The Lok Sabha has been adjourned for the day amid protests by Opposition leaders against the three farming laws. Proceedings of the house were disrupted by repeated adjournments earlier in the day too.
The Opposition staged a walk out from Rajya Sabha after Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu postponed discussions on the new farm laws till Wednesday. The Upper House was later adjourned for the fourth time and final time for the day.
A day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha were likely to witness uproar by the Opposition over the proposals made by the Narendra Modi government.
While the government claimed that Budget 2021 was unprecedented and honest, the Opposition said it has failed to address core economic problems at a time when India is suffering from its worst recession in years while battling the coronavirus pandemic.
In the Union Budget, the Centre increased capital expenditure by around 34% to Rs 5.54 lakh crore to revive India’s ailing economy. Health care spending is also set to rise significantly, with the government proposing more than doubling the allocation to Rs 2.2 lakh crore. Out of this, an amount of Rs 35,000 crore has been allocated for developing Covid-19 vaccines.
Here are the day’s updates:
7.50 pm: Union minister Kailash Choudhary says he will step down from his position if that the farmers lose even an inch of their land due to the provisions of the new laws, ANI reports.
7.39 pm The Lok Sabha is adjourned till Wednesday.
5.27 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned till 7 pm amid ruckus over farm laws, reports ANI.
5.23 pm: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar says the government is ready to discuss the farm laws inside and outside Parliament, reports PTI.
5.04 pm: The Lok Sabha proceedings resume after being adjourned for an hour.
4.57 pm: Four bills were tabled for consideration and passing in Rajya Sabha on the second day of the Budget session, reports The Indian Express. There are The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020, The National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019, The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020, and The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020.
4.45 pm: Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal criticises the Union Budget, saying it has nothing for his state, reports ANI. “They [Bharatiya Janata Party] promised so much for Bihar, was anything announced?” he says. “Where are those promises which they made before polls? Election over, promises gone.”
4.50 pm: The Lok Sabha session adjourned again till 5 pm after opposition members disrupted the Question Hour to demand for repeal of the three farm laws, reports PTI.
3.58 pm: The Lok Sabha session will begin shortly.
3.55 pm: Under three million foreign visitors came to India last year – a fall of nearly 75% as compared to 2019 – due to coronavirus-induced travel curbs, the Centre has informed the Parliament, reports The Indian Express.
3.53 pm: The Rajya Sabha has been informed that there is no violation of data privacy of citizens under the National Digital Health Mission as it enables the appropriate use of health data with consent, reports PTI.
3.50 pm: The Rajya Sabha has been informed that for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, a supply order was placed on January 11 with the Serum Institute of India after the vaccine, Covishield, was approved for restricted emergency use, reports PTI.
1.14 pm: The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 9 am on Wednesday.
11.45 am: Rajya Sabha has now been adjourned till 12.30 pm as Opposition continues its protest to demand a discussion on farm laws.
10.36 am: Rajya Sabha adjourns till 11.30 am, reports ANI.
10.04 am: Rajya Sabha adjourns till 10.30 am amid protest by Opposition members on new farm laws.
9.45 am: Unhappy with the postponement of discussions on the farm laws, the Opposition stages a walk out from Rajya Sabha, reports ANI.
9.42 am: Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu says that discussions on the ongoing farmer protests will take place tomorrow, reports ANI. “I wanted the discussion to start today but I was told that the discussion first starts in Lok Sabha,” he adds. “Keeping this in mind we have agreed to have a discussion on President’s address tomorrow.”
9.25 am: Day’s proceedings begin in Rajya Sabha.
9.26 am: Confrontations are also likely between the Opposition and the Bharatiya Janata Party government over the new agricultural laws, which have led to thousands of farmers to protest at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of Delhi. After presenting the Budget, Sitharaman on Monday had said the Modi government is always ready for discussions with the protestors. Multiple rounds of talks have failed to end the impasse so far.
9.25 am: A day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are likely to witness uproar over the proposals made by the Narendra Modi government, which opposition parties and experts say are lukewarm.
9.20 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the Union Budget for financial year 2021-’22 could fulfill expectations without burdening the common man. Hailing the Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Modi claimed that experts have appreciated its transparency.
9.18 am: The Union Budget for financial year 2021-’22 evoked contrasting reactions, with the opposition parties criticising it and calling it a pro-corporate move, while the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and Cabinet ministers hailing it as a vision for an “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.
9.15 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday presented her third Budget for the financial year 2021-’22 to revive the economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are the key takeaways from the Budget:
- Health sector: Allocation to the healthcare sector jumped 137% to Rs 2,23,846 crore as compared to last year’s Rs 94,452 crore. Out of this, Rs 35,000 crore has been allocated for developing coronavirus vaccines.
- Expenditure Budget: The capital expenditure also saw a jump of about 34% to Rs 5.54 lakh crore in comparision to the revised estimate of Rs 4.12 lakh crore in 2020-’21 financial year.
- Taxation: While Sitharaman did not provide any tax relief for the general public, who had suffered because of the coronavirus pandemic, she announced that citizens above the age of 75 will be exempted from filing income tax returns. Under the proposal, senior citizens who depend only on pension will no longer have to file I-T returns.
- Disinvestment: The Centre announced that two Public Sector Undertaking banks and one general insurance firm will be privatised this year. Without announcing the names of the institutions concerned, Sitharaman said that idle assets will not contribute to “Atmanirbhar Bharat” or self-reliant India.
- Banks recapitalistion: The government allocated Rs 20,000 crore for recapitalisation of public sector banks.
- Infrastructure: Sitharaman announced special infrastructure projects for election-bound states of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Various opposition leaders have criticised the move.
- National Infrastructure Pipeline: Sithraman expanded the National Infrastructure Pipeline to cover 7,400 projects by 2025. She also announced the setting up of a development finance institution, which has been named the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development.
- Foreign Direct Investment: The government has proposed raising of Foreign Direct Investment limit in insurance sector from 49% to 74%.
- Agriculture credit: The government allocated Rs 16.50 lakh crore for agriculture-related credit schemes. Sitharaman also assured that the procurement of produce by the government under the Minimum Support Price will continue at a steady pace.
- Fiscal deficit: The fiscal deficit has been pegged at 9.5% of the Gross Domestic Product for the current financial year. For the financial year of 2021-’22, the central government estimated a fiscal deficit of 6.8% of the GDP, Sitharaman said while presenting the Budget.