Home States Delhi Winter session of Parliament concludes; Budget session to begin from 29 January

Winter session of Parliament concludes; Budget session to begin from 29 January

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(G.N.S) Dt. 05
New Delhi
The last day of the winter session of Parliament concluded on Friday without passing the triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha. Earlier, reports said that both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have issued whips for their members, asking them to be present in both Houses.
The triple talaq bill, which criminalizes the practice of instant divorce among Muslims, was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The Congress and the opposition parties, which have numbers in their favour in the upper house, want the proposed legislation to be referred to the Select Committee, but the BJP has rejected the demand.
The government is not considering revamping the drug price regulator NPPA or setting up an advisory body above it, Parliament was informed on Friday. In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, minister of state for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh L. Mandaviya said the government is not revamping the NPPA.
“No, Sir,” Mandaviya replied to the query of a member regarding revamping of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and setting up of an advisory body above it. The minister also clarified that there was no plan to delink the Drugs (Prices Control) Order from the NPPA.
The NPPA is mandated to fix/revise the prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and enforce prices and availability of the medicines in the country. It also monitors the prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels.
The regulator implements and enforces the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order. It is also entrusted with the task of recovering amounts overcharged by manufacturers for the controlled drugs from the consumers. (PTI)
Rajya Sabha lost 34 hours due to disruptions: Venkaiah Naidu
The Rajya Sabha was today adjourned sine die with chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu urging members to seriously introspect on their conduct in the House which lost almost 34 hours due to frequent disruptions. The Rajya Sabha, which had 13 sittings during the winter session that started on 15 December, saw the passage of nine government bills.
Naidu also said 19 private members’ bills were introduced and one was discussed at length. During the five days when Question Hour was taken up, he said as many as 46 starred questions were orally answered and 51 members made Zero Hour submissions and another 28 made special mentions. The House functioned a total of 41 hours.
Ahead of adjourning the House sine die at 1pm in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Naidu said the session had its highs and lows, but lamented that it ended up losing some degree of esteem on account of disruptions.
“It is unfortunate that despite discharging its responsibilities to a great extent, the august House ends up losing some degree of the esteem of the people on account of disruptions and substantial loss of functional time. Intense and passionate submissions and debates are the order of democracy, but disruptions are certainly not. I urge upon members to seriously introspect in this regard,” he said.
Naidu also said it was “an opportunity for all of us to review, recall and introspect” about how the proceedings have been conducted in the House. This, he said, was the first full session after he took over as the Chairman and it could have been better than what it proved.
Naidu said though Parliament was a political institution, it “cannot be an extension of politics in its typical sense which is marked by deep divisions and acrimony.” Parliament is an important institution for furthering the shared socio-economic goals of the nation, critical to fulfilling the aspirations of citizens, he said.
“The legislatures of our country including the apex Parliament need to quickly evolve the way we conduct our proceedings so as to meet the needs of our evolving nation,” he said. (PTI)
Budget session to begin from 29 January
The Budget session of Parliament will commence from 29 January and the Union Budget will be presented on 1 February, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs recommended today.
President Ramnath Kovind will address the joint sitting of the two Houses on 29 January and the Economic Survey will be tabled on the same day, Parliamentary Affairs minister Ananth Kumar told reporters in New Delhi.
The first phase of the session will be from 29 January to 9 February. After a recess, Parliament will meet again from 5 March to 6 April, Kumar said. The Recommendation of the session dates were made by the CCPA which met here. The Winter session of Parliament ended today.
Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu today said he will take “necessary decision” at the earliest on a privilege notice served by BJP MP Bhupinder Yadav against Congress president Rahul Gandhi. However, he said the matter fell under the purview of the Lok Sabha.
On 28 December, Yadav had given notice under Rule 187 alleging that the Congress President had “intentionally, maliciously and disrespectfully twisted” the name of Leader of the House and Finance minister Arun Jaitley in a tweet.
Gandhi, a Lok Sabha member, had tweeted in connection with Jaitley’s statement after an agreement to end an impasse in the Upper House was reached between the treasury and opposition benches over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat assembly election campaign.
During the Zero Hour on the last day of the Winter Session, Yadav wanted to know the fate of his privilege notice, to which Naidu said it was under his consideration.
