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Sunday, December 15, 2019

Parliament winter session Highlights: Both Houses adjourned till tomorrow

Parliament winter session Higlights: The government Thursday referred the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha. The Bill seeks to ban commercial surrogacy.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 21, 2019 7:38:10 pm
parliament winter session live updates, parliament winter session 2019, parliament session, parliament session 2019, parliament session today, parliament session live, parliament session live news, parliament session live, parliament session live today, parliament winter session today live Parliament Winter session 2019 LIVE updates: Latest updates on proceedings in both houses of the Parliament

Parliament winter session Highlights: The government Thursday referred the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha. The Bill, which seeks to ban commercial surrogacy, was passed by the Lok Sabha in the monsoon session and was taken up for discussion in the Upper House on Tuesday. It was deferred by the government Wednesday following objections by Opposition MPs on some of its provisions.

Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, who is under detention in Kashmir, has been made a part of the 21-member parliamentary consultative committee on defence. Abdullah has been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

Both Houses held a discussion on the rising levels of pollution in Delhi-NCR and the issue of stubble burning.

Meanwhile, the Congress raked up the issue of the electoral bonds scheme in the Lok Sabha, with senior party leader Manish Tewari saying it has made corruption official. Alleging that electoral bonds have turned out to be a black money recycling and political bribery scheme, the Congress on Wednesday had demanded that the government disclose the identity of all donors and reveal in Parliament information regarding donations received by all political parties.

Live Blog

Parliament Winter session LIVE updates: The Rajya Sabha will again take up for passage the Surrogacy bill today. Rising levels of pollution will be discussed in both houses of the Parliament. Follow LIVE updates


    18:26 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Lok Sabha adjourned

    Lok Sabha adjourned for the day, to resume tomorrow at 11 am

    18:11 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Rajya Sabha adjourned

    Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day, to resume tomorrow at 11 am

    17:36 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    RS discusses The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019

    Rajya Sabha discusses The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019

    17:03 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 referred to Select Committee by Rajya Sabha

    Rajya Sabha refers the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 to Select Committee.

    16:51 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    'India's green cover increased in the last 5 years': Prakash Javadekar

    “I thank all the states which have taken a step towards planting trees. India’s green cover has increased by 13,000 sq km in the last five years,” says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar in Rajya Sabha on air pollution issue.

    Video grab from Rajya Sabha TV
    16:44 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Hope we could work together and come up with a solution: Shashi Tharoor on air pollution

    “The fact is that this national crisis cannot be addressed only after Diwali. We should understand that this is a national health crisis and hope that we would come up equitable and collaborative solutions. I believe we have the will and the capacity and we should work together to solve this,” says Shashi Tharoor in Lok Sabha.

    16:39 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    NCAP started in 122 cities: Prakash Javadekar

    “There are 122 cities which are way ahead than the average air quality index. We have started the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in these cities,” says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar in the Rajya Sabha.

    Video grab from Rajya Sabha TV
    16:35 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    'Delhi-Punjab debate misses the larger point': Shashi Tharoor on air pollution

    “The Delhi-Punjab debate misses the larger point that it is a perennial issue which bothers the whole country. Our GDP would be higher if we dealt with the issue of our air pollution," says Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in Lok Sabha.

    Video grab from Lok Sabha TV
    16:28 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Mann, Anupriya say farmers shouldn't be blamed for stubble burning

    AAP member Bhagwant Mann and Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel on Thursday said in Lok Sabha that farmers should not be blamed for stubble burning, considered as one of the main reasons for air pollution in Delhi-NCR region, and demanded that they should be encouraged to grow crops which do not leave stubble. They also said that the government should explore ways of using stubble in biogas and cardboard manufacturing to encourage farmers to sell it. Participating in a discussion on "air pollution and climate change", Mann said farmers should be encouraged to grow crops including pearl millet (bajra) and sunflower as they do not leave stubble after harvest. Patel said stubble can be used for biogas and cardboard manufacturing and farmers should be encouraged to sell it. (PTI)

    16:23 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Farooq Abdullah nominated to 21-member Parliamentary committee on defence

