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Parliament Winter Session 2022 Highlights: Opposition protests against the introduction of Uniform Civil Code Bill in Rajya Sabha

Winter Session of Parliament Highlights: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Kirodi Lal Meena introduced the UCC Bill in the Upper House during the Private Member's Legislative Business.

By: Express Web Desk
New Delhi | Updated: December 12, 2022 09:50 IST
Winter Session of Parliament 2022: The Parliament House building ahead of the commencement of Winter Session, in New Delhi, December 8, 2022. (PTI)

Parliament Winter Session 2022 Highlights: Opposition members in Rajya Sabha on Friday opposed the introduction of the Uniform Civil Code in India Bill, 2020. BJP MP Kirodi Lal Meena moved for leave to introduce the Bill to provide for the constitution of the national inspection and investigation committee for preparation of a Uniform Civil Code and its implementation throughout India and for matters connected therewith during the private member’s business.

Parliament Winter Session |liveFollow latest updates here

However, Opposition members from the Congress, CPI, CPI(M), Trinamool Congress protested against the introduction of the Bill saying it will “destroy” the social fabric and unity in diversity that is prevalent in the country. With the Opposition members seeking withdrawal of the Bill, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar called for division and the motion for introduction of the Bill was passed with 63 votes in favour and 23 against it.

In other news, the Centre told the Parliament on Thursday that it currently has no plan to reintroduce the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), which was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2015. Responding to a question by Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge and CPI(M) MP John Brittas, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju in a written response said, “at present, there is no such proposal.” Kharge and Brittas had asked if the government proposed to reintroduce NJAC with suitable modifications. The Centre’s response comes at a time when it is at loggerheads with the judiciary over the process of appointment of judges.

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Parliament Winter Session 2022 Highlights: Follow this space for the latest news updates from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

21:18 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Country must know how dependent it has become on those with 'inimical interests': Piyush Goyal

Commerce minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said India has become dependent on a country which has "inimical interests" and it is important that it realises this.

Replying to supplementaries during question hour in the Rajya Sabha, he said the high trade deficit of USD 48.5 billion in trade between India and China inherited in 2013-14 cannot be ignored and the government is now taking steps to promote domestic manufacturing sector. He said the India-China trade in 2000-2001 was barely USD 2 billion and that position continued till 2002-03 where it increased at best to about USD 5 Billion.

"At that time the trade deficit was just about USD 1 billion. I don't know what happened after that, but suddenly after 2003-04 the USD 1 billion trade defict over the next ten years increased to USD 36 billion in ten years," he told the house. (PTI)

20:30 (IST)09 Dec 2022
CPM MP introduces private member's bill seeking to amend Constitution to define role, powers of Governor

With his party's government in Kerala locked in a bitter war of words with Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, CPI-M MP V Sivadasan on Friday introduced a private member's bill in Rajya Sabha that seeks to amend the Constitution to define the role and powers of the Governor.

Moving the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2022 (amendment of article 153 and substitution of articles 155 and 156) in the Upper House, Sivadasan noted that the post of the Governor is being misused by the central government to forward its agenda in the states.

"I would like to present a very important subject here. If we look at the history, Governor is a position which has been there since colonial times. The role of Governors in colonial India was to suppress and oppress Indian people," he noted while introducing the bill under the Private Member's Legislative Business. The Governors who were ruling the provinces under the Governor General were like kings as they took all the powers to themselves leaving hardly anything for the elected and nominated members of the council, he stated. (PTI)

19:47 (IST)09 Dec 2022
India winning more medals now result of govt's proactive push: Anurag Thakur in LS

India has been winning more medals in sporting tournaments now than ever before and it has been possible due to government’s proactive approach and motivation provided by PM Narendra Modi’s interactions with sportspersons, Youth and Sports Affairs Minister Anurag Thakur said this in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

“Be it before a tournament or after, sometimes even in the middle of a tournament, PM Narendra Modi speaks to sportspersons to motivate them. It has had positive results... India has been winning more tournaments and medals in sporting events now. When we came to power in 2014, the budget of the ministry was Rs 1,219 crore. This has increased to Rs 3,062 crore in 2022. The spending saw a dip only in the Covid years,” Thakur said while replying during a discussion on promotion of sports in India in the Lok Sabha.

