began this week, the government had introduced three Bills to replace these ordinances.

On the fourth day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke on the military standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh on Thursday. Asserting that China continues to be in illegal occupation of approx 38,000 sq. kms in the Union Territory of Ladakh, the Defence Minister also said, “Chinese actions reflect a disregard of our various bilateral agreements. The amassing of the troops by China goes against the 1993 & 1996 Agreements.”

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Parliament Highlights: Fourth day of Monsson Session underway; Rajnath Singh makes statement on China in Rajya Sabha;  Follow Highlights here

22:02 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Lok Sabha adjourned till 3 pm Friday

Lok Sabha adjourned till 3 pm Friday.

22:02 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Lok Sabha passes two farm bills through voice vote

Lok Sabha on Thursday passed two legislations ––– Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, through voice vote.

21:30 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Adhir Chowdhury lashes out at Centre over the farm bills

Bengal Congress President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury targetted the Centre over the farm bills. He said that he appreciated the stand of Harsimrat Kaur to resign frm the cabinet to protest against the "draconian law".

20:42 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Congress leader Venugopal demands probe by parliamentary committee into allegations against Facebook

Congress leader K C Venugopal on Thursday demanded a probe by a parliamentary committee into Facebook’s alleged interference in the country’s electoral democracy and that the social media platform publish all hate speech posts that were allowed since 2014. Making a special mention in Rajya Sabha, Venugopal said media reports have revealed about Facebook India’s “blatant biases and dubious practices” in content regulation. “This is a damning and serious allegation of Facebook India’s interference in the country’s electoral democracy,” he said, adding that India is one of the biggest markets in terms of users for Facebook and WhatsApp. Read more here

20:12 (IST)17 Sep 2020
By legislating farm sector, Govt attacking spirit of federalism: Mahua Moitra

Mahua Moitra, a TMC MP from West Bengal's Krishnanagar said that the government is attacking the spirit of federalism. "By legislating on the farm sector, the government has once again done what it does best, that is aggrandising itself the authority that is simply not vested in it by the Constitution."

Moitra pointed out that the government's interference in a state subject will create unnecessary ambiguity and rural divide. She said that the bill creates two trade areas, one trade area under new Bills, other already existing under the APMC act, which will create confusion. She said that the Bill doesn't have any mention of license in this new trade area, which will make farmers vulnerable to unscrupulous practices, as the state governments will not be able to regulate.

19:39 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur will resign from govt over farm bills, says Sukhbir Singh Badal

Stressing that Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which is a member of BJP-led NDA, opposed the farm bills moved by the government, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal Thursday said that Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur will resign from the government in protest over the ordinances. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday moved The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, in Lok Sabha. Congress MP from Ludhiana, Punjab, Ravneet Singh Bittu, RSP MP N K Premachandran among others opposed the ordinances terming it the Centre's attempt to destroy agriculture.

19:22 (IST)17 Sep 2020
BJP ally SAD opposes the Agriculture Bills

Shiromani Akali Dal, which is a member of BJP-led NDA, too opposed the Agriculture Bills.

18:59 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Explained: In three ordinances, the provisions that bother protesting farmers

Farmers in Punjab and Haryana have been protesting against three ordinances promulgated by the Centre on June 5. After the Monsoon Session of Parliament began this week, the government has introduced three Bills to replace these ordinances. Lok Sabha passed one of these on Tuesday, and the other two are listed for consideration and passing during the current session. Read our explainer here

18:34 (IST)17 Sep 2020
We reject Islamabad's obsession with territorial aggrandisement: Govt on Pak's new map

The government on Thursday said it has rejected Pakistan's "obsession" with "territorial aggrandisement" supported by cross border terrorism, in a reference to Islamabad unveiling a new political map laying claim to Indian territories. Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said the government continues to respond "appropriately" to Pakistan's malicious actions and propaganda, including on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, at various international fora. He was replying to a written question on the issue in Rajya Sabha. Pakistan released the new map on August 4 laying claim to union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and parts of Gujarat. "Government has rejected Pakistan's obsession with territorial aggrandisement supported by cross border terrorism," Muraleedharan said in the written reply, calling release of the map by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan as "absurd". (PTI)

18:31 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Govt using COVID situation to bulldoze agricultural sector reforms through ordinances: RSP MP

The government is using the COVID pandemic situation to bulldoze agricultural sector reforms through ordinances, and thereby misusing the Presidential power under Article 123 of the Constitution, said N K Premachandran, Revolutionary Socialist Party in Lok Sabha. "My humble submission to the government is that the bills be sent to the standing committee for scrutiny, otherwise, it will be another disaster for the farming community in India," said Premachandran.