    Detained Lok Sabha MP and former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah has been included in the 21-member Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Defence, news agency PTI reported. The 81-year-old was detained under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) at his Srinagar residence on August 5 after the abrogation of Article 370 that grants special status to J&K. Other committee members include former defence minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar and controversial BJP MP Pragya Thakur. Read more

    16:17 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    'Declare environmental emergency,' says Jaya Bachchan in RS

    "Please declare an environmental emergency. Hold people responsible and punish them,” says Jaya Bachchan in Rajya Sabha

    16:06 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    'Install air purifiers in both Houses': Rajiv Pratap Rudy

    “We should install air purifiers in both the Houses so that we get to know how bad the air around us is and we can work together for a solution,” says BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy in Lok Sabha.

    16:02 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Urge PM to call meeting of state govt leaders to find a solution on air pollution issue: Ghulam Nabi Azad in RS

    Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad says in Rajya Sabha, "I want to say one thing. If we compete and oppose each other, this issue (of air pollution) will go on. We should come together and work against this.” He adds, “We should work on a solution. I suggest that the Prime Minister should call a meeting of the MPs, Chief Ministers, LGs from each corner of the country. We should discuss measures which can be taken by the central and state governments.”

    15:53 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    No final decision yet on merger of UGC, AICTE: Nishank in RS

    No final decision has been taken yet on the merger of University Grants Commission and All India Council of Technical Education, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said in Rajya Sabha. "Till now no final decision has been taken on this issue," the minister said in response to a written question in the Upper House. (PTI)

    15:22 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Bhagwant Mann raises the issue of cutting trees in Lok Sabha

    Bhagwant Mann in Lok Sabha: "In America and Canada, you have to take permission before cutting a tree. You have to plant 50 trees before cutting one tree. But in India, the government cuts trees whenever they want. No one discusses how to plant and when to plant trees."

    15:19 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    'Punjab farmers have no option other than burning stubble': Bhagwant Mann

    Aam Aadmi Party leader Bhagwant Mann in the Lok Sabha says, "the government has put MSP on the crop which gives out stubble. No farmer of Punjab wants to burn the stubble. But he has no other option."

    15:16 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    'No state in the country has fresh air to breathe': Samajwadi Party leader in RS

    "The parameter of the average air quality index in the whole country is deteriorating beyond the point. Except for Goa, Kerala, Meghalaya, and Mizoram, no other state has fresh air that the people could breathe," says Samajwadi leader Ravi Prakash Verma in Rajya Sabha.

    15:13 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Rajya Sabha marshals spotted without military-style caps

    Rajya Sabha marshals on Thursday were seen without their military-style caps as part of the ongoing review of their new uniforms, following criticism by some ex-Army officers and remarks of opposition leaders. Uniforms of Rajya Sabha marshals were restyled from traditional Indian attire comprising turbans to dark navy blue and olive green military-style outfits with caps. As soon as the House assembled to take up the Zero Hour, some members from opposition benches pointed out to the change. To this Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu remarked, "As I have said, nothing reflects like Army...(the review) process is on". (PTI)

    15:05 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Lok Sabha resumes

    Proceedings of Lok Sabha resume, discussion on the issue of air pollution start.

    14:59 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    NCP leader Vandana Chavan says 'committees to discuss, solve air pollution issue be formed'

    Discussion on air pollution in Rajya Sabha: NCP leader Vandana Chavan says, "we are bringing unnecessary politics into this issue. We need to do more than a lot more and make sure that some kind of committees of some experts or representatives should be formed and this issue is discussed and solved."

    14:54 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Rajya Sabha Dy Chairman tells some objects cannot be displayed in the House

    During a discussion on air pollution in the upper House, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh tells BJP MP Vijay Goel that he is not allowed to display objects in the House after he showed masks, mineral water bottles, air purifiers, and Delhi govt advertisements.

    14:44 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Farooq Abdullah part of parliamentary panel on defence

    Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah is a part of the 21-member parliamentary consultative committee on defence. Abdullah has been slapped with the Public Safety Act.

