Parliament proceedings live | Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru household names for valour and patriotism, inspiration for entire nation: Naidu

The Rajya Sabha will take up The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, passed by the Lower House yesterday, for consideration and passing.

The Lower House will debate The Finance Bill, that will give effect to the financial proposals of the Central Government for the financial year 2021-22. The House will discuss The National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill, introduced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman yesterday.

The first part of the Budget Session of Parliament, which commenced with the address of President Ram Nath Kovind on January 29, concluded on February 29. The second part of the Budget Session began March 7.

Here are the latest updates:

Lok Sabha | 11.45 am

Jagadambika Pal of BJP asks if the government would consider direct cash transfer to farmers on fertiliser rather than to companies. “The committee set up on this has yet to come up with a plan.”

Mr. Gowda responds that the government’s intention is direct cash transfer to farmers, but several things need to debated and discussed. “The Committee under Cabinet Secretary met and discussed, but we must consult with stakeholders on how this can be done.”

Mr. Pal says, “My question was on when all these discussions will fructify.”

Lok Sabha | 11.30 am

Meenakshi Lekhi of BJP says auto-immune diseases are on the rise, “due to gluten-filled flour. Gluten is being added even to millets and coarse grains to make it easy to knead. Is there any step being taken to prevent this?”

Mr. Rupala replies that a decision to celebrate millets via an international millets day has been taken and “we are in the process of promoting millets and coarse grains”.

Uday Pratap Singh of BJP speaks on imports of fertiliser. “Can the use of chemical fertiliser be disincentivised?”

Sadananda Gowda, Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, says many steps have been taken to discourage chemical fertilisers and to encourage organic fertilisers. “A plan has been prepared for an increased push for nano fertilisers.”

Manish Tewari of Congress says the government is going ahead with disinvestment in National Fertilliser Limited. “Can the fund raised by this not be sent to the consolidated fund of India but to encourage use of green fertilisers?”

Mr. Gowda says the suggestion is well taken, and adds, “So far, disinvestment has not been initiated.”

Chitta Anuradha of YSRCP speaks about private sector participation in FPI. Mr. Rupala says there are plans afoot and “please apply via States”.

Rajya Sabha | 11.30 am

Amar Patnaik of BJD says women farmers continue to be invisible. “There is stereotypical male-dominated leadership even iners’ the present farm agitation. The women farmers have to be recognised. Only 30% of these women farmers have land rights.”

Prasanna Acharya of BJD says, “Today is the day, 100 years back, Mahatma Gandhi came to Odisha for the first time. Three years later, he came again, this time to Sambhalpur Railway station. The Railway Ministry has decided to permanently shut down this station. Widespread agitation is going on in the region against this decision. The station has been in existence since 1895.”

Lok Sabha | 11.20 am

Sanjay Jadhav of Shiv Sena asks if a seed bank will be opened in Parbhani (his constituency).

Mr. Rupala  replies, “I would like the MP to share with me the difficulty of the farmers in his constituency in accessing seeds. We ask each State, a year in advance, on stocks required and provide for the same. So please apply within time to the State government.”

Raghuram Krishna Raju of YSRCP says FPO is a good concept, “is there is any plan by the Centre to initiate a seed revolution via FPOs?”

Mr. Rupala again tells the MP this is a good suggestion. “Our basic problem is that we have a large number of small holdings. To improve collective bargaining, the FPO concept was floated. Currently, seed corporation of India and in States are doing the job of seed production. If FPOs want to join, that can be allowed.”

Darshana Jardosh of BJP says sarpanches have been empowered under various schemes, “but what about zila and taluka panchayats?” Mr. Rupala says this has been addressed under 15th Finance Commission.

Rajya Sabha | 11.10 am

Dr. L. Hanumanthaiah of Congress says the U.T. of Lakshadweep has about 70,000 population with a very low crime rate. “The implementation of Prevention of Anti-Social Act (PASA Act) in the U.T. would infringe upon the people’s consitutional rights,” he says, since “the existing laws are more than enough to deal with the crimes happening in the territory. “The Act should be kept in abeyance.”

M. Thambidurai of AIADMK says, “The AIADMK has always stood by people fighting for justice and equality. Not just Tamils in Sri Lanka, but we extend support to those fighting for human rights in other countries like Palestine. How do we establish peace? Peace can be established only by bringing the accused to justice. I urge the government to vote in favor of UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka.”

Jaya Bachchan of the SP says, “We have spoken multiple times about manual scavengers, and yet, there has been only a marginal improvement. It is a pity that we are still talking about death of manual scavengers. Why can’t we get them protective kits? We are talking about going to Mars. And yet, we still employ manual scavengers. This is a national embarrassment.”

Lok Sabha | 11.05 am

Question Hour begins.

Vishnu Dutt Sharma of BJP speaks on provisioning of gram sabhas with computers in Khajuraho under Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Yojana.

Parshottam Rupala, MoS Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, says information has been provided. He gives details of funds, specifically accruing to 300 gram panchayats in Madhya Pradesh.

Mr. Sharma says, “according to information by Minister, no computers have been provided to Khajuraho. Will that be done now? Also will a computer operator be appointed?

Mr. Rupala asks Mr. Sharma to apply to the State government for specific allocation.

Poonam Madam of BJP says that zila panchayat and taluka panchayats also require funds for the same. Mr. Rupala responds that panchayats have been directly given funds under the 14th Finance Commission. “Zila parishads felt left out. So, under the 15th Finance Commission, funds will be given to them.”

Rajiv Pratap Rudy of BJP says Rs. 1.5 lakh is being given to gram panchayats for computerisation. “Are there plans for coordinating for auditing by MPs?” Mr. Rupala says this is a good suggestion made by Mr. Rudy.

Ajay Bhat of BJP asks a question on seed banks. “I want to know whether any scheme for seed banks are in the pipeline in hill States like Uttarakhand for preserving their traditional agriculture?”

Mr. Rupala says no such proposal is thought of currently. “But 1806 local variety of seeds have been registered and preserved.”

Mr. Bhat asks id there is any proposal to set up a centre for promoting organic agriculture in Uttarakhand. Mr. Rupala responds, “For hilly States, there is a tradition of organic agriculture. Schemes are already in place for promotion of organic agriculture.”

Rajya Sabha | 11 am

Rajya Sabha proceedings begin for the day.

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu makes a reference to the 90th anniversary of martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.

“The trio have become household names for valour and patriotism,” he says, and adds they are an inspiration for the entire nation.

Members stand in silence as a mark of respect.

Lok Sabha | 11 am

Lok Sabha convenes for the day.

Kirit Solanki is in the chair. He reads out a homage to Bhagat Singh. Two minutes silence is observed in the House.

Legislative Business

Lok Sabha

Bills for consideration and passing

The National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill, 2021

The Finance Bill, 2021

Rajya Sabha

Bills for consideration and return

The Appropriation (No. 2) Bill, 2021

The Appropriation Bill, 2021

The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bill, 2021

The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation (No.2) Bill, 2021

The Puducherry Appropriation Bill, 2021

The Puducherry Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 2021

Bill for consideration and passing

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021

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