The entire rail network will be electrified in India which is the only country in the globe that is experimenting to convert diesel engines into electric, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said in Rajya Sabha on Friday.
This is being done in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment towards environment protection, Goyal said during Question Hour.
"Till now six old diesel locomotives have been converted into three twin electric locomotives at Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi which is a production unit of Indian Railways," Goyal said.
The government would soon bring the tax refund scheme for exporters before the Union Cabinet and would notify it, Commerce and Industry minister Piyush Goyal informed Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour, the minister said the government is also engaged in codifying various laws relating to labour into a far more crisper, well defined, easy to navigate and understand set of labour codes and the same would also come up before Parliament soon for approval.
Goyal said the government is also encouraging its entrepreneurs to expand their manufacturing operations in the current global trade situation where nations are engaged with each other in a trade war.
The government has already announced the Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Product (RoDTEP) scheme "The scheme RoDTEP was announced by the finance minister for refund of various taxes to exporters. These will be refunded through the RoDTEP scheme. We will be shortly be going to the Union Cabinet and notify this," he told the House.
With ruckus prevailing in the Lok Sabha over her statement, BJP member Pragya Thakur on Friday said she never referred to Nathuram Godse as a patriot and apologises if her remarks have hurt anyone.
This is the second time in the day when Thakur made a statement regarding her remarks on Godse which had triggered a row.
Her fresh statement came after Speaker Om Birla convened a meeting of party leaders to end the impasse in the House.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Firday suggested that Congress MP Jairam Ramesh form a committee comprising MPs to suggest concrete steps to check pornography on social media and other Internet platforms which is adversely affecting children.
Referring to the issue raised by AIADMK member Vijila Sathyananth in the House on Thursday, Naidu suggested that "some well-meaning members and some knowledgeable people" like Jairam Ramesh, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe (BJP), Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC), Tiruchi Siva (DMK) and others should take an initiative and form a group of MPs to discuss the issue of pornography, social media and impact on children.
"It is a very serious issue...We have to come out with some concrete suggestion so that I can advise the Minister of Communication and also Information and Broadcasting," he said.
Naidu said the group of MPs should come out with some meaningful solutions through "firm social action as well as legislative action".
He said the pornography issue is assuming alarming proportions and parents, particularly mothers are worried and agitated.
"I suggest Jairam Ji can take an initiative and call friends. It is not an official committee. It is in larger interest of the country," he said.
Intervening on the Zero Hour mention by Sathyananth on rise in child abuse cases due to easy access to pornography on mobile phones and Internet on Thursday, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani had said 377 websites have been taken down and 50 FIRs filed.
Sathyananth cited recent incidents of sexual assault of minor girls to seek a complete ban on Internet and social media carrying such content so as to "save our children."
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday called a meeting of floor leaders of different political parties to end the row over BJP MP Pragya Thakur's remarks on Nathuram Godse.
Opposition members rejected her apology, saying it was not conditional and insisted that she apologise unconditionally.
The Delhi government has constituted a 13-member committee to give recommendations on utilisation of a fund for the welfare of lawyers, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday.
Addressing a press conference here, he said in the budget, the AAP government had set aside Rs 50 crore for welfare of lawyers under the Chief Minister Advocate Welfare Scheme.
Kejriwal said the committee will be headed by Supreme Court Bar Association president Rakesh Kumar Khanna and will submit its report within 10 days.
A Owaisi, AIMIM, in LS says, You(LS Speaker)said that remarks (by BJP's Pragya Thakur) aren't in records. It's an egregious breach, goes against basic standard of conduct of member. The member should categorically say that Godse isn't a 'deshbhakt', he's a terrorist&murderer of Gandhi
A demand to provide legal services including bail provision to those persons who claim to be Indians but have been lodged in detention centres in Assam for want of residency proof for more than three years was made in Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Jairam Ramesh of the Congress said there are six detention centres in Assam holding 998 foreigners.