    14:21 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Air pollution: Comprehensive plan,High level task force implemented for Delhi

    Prakash Javadekar in Rajya Sabha: A comprehensive air plan for Delhi NCR has been developed identifying the timelines and implementing agencies for actions delineated. Centre has notified a graded response action plan for Delhi NCR for different levels of pollution

    14:16 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Nearly seven lakh vacant posts in central government departments: Personnel Ministry

    There were nearly seven lakh vacant posts in different central government departments as on March 1 last year, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.

    Of the total of 6,83, 823 vacant posts, a total of 5,74,289 are in Group C, 89,638 in Group B and 19,896 in Group A category, as on March 1, 2018, according to a data given in a written reply by Minister of State for Personnel, Jitendra Singh.

    Based on the vacancies reported by the user departments, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) has started recruitment process to fill up 1,05,338 posts during the year 2019-2020, he said.

    14:13 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Javadekar in Rajya Sabha: Several initiatives to combat pollution

    Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar in RS: In order to abate and control air pollution in Delhi NCR, we have undertaken several initiatives. A high level task force was constituted under the chairmanship of the Principal Secy to the PM. Regular review meetings have been held

    14:12 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Rajya Sabha resumes to discuss pollution

    The Rajya Sabha resumed at 2 pm to discuss about the rising levels of pollution in Delhi, NCR and the measures taken to combat that 

    14:10 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Govt sanctions 305 projects for clean Ganga Mission:

    The Clean Ganga drive is a continuous process and the government has sanctioned 305 projects at an estimated cost of over Rs 28,600 crore under the plan, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.

    Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said there has been improvement in the quality of water of the River Ganga. Replying to a question during Question Hour, the minister said a total of 305 projects have so far been sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs. 28,613.75 crore, out of which 109 projects have been completed and rest are at various stages of implementation.

    13:52 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    No proposal to make Right to Water fundamental right:Govt

    There is no proposal to make access to potable water a fundamental right, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat informed Lok Sabha on

    Any such proposal is not under consideration of the government, the minister said during Question Hour. He was replying to a question raised by BJP member Hema Malini. However, Shekhawat said the government has initiated a scheme to provide piped water to every rural household.

    The government is going to spend substantially on the Jal Jeevan Mission, he said. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that Rs 3.5 lakh crore will be spent in the next five years under the newly formed Jal Jeevan Mission, which aims to provide piped water ('Har Ghar Jal') to all rural households by 2024.

    13:24 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    What are Electoral Bonds?

    A day after the Congress alleged that electoral bonds have turned out to be a black money recycling and political bribery scheme, the raised the issue in Lok Sabha Thursday, with senior party leader Manish Tewari calling it a “matter of public importance”.

    The Finance Bill, 2017 introduced “Electoral bonds” as interest-free bearer instruments (like Promissory Notes) that will be available for purchase from the State Bank of India within a designated window of 10 days in every quarter of the financial year. The scheme, which was notified on January 2, 2018, allows individuals and domestic companies to present these bonds — issued in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, and Rs 1 crore — to political parties of their choice, which have to redeem them within 15 days.


    13:02 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm

    Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm. The upper house will discuss air pollution after it resumes.

    12:58 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Electoral bonds have made corruption official: Cong in Lok Sabha

    The opposition Congress on Thursday raised in Lok Sabha the issue of electoral bonds, saying it has made corruption "official".

    Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Manish Tewari said despite reservations expressed by the Reserve Bank of India and the Election Commission, the government went ahead with the scheme. Congress members later walked out of proceedings.

    Under the electoral bonds scheme, the government has offered complete anonymity to those making donations. A donor could now anonymously buy a bond, and deposit it with the political party of his or her choice (PTI)

    12:54 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Issue revised map showing Amaravati as AP capital: TDP MP

    TDP MP Jayadev Galla urged the government to revise the new map of India, saying it does not show the capital city of Amaravati. "This is not just an insult to the people of Andhra Pradesh but to the Prime Minister also," he said. The TDP has also given a zero hour notice in Rajya Sabha over "delay in construction of the new capital city of Amaravati. in Andhra Pradesh."

    12:42 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Lateral entry: Govt says reservation not viable in single-cadre posts

    SC/ST reservation is not viable in the process of  inviting people from the private sector in senior level of government administration. Replying to a question by SP MP Vishambhar Nishad in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said lateral entry was decided during the former government and has only been institutionalised now. 