“Your notice is under my consideration. I have already told you, I will be taking action immediately, but it’s not within the purview of Rajya Sabha, finally it has to go to Lok Sabha. I will take necessary decision at the earliest,” the Chairman said.
Modi walks up to Manmohan in Rajya Sabha, shakes hands
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today shook hands with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon after the Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die. The cordial “handshake” came barely weeks after the duo had been locked in a bitter war of words over Gujarat elections. As soon as Chairman M Venkiah Naidu adjourned the House sine die and ‘Vande Mataram’ was rendered, Modi was seen moving towards the opposition benches shaking hands with some members, including his predecessor. He reached the seat of the former premier, shook hands with him for quite some time and spoke to him.
Among others with whom the Prime Minister was seen shaking hands were deputy chairman P. J. Kurien and veteran Congress leader Karan Singh, who was bid farewell by the Upper House today as his tenure ends on 27 January.
The show of cordiality between the incumbent and the former premier follows a rare row that broke out last month after Modi insinuated that Manmohan Singh had colluded with Pakistan in the Gujarat polls and latter hitting back saying a “dangerous precedent” was being set by such accusations and seeking apology.
Both the Houses had witnessed stormy protests over the issue with an adamant opposition seeking apology from Modi for his statement during Gujarat poll campaign and the BJP sticking to its point that PM would not apologise.
12 bills passed in winter session
The Lok Sabha was today adjourned sine die, bringing to an end to the short Winter Session during which the House passed 12 bills, including the ‘triple talaq’ legislation that seeks to criminalize instant divorce in the Muslim community.
Announcing the adjournment, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the session, which commenced on 15 December, had 13 sittings spread over 61 hours and 48 minutes. The House lost about 15 hours due to disruptions and adjournments.
Important bills passed during the session included the central road fund (amendment) bill, the requisitioning and acquisition of immovable property bill, the national capital territory of Delhi laws (special provisions) second (amendment) bill and the goods and services tax (compensation to states) amendment bill. A bill to hike the salary of high court and Supreme Court judges was also passed. The Speaker said 16 bills were introduced by the government in the session.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan presents 13-day Lok Sabha report card
During the session, 280 starred questions were listed, of which 45 questions were answered orally. Written replies to the remaining starred questions along with 3,220 unstarred questions were tabled, she said. About 198 matters of urgent public importance were raised by the members and by sitting late in the evening, while the members also raised 226 matters under rule 377, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said.
Standing committees presented 41 Reports to the House. The Lok Sabha held a short duration discussion under rule 193 regarding natural calamities in various part of the country, with special reference to cyclone Ockhi in South India. The discussion was concluded with the reply by home minister, she said. During the session, as many as 2255 papers were tabled by the ministers concerned, she said, adding that 98 Private Members’ bills on different subjects were also introduced.
Dwivedi, who completed three terms as a Rajya Sabha MP, said generally farewell became like an “obituary reference” but today was different. He said he had spent 57 years in politics ever since he entered Allahabad University in the 1960-61 academic session. Dwivedi said he had a great respect and regard for those who were born in poor families and emerged as successful persons, as also for the ordinary party workers who become big leaders.
“From a philosophic point of view, our sympathy and goodwill could be with the pain and sufferings of the poor. But if one has not lived that pain or suffered it, then one cannot become a true and complete leader. Nor can one become a complete intellectual. I have held this belief right from the beginning, Dwivedi said.
In his brief speech, Karan Singh said Parliament has evolved in the last 50 years, but all changes have not been positive. Stating that earlier both the Houses used to witness brilliant debates, Singh said now such “debates have become rare and disruptions have become more frequent”, and called upon the members to introspect.
He said he got opportunities to interact with Nehru till Modi and all of them worked in their own ways to build a New India, as envisaged by the first Prime Minister. He said he came to Delhi as a young man of 36 and was retiring as an “idealistic old man”. As Karan Singh completed his speech, Naidu commented that hearing him was a “feast”.
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad recalled his interactions with Karan Singh and Janardan Dwivedi. The minister said in Karan Singh, he saw a ‘philosopher King’, as envisaged by Aristotle. Of late, he said, Singh has stopped writing and urged the veteran Congress leader to continue writing. Prasad showered praises on Dwivedi for promoting Hindi in a simple and easy way.
Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said the three retiring members—Karan Singh, Janardan Dwivedi and Parvez Hashmi—have contributed significantly to the deliberations of the House and parliamentary committees. They have also contributed in the process of “nurturing and strengthening” parliamentary democracy and enhancing the dignity and prestige of the Rajya Sabha.
Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said his veteran party colleague Karan Singh had become the Head of State of Jammu and Kashmir at the age of 18 years and was probably the youngest person in the world to be elected such a post. Hashmi was not present in the House at the time of farewell. During his 57 political career, 86-year old Karan Singh got the opportunity to interact with all the Prime Ministers, right from Jawaharlal Nehru till Narendra Modi, Azad said, adding that he had either been in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha for four terms each.
Despite being born in a royal family and holding high political posts, Singh never touched liquor, cigarettes or even paan throughout his life and always remained humble, Azad said. He also recalled Janardan Dwivedi’s association with the socialist movement. Dwivedi, 72, completed his third term as Rajya Sabha MP. Regarding 63-year old Hashmi, Azad said he hoped his retiring party colleague would remain active in politics in future too. (PTI)
Rajya Sabha today bade farewell to three of its veteran members—Karan Singh, Janardan Dwivedi and Parvez Hashmi, who would be retiring later this month. Speakers from both sides showered praise on them for their contributions in the House. All the three retiring MPs were elected from Delhi. The farewell was held today on the last day of the Winter Session as their actual retirement date of 27 January would fall in the inter-session period.
He reads out some statistics related to this session. “Nine government Bills were passed, 19 private Member Bills were introduced. The House had very productive discussions on the state of economy and employment generation, and air pollution in Delhi. 46 starred questions wwre answered and 51 zero hour submissions were made.”
At 12.30 p.m. in Rajya Sabha Viplove Thakur of the Congress asks if the Prime Minister’s election promise of paying 50 per cent more than the minimum suppor price (MSP) to the farmer is being kept.
Jairam Ramesh asks how the cost of production is fixed for the MSP. “What is the new system for fixing the cost of production?” The next question is on the increase of crimes in long distance trains. Sarojini Hemram of the BJD complains that her belongings were stolen from the first class compartment on a train from Shirdi to Bhubaneshwar.
At 12.00 noon in Lok Sabha question hour ends. Papers are laid on the table.
Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu makes a statement in the House on the mini-ministerial meet in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan reads out a statement on the House’s functioning. She thanks the Prime Minister, the Treasury Bench and the Opposition for their cooperation during the session.
At 12.00 noon Rajya Sabha’s Zero Hour ends. Question hour begins.
The first question is on promoting gherkins for export. Read our report on gherkin cultivation. The next question is on dealing with cyber crimes. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says the government was aware of the cyber crime challenge. Centres have been established in various States to train police officers in cyber forensic intelligence.
The next question is on self-reliance in godown capacity. Vijila Satyananth asks if the FCI can have its own godowns. Sambhaji Chhatrapati asks if there will be medium and small railway stations under the PPP model.
At 11.30 a.m. in Lok Sabha next question was on loan agreements with the IBRD. Laxmi Narayan Yadav of the BJP asks a supplementary question on complaints against private companies.
At 11.30 a.m. in Rajya Sabha all three retiring Members are from Delhi — Janardan Dwivedi, Parvez Hashmi and Karan Singh. Mr. Singh of the Congress rises to make his farewell speech. “I came to Parliament 50 years ago, as an idealistic young man of 36 years. I now bid farewell, as an idealistic old man.” Mr. Dwivedi speaks next. He says he has been in politics for 57 years. “I was born in a house made of mud. There was no school near my house.”
At 11 11 a.m. Lok Sabha house reconvenes. The Speaker was in the chair. Divakar Reddy of the TDP asks a supplementary question on farm loan waivers. He says that a percentage of the Budget should be fixed for all the States for freebies.
At 11 a.m.Rajya Sabha house reassembles. Statements by Ministers are laid on the table. Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu reads out retirement notices of three members. Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and Minister Prasad rise one after the other to wish the retiring members farewell.

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