Uproar On NSA
An angry, slogan-shouting opposition today tore the copies of the controversial National Security Bill as the Lok Sabha passed it by 190 votes to 14 after a record 17-hour debate which often tended to be uproarious and acrimonious. As the jubilant treasury benches banged tables, the opposition in one voice warned the government that the “black bill” would prove to be “your funeral”. In perhaps one of the most hotly debated pieces of legislation, no holds were barred on both sides. Charan Singh, who spoke during the third reading of the bill, was disrupted by the treasury benches. Buta Singh and Malikarjun were the more vocal members from the treasury benches.
Finance Minister Venkataraman was grilled in the Rajya Sabha for the non-performance of nationalised banks with Nageshwar Sahi alleging a “fraud of several crores of rupees by the Bihar Chief Minister”. The finance minister responded that he had no information of a fraud by a former Bihar CM. Congress (I) members protested loudly against Sahi’s allegations. Sahi wanted a CBI enquiry against the Bihar CM for embezzling crores of rupees from nationalised banks. The treasury benches wanted Sahi to name the Bihar CM but he did not.
Oil Price Hike
India’s crude oil imports bill will go up by at least Rs 500 crore as a result of the latest OPEC oil price hike. The increase in the prices, effective from January, works out to an average of 10 per cent from where India is exporting. The Indian government is expected to increase prices by at least 10 per cent from next year.
The Afghan government has imposed a ban on Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s movements. It has also ordered that no one, including members of the family of the veteran leader, affectionately called Frontier Gandhi, be allowed to meet him.