Thakur said through National Sports Development Code and other measures, the government was bringing about great changes in sports administration. (Read more)

19:09 (IST)09 Dec 2022
20.16 lakh tuberculosis cases, 73,551 deaths notified from Jan-Oct: Minister

As many as 20.16 lakh tuberculosis cases and 73,551 deaths have been notified from January till October under the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP), Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar told Lok Sabha on Friday. There has been an 18 per cent increase in the number of tuberculosis cases notified under NTEP in 2021 (21.35 lakhs) in comparison with 2020 (18.05 lakhs), Pawar said in a written reply.

The increase in the number of tuberculosis cases notified under NTEP has been due to increased efforts taken by the programme to decentralise diagnostics, active case finding, intensified private-sector engagement and specific strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and reach pre-Covid levels. The government has several steps to eliminate tuberculosis by 2025 under the 'Nikshay Mitras' initiative, she said. (PTI)

18:32 (IST)09 Dec 2022
National Judicial Commission Bill introduced in Rajya Sabha, AAP opposes

A private member bill to regulate the appointment of judges through the National Judicial Commission was on Friday introduced in Rajya Sabha by CPI(M)'s Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya but was opposed by AAP MP Raghav Chadha. The National Judicial Commission Bill, 2022 was introduced after the majority of voice votes were in its favour.

Bhattacharyya moved the bill that aims to regulate the procedure to be followed by the National Judicial Commission for recommending people for appointment as the Chief Justice of India and other judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices and other judges of High Courts.

The bill, if approved, will also regulate their transfers and to lay down judicial standards and provide for accountability of judges, and establish credible and expedient mechanism for investigating into individual complaints for misbehaviour or incapacity of a judge of the apex court or of a high court and to regulate the procedure for such investigation.

It also proposes for the presentation of an address by parliament to the president in relation to proceeding for removal of a judge and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. (PTI)

18:08 (IST)09 Dec 2022
No wastage of Covid vaccines in govt buffer stock due to expiry: Govt in Lok Sabha

There has been no wastage of COVID-19 vaccines in the government buffer stock due to expiry, Union minister Bharati Pravin Pawar informed Lok Sabha on Friday. The central government closely monitors COVID-19 vaccine stocks in states and Union territories so as to ensure their optimal utilisation and minimal wastage, Pawar said in written reply to a question.

States and UTs have also been advised to review programme coverage and vaccine wastage on a daily basis and redistribute the vaccine stock if required for their optimal utilisation.

To ensure utilisation of the near expiry vaccine, they have been supported for intra- and inter-state transfer, the short expiry vaccines are also replaced by manufacturers, the Union Minister of State for Health said. The national regulator, Central Drugs Standard Organisation, prescribed the shelf life of Covishield vaccine as nine months and Covaxin vaccine as 12 months from the date of manufacture, Pawar stated. (PTI)

18:05 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Lok Sabha adjourned till 11 am on December 12
17:41 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 11 am on December 12
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17:33 (IST)09 Dec 2022
India, China trade deficit at USD 51.5 billion during April-October this fiscal

The trade deficit, difference between import and exports, between India and China has touched USD 51.5 billion during April-October this fiscal, Parliament was informed on Friday. The deficit during 2021-22 had jumped to USD 73.31 billion as compared to 44.03 billion in 2020-21, according to the data provided by commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

According to the data, imports during April-October this fiscal stood at USD 60.27 billion, while exports aggregated at USD 8.77 billion. He said that the merchandise exports from India to China have increased from USD 11.93 billion in 2014-15 to USD 21.26 billion in 2021-22, showing an increase of 78.2 per cent over the last six years.