18:24 (IST)17 Sep 2020
PDP MP demands release of political leaders under detention in J-K

Rajya Sabha MP and PDP leader Mir Mohammad Fayaz on Thursday demanded release of all detained political leaders and workers, including his party's chief Mehbooba Mufti, saying they are under detention in Jammu and Kashmir for over one year. Raising the matter during Zero Hour in the Upper House of Parliament, Fayaz said Article 370 was abrogated on August 5 last year and thousands, including political leaders, were arrested on the same night. (PTI)

17:43 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Unlike Akalis, Cong MPs know party's stand over farm bills: Pb Cong leaders

A group of Punjab Congress leaders on Thursday said their party was totally in unison over the farm bills, and did not need a whip to vote against the Centre's "reprehensible bid to destroy" the agriculture. They were reacting to the statement of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema who had said that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had led a delegation to submit a memorandum to the governor on the issue instead of directing his MPs to express solidarity with the farming community by voting against the agri ordinances. (PTI)

16:38 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Cong MPs from Punjab burn copies of farm bills, party protests in Parliament

Congress MPs from Punjab burnt copies of the farm bills proposed by the government inside the Parliament complex on Thursday even as the party staged a protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue. The Congress is opposed to the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 that the NDA government has proposed in Parliament during the ongoing monsoon session, replacing the ordinances issued by it earlier. Congress MPs Jasbir Singh Gill, Ravneet Singh Bittu, Gurjit Singh Aujla and Amar Singh burnt copies of the bills and said they will oppose the proposed legislations tooth and nail. They also wore black robes, saying "I am a farmer and farm labourer and don't betray me". (PTI)

16:36 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Govt says it did not incur expenses for 'Howdy-Modi' event in Houston last year

The government Thursday said it did not incur any expenses for the 'Howdy-Modi' event at Houston in the US in September last year and that it was organised by a not-for-profit group. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accompanied by US President Donald Trump, addressed a crowd of over 50,000 Indian-Americans at the event in a stadium in Houston on September 22, 2019. "A US-based not-for-profit organisation namely the Texas India Forum Inc. organised an event titled, 'Howdy, Modi! Shared Dreams, Bright Futures' in Houston on September 22, 2019," Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said in the Rajya Sabha.

16:30 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Congress MP from Ludhiana, Punjab, Ravneet Singh Bittu opposes farm bills

Congress MP from Ludhiana, Punjab, Ravneet Singh Bittu opposes the farm bills.

16:20 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Narendra Singh Tomar moves two farm bills

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar moves The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, in Lok Sabha. (Screengrab: LSTV)

16:13 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Discussion on two farmers' bills in Lok Sabha

Discussion on The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, in Lok Sabha

16:03 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Lok Sabha Speaker extends birthday wishes to PM Narendra Modi

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla extends birthday wishes to PM Narendra Modi on behalf of all the members of the House.

16:01 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Lok Sabha session resumes

Lok Sabha session resumes after an hour of adjournment.

15:06 (IST)17 Sep 2020
Lok Sabha adjourned till 4 pm over demise of YSRCP MP Balli Durga Prasad Rao

Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla makes obituary reference about Balli Durga Prasad Rao, a YSRCP MP, who passed recently passed away at the age of 64. House is adjourned till 4 pm.

Parliament, parliament live, parliament live updates, parliament monsoon session, parliament monsoon session 2020 live, parliament today, parliament today live, parliament live news, parliament news, rajya sabha, india china, rajya sabha today live, lok sabha, lok sabha live, lok sabha live news, lok sabha live news updates, coronavirus Parliament LIVE updates: Face masks have been made compulsory for all the members during this session. (Express Photo by Renuka Puri)

Parliament Monsoon Session LIVE updates

"The situation this year is very different both in terms of the scale of troops involved and number of friction points. We do remain committed to a peaceful resolution of the current situation. At the same time, we remain prepared to deal with all contingencies," Singh added. His statement comes two days after he addressed the Lok Sabha on the border tensions between India and China, following which the Opposition members had slammed the government after they were not allowed to ask questions following Singh’s statement.

The Upper House discussed on the statement made by health minister Harsh Vardhan on the Covid-19 pandemic and the steps taken by the government. Bills which will be considered for passing today in the House are -- The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020 by Home Minister Amit Shah, The Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 by Shripad Yesso Naik.

On Wednesday, the third day of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, which was held under the shadow of Covid-19, the Lok Sabha passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to bring cooperative banks under the supervision of the Reserve Bank of India, even as the government’s statement in Rajya Sabha denying any infiltration by China in the last six months came under Opposition criticism.

A host of other issues ranging from India-China ties to Sushant Singh case were also discussed in the lower house. Responding to a query on India’s bilateral ties with neighbouring countries, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said relations with countries like Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Myanmar haven’t deteriorated.

Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020. This paves the way for the establishment of a state-of-the-art Ayurvedic institution called the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA) at Jamnagar, Gujarat, and conferment of the status of Institution of National Importance (INI) to it, the Ministry of AYUSH said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Congress leader Anand Sharma questioned Union health minister Harsh Vardhan’s claim that the lockdown prevented approximately 14 to 29 lakh COVID-19 cases and 37,000-78,000 deaths in the country and asked the government to explain the basis of the claim. “Yesterday, the health minister said that this decision (lockdown) prevented approximately 14 to 29 lakh COVID-19 cases & 37,000-78,000 deaths. The house must be informed what is the scientific basis on which we’ve reached this conclusion,” Sharma said in Rajya Sabha.

On Tuesday, the Lok Sabha passed the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020, to reduce for one year the salaries of MPs by 30 per cent “to meet the exigencies” arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides, the Lower House saw intense discussions a host of other issues, ranging from the drug probe in film industry to farm schemes. In Rajya Sabha, the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed. The Bill seeks to improve India’s aviation safety ratings and provide statutory status to regulatory institutions, including the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Besides, the Upper House also saw Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan introducing ‘The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020, and making a statement on the Covid-19 situation in the country.

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