    Saying that the admissions will be on "merit", Singh said lateral entry will not impact those getting postings through exams. "The cake is too big" he said.  

    12:30 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Oppn protests in LS over disinvestment of PSUs, electoral bond

    The opposition Congress on Thursday staged protests in Lok Sabha against privatisation of a few PSUs, including Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), and issuance of electoral bonds, terming the move as "big scams".

    However, Congress members returned to their seats after the protests and sloganeering in the Well of the House for about 15 minutes when Speaker Om Birla assured them that they will be allowed to raise issues during Zero Hour.

    "This is a big scam. The country is being looted. Please allow us to speak," Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said. However, Speaker Birla told members that the MPs should not lower the dignity of the House by coming into the Well. "This is wrong. The House is discussing a very important issue on sports persons. No, no. Don't talk to the chair from the Well. It is the responsibility of every member to maintain decorum and dignity of the House," he said. (PTI)

    12:15 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Lok Sabha: Issue of electoral bonds of 'public importance', says Manish Tewari

    Congress MP Manish Tewari raked up the issue of the electoral bonds scheme in Lok Sabha today, calling it a "matter of public importance." "I want to draw the attention of the House towards electoral bonds. The electoral bond scheme was limited to elections. RTI in 2018 reveled that government overruled Reserve Bank of India on electoral bonds," he said. 

    11:43 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Rich corporations can influence political parties through Electoral Bonds: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor

    Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP on Electoral Bonds: When electoral bonds were introduced, many of us had raised serious objections about how it could easily become a way for rich corporations and individuals to influence improperly political parties, particularly the ruling party.

    11:28 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Lok Sabha: Displaying rule book, Speaker urges protesting MPs to maintain dignity of the house

    Displaying a copy of rules and Parliamentary etiquettes, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla came down hard on Opposition MPs protesting in the Well of the House.

    "It is our responsibility to maintain the dignity of the house. You are veteran MPs and I am new here so I request you again to not disrupt the proceedings by storming into the well."

    Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Choudhary responded saying the issue of electoral bonds needs urgent attention. "Sometimes there are issues in the country that needs urgent attention. We don't do this to disrespect you. Electroral bonds is a scam."

    11:21 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Rajya Sabha adjourned till noon amid uproar by Oppn

    Rajya Sabha was adjourned on Thursday till noon as opposition parties including the Congress protested after the Chair did not allow discussion on the issue of electoral bonds and privatisation of state-owned firms.

    Soon after laying of listed papers by ministers on the table of the House, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said he has received notices from several members to suspend business and take up discussions on the RBI's objection to electoral bonds, and disinvestment of PSUs.

    "They (the notices) do not warrant suspension of other business and (notices) taken upon priority," he said. However, Congress members were on their feet and held protests.

    11:10 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    Question hour in Lok Sabha: Issue of financial assistance to sportspersons raised

    TRS MP Dayakar Pasunoori has asked whether the Government is providing financial assistance to sportspersons. Minister of Youth affairs and sports Kiren Rijiju responded saying the government provides sufficient financial support and comprehensive policies to support spots and sportspersons.

    10:40 (IST)21 Nov 2019
    CPI gives Suspension of Business notice in Rajya Sabha

    CPI has given Suspension of Business notice in Rajya Sabha under rule 267 over "selling of entire stake in 5 PSUs including BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited)"

    The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday deferred passage of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill after several members opposed certain provisions in the legislation and demanded that the Bill be modified.

    The members sought changes in provisions that only a close relative can be a surrogate mother, as well as the clause that surrogacy is permitted for couples after at least five years of marriage.

    The Bill, which seeks to ban commercial surrogacy, was passed by Lok Sabha in Monsoon Session and was taken up for discussion in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

    On Tuesday, several members had argued that the government has not taken into consideration recommendations made by the Parliamentary standing committee which scrutinised the Bill. Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav, who headed the committee, said the government did not accept 13 major recommendations.

    The government on Wednesday informed the Parliament there is neither any proposal to promote Hindi as the country’s main language nor any plans to usher in one card for all utilities,

    Home Minister Amit Shah has made a mention of the two in his earlier speeches. However, his ministry told the Rajya Sabha during Question Hour that there were no such proposals.

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