Imports from China, on the other hand, have increased from USD 60.41 billion in 2014-15 to USD 94.57 billion in 2021-22.

"The trade deficit with China in 2004-05 was USD 1.48 billion, which increased to USD 36.21 billion in 2013-14, an increase of 2,346 per cent. Against this massive increase, the trade deficit with China has since increased by only 100 per cent to USD 73.31 billion in 2021-22," Goyal said. (PTI)

17:06 (IST)09 Dec 2022
About 4.18 crore hospital admissions worth Rs 48,934.9 crore authorised under AB-PMJAY

Approximately 4.18 crore hospital admissions worth Rs 48,934.9 crore have been authorised under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY) through a network of 26,267 empanelled healthcare providers, including 11,700 private hospitals till December 4, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.

The percentage of hospital admissions authorised in the private sector by count and amount are 57 per cent and 67 per cent, respectively, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said in a written reply. On whether the government was aware that people were not able to avail of benefits under AB-PMJAY due to the apathy of private hospitals, Pawar said healthcare providers could not deny treatment to genuine beneficiaries according to the terms and conditions of empanelment.

In case of denial of treatment by the empanelled hospital, beneficiaries can lodge grievances on the designated web portal or mobile application of Central Grievance Redressal Management System, she said. (PTI)

16:48 (IST)09 Dec 2022
13.92 lakh cancer cases in India in 2020, projected to increase by 12.8 per cent: Mandaviya

The estimated number of cancer cases in the country in 2020 was 13,92,179 and it is projected to increase by 12.8 per cent, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed Lok Sabha on Friday citing National Cancer Registry Programme data. Responding to a question, Mandaviya said patients with cancer are getting treatment at various health facilities, including district hospitals, medical colleges, central institutes like AIIMS and private hospitals.

Relevant data related to patients registered for treatment is maintained by the institutions and hospitals concerned at their own level. Under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN), financial assistance is provided to poor patients belonging to families living below poverty line, suffering from major life threatening diseases for medical treatment at any of the super specialty hospitals/institutes or other government hospitals, Mandaviya said. Under the Health Minister's Cancer Patient Fund (a component of RAN), Rs 216. 98 lakh was utilised for 40 beneficiaries as on December 5, 2022, in the 2022-23 fiscal. (PTI)

16:34 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Rectify errors in Jallianwala Bagh renovation: Manish Tewari

Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari on Friday demanded that the Archaeological Survey of India send a team of experts to Jallianwala Bagh to rectify the shortcomings in the recently carried out restoration work at the memorial. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Tewari said the murals at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar did not depict the Punjabi population of the era when the horrific massacre of innocents took place on April 13, 1919.

He said the signboards in and around the memorial were also riddled with errors. Tewari said the spot from where General Reginald Dyer had ordered indiscriminate fire on the people gathered at Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919 has also not been marked properly.

Biju Janata Dal member Bhartruhari Mahtab wanted the government to honour those freedom fighters who are alive as the country celebrated the Amrit Kaal of Independence. (PTI)

16:32 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Lok Sabha: Chirag Paswan raises issue of 'rising' crimes against Dalits in Bihar

Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan on Friday raised in Lok Sabha the issue of alleged rise in crimes, especially against Dalits, in Bihar and said Parliament can't be mum when the state government is maintaining "silence". The Jamui MP noted that a woman and her five-year-old daughter were burnt alive in Arwal after their house was set ablaze by people accused by the mother of trying to sexually assault her.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Paswan said the culprits were angry with her, a member of the Paswan community, for complaining to police and alleged that the local administration was hand in glove with them. He said a Paswan woman was gang-raped and killed in Begusarai as he hit out at the state government for its "silence". (PTI)

16:08 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Watch | Union Minister Arjun Munda introduces The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2022 in LS
15:44 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Private member's bill on Uniform Civil Code introduced in Rajya Sabha

A controversial private member's Bill that seeks to provide for a panel to prepare a Uniform Civil Code was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Friday. 'The Uniform Civil Code in India Bill, 2020' was introduced in the Upper House amid protests from opposition parties. BJP MP Kirodi Lal Meena moved for leave to introduce the Bill to provide for the constitution of the national inspection and investigation committee for preparation of a Uniform Civil Code and its implementation throughout India and for matters connected therewith during the private member's business.

However, Opposition members from the Congress, CPI, CPI(M), Trinamool Congress protested against the introduction of the Bill saying it will "destroy" the social fabric and unity in diversity that is prevalent in the country. With the Opposition members seeking withdrawal of the Bill, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar called for division and the motion for introduction of the Bill was passed with 63 votes in favour and 23 against it.

In the past, although the Bill was listed for introduction, it was not moved in the Upper House. The Bill envisages a collection of laws to protect the personal rights of all citizens without considering religion. (PTI)

15:12 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Lok Sabha takes up discussion under Rule 193 on the need to promote sports in India

Lok Sabha on Friday after an interval, resumed proceedings and took up further discussion under Rule 193 on the need to promote sports in India and steps taken by the Government.

13:38 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Govt seeks Parliament nod for net additional spending of Rs 3.25 lakh cr this fiscal

The Government on Friday sought Parliament nod for net additional spending of over Rs 3.25 lakh crore in the current fiscal.

As per the first batch of supplementary demands for grants tabled in the Lok Sabha by Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, approval is being sought for gross additional expenditure of about Rs 4.36 lakh crore. (PTI)

13:04 (IST)09 Dec 2022
500% improvement in passport services under Modi govt: MoS Muraleedharan

Passport services in the country have improved by "500 per cent" ever since the Modi government came to power in 2014, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Friday.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been continuously working to speed up issuance of passports, the minister said in Lok Sabha during Question Hour. He also said that as many as 32 million Indians or Indian origin people live abroad and the Ministry of External Affairs has been rendering services to all of them.

"Passport services have improved very much in the last eight years, I would say 500 per cent. The number of offices which process passport applications was 110 before 2014 and the number now stands at above 550," Muraleedharan said. He added that the MEA is working continuously to speed up passport issuance and meet high or seasonal demand for passports by taking various steps including organising special drives or melas on weekends.

Since June, a total of 234 passport melas have been held and 500 more will be held in the coming days, he said. (PTI)

12:59 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Too dependent on China for certain goods... need to re-align policy: Piyush Goyal

Union Minister Piyush Goyal, while speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, stressed on the importance of the Centre’s Make in India initiative. “Our government is focused on Make In India. For a lot of capital and electronic goods, we are dependent on China. It is important that we recognise how we can became dependent on a country that has inimical interests towards our country.”

12:51 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Third Amendment) Bill introduced in LS

On the third day of the Winter Session of the Parliament, the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Third Amendment) Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha.

Rajya Sabha welcomed its new Chairman, Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking the lead in expressing confidence that the Upper House under his leadership would “scale new heights” with serious debates and democratic discussions. Opposition members urged him to give more time for discussions, ensure the Opposition’s voice is heard in the House, allocate more time for smaller parties and see to it that legislations are not passed in a hurry and are sent to parliamentary panels for scrutiny.

Ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday requested all parties to make collective efforts to make the session more productive. Referring to India's G20 presidency, he said: "This G20 Summit isn't just a diplomatic event, it's an opportunity to display India's capability before the world. Such a large country, mother of democracy, such diversity, such capability -- it's an opportunity for the world to know India and for India to show its capability to the world."

ED to EC to Ladakh: Opp lines up issues; Govt readies Bills

The three-week-long Winter Session of Parliament will begin Wednesday and the first week is expected to be a heated one since the outcome of the municipal corporation elections in Delhi and the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls will be out on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

The Opposition has identified a raft of issues including the alleged misuse of investigation agencies to corner the government which has lined up 16 new Bills for consideration and passage. On the legislative agenda of the government would be 25 Bills – 16 of them new, seven pending ones and two finance Bills.

AICC general secretary in-charge of communication Jairam Ramesh (PTI)

Congress firms up Parliament strategy, will seek government rethink on EWS quota

Further nuancing its position on reservation for economically weaker sections, the Congress leadership on Saturday decided to ask the government to have a “rethink” on the issue in Parliament.

In the Winter Session, which will begin next week, the party will also seek discussions on three issues: the border standoff with China, the economic situation and the government’s “interference” in the functioning of constitutional authorities.

The Congress had initially welcomed the Supreme Court judgement upholding 10 per cent EWS reservation in the general category. It had argued that the 103rd Constitutional Amendment, which provided a 10 per cent EWS quota, was the result of a process initiated by the Manmohan Singh government in 2005-06 with the appointment of the Sinho Commission that submitted its report in July 2010.

Govt may bring Bill to allow NPR updation via birth and death database

A Bill that proposes to allow the Registrar General of India to maintain a database on births and deaths and use that to update the National Population Register (NPR) will likely be introduced in the Winter Session of Parliament.

The draft of the Bill — which will amend the Registration of Birth and Deaths (RBD) Act, 1969 — was shared by the Ministry of Home Affairs in October last year for public comments and suggestions.

According to the proposed Bill, the data will also be used for updating electoral rolls, the Aadhar database, ration cards, passports and driving licenses.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks before a session of Parliament in New Delhi. (Express Photo: Prem Nath Pandey/File)

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has a wish list for Winter Session: PM should listen to the Opposition

Parliament is the most important symbol of Indian democracy. It is through summoning the House and calling MPs to participate in legislative and other business through discussion, debates, committee dispensations, and other mechanisms that Parliament enables the citizens of the country, through their representatives, to participate in decision-making and hold the government to account.

Standing Committees are a microcosm of Parliament. They were conceived to scrutinise the technical details of bills referred to them, leaving the House to look at broader policy matters. Unfortunately, far fewer bills are now being referred to committees. In the first term of this government (2014-19), about 27 per cent of bills were referred to committees. During the 17th Lok Sabha, as per the data available on the Lok Sabha website, less than 10 per cent have been referred to committees, compared to 71 per cent under the UPA-II government in the 15th Lok Sabha.

Work on new Parliament to finish by end of December, say officials

With the under-construction Parliament building missing the government’s November deadline, officials say they are attempting to complete the project by the end of December.

The building, which has been under construction since January 2021, has seen its completion target pushed multiple times — from August 15 to October to November.

Officials from Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry and Central Public Works Department said efforts are on to complete the work by the end of December so the building can be handed over to security agencies ahead of the Budget session in January-February. The work at the site adjacent to the existing Parliament House continues even as preparations for the Winter Session of Parliament are on.

During the all-party meeting on Tuesday, members of opposition parties detailed around 16 issues for raising during the session. These include national security and China border "incursions", recent cyber attack on AIIMS, "uncontrolled" inflation and price rise of essential commodities, persisting high level of unemployment, failure to provide legal sanctity to minimum support price (MSP), and a rethink on the EWS reservation after the Supreme Court verdict. The recent conflict between the judiciary and the government, the falling rupee and declining GDP growth, alleged voter "theft" in Karnataka, continuing attacks on Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir are also likely to be sticking points between the opposition and the government.

The results of the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are also likely to play out during the start of the session. Ahead of the session, leaders from more than 30 parties attended a meeting convened by the central government to discuss the legislative agenda and the issues likely to be taken up during the session. The meeting, chaired by Defence Minister and deputy leader of Lok Sabha Rajnath Singh, was to seek cooperation from all parties for the smooth functioning of Parliament.

The Opposition has identified a raft of issues including the alleged misuse of investigation agencies to corner the government which has lined up 16 new Bills for consideration and passage. On the legislative agenda of the government would be 25 Bills – 16 of them new, seven pending ones and two finance Bills. The session will have 17 sittings over 23 days before it concludes on December 29.

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First published on: 07-12-2022 at 08:49 IST
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