At one of the detention centres in Silchar, there are 72 foreigners including 7 Myanmarese, 17 Bangladeshis and 48 who claim to be Indians, he said.
While Bangladesh has refused to recognise the 17 Bangladeshis, many out of the 48 who claim to have Indian citizenship are those who have been state government employees and have been lodged in the detention centre for 6-7 years.
Uproar continues in the Lok Sabha after statement by BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur over her remark, reportedly referring to Nathuram Godse as 'deshbhakt' in the House. Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says "We just have one demand, we want unqualified apology"
Not only this nation but the world follows principles of Mahatma Gandhi. We shouldn't politicise this issue (BJP MP Pragya Thakur referring to Nathuram Godse as 'deshbhakt' in LS). If we do, it'll be before the world. So I said that the remarks won't be recorded, says Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla.
“This House doesn't permit to glorify the matter of assassination of Mahatma Gandhi whether in this House or outside. Yesterday the Defence Minister gave the clarification on behalf of the government. The MP (Pragya Singh Thakur) has apologised too.”
I apologise If I have hurt any sentiments, says BJP MP Pragya Thakur in Lok Sabha on Friday.
“A member of the House referred to me as 'terrorist'. It is an attack on my dignity. No charges against me have been proven in court.”
Pragya Thakur says her statement has been twisted. Pragya Thakur says in LS she was dubbed as terrorist though she was acquitted by court
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday indicated that he would call BJP member Pragya Thakur, who is facing opposition fire for her remarks on Nathuram Godse, to the House after the Question Hour.
Without naming Thakur, the Speaker said he would "ask the respected member to come to the House at noon after Question Hour".
Birla made these observations after the Congress once again raked up the issue of the controversial remarks on Nathuram Godse by Thakur on Wednesday.
As soon as the House met for the day, Congress leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said opposition members have raised the issue. He said such remarks also hurt the dignity of the chair and as the custodian of the House, the Speaker should take action.
The Congress and other constituents of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) are also likely to move a censure motion in Lok Sabha against Thakur for her remarks, sources said.
DMK MPs protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament premises demanding release of National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah.
In Friday's list of business in the Rajya Sabha, papers will be tabled by seven ministers, the Parliament Standing Committee will submit report on the labour department and members will ask questions.
But it is the private members business that has some interesting resolutions to be put forth for consideration.
MDMK MP Vaiko will be moving a resolution on need for decentralisation. The resolution says: "Having regard to the fact that India is a pluralistic society, consisting of myriad cultures, languages, religions and ethos, and the founding fathers of the Constitution provided for federalism which is the foundation of democracy and India being a multi-region and multi-linguistic nation with people of different hues and colours, decentralisation is the need of the hour."
The resolution further says; "some important subjects have been transferred over the years from the State List thereby diluting and diverting the States' powers; important and sensitive subjects which have a bearing on the people of the country should be left to the States alone to decide in respect of its policy and implementation, since the State is nearer to the people than the Centre.
"To protect the unity and integrity of the country, federalism in true sense should be provided for in the Constitution; there is an urgent need to improve harmonious development of the Centre-State relationship and to empower the States with more self-sufficient, autonomous and financial powers; there is an urgency to examine and consider all the recommendations of the various Review Commissions submitted in the past, on the working of the Constitution for implementation.
"This House urges upon the Government to take necessary measures, including amendments to the Constitution to bring back the subjects which were transferred from the State List to the Concurrent List, during the last 70 years; ensure that the residuary powers are vested with the States, by reviewing and restructuring the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution; take necessary steps to ensure that the States are financially empowered by allocating more finances to them; and provide corpus funds to mitigate the sufferings of the people of each State, of such amounts depending on the past disasters each State faced like drought, floods, cyclone, etc," says Vaiko's resolution.
BJP MP Harnath Singh Yadav has a resolution on the need for population control. The resolution says: "Population, which produces, distributes and consumes goods and services, is an invaluable asset for a nation as it is a means to an end, i.e., the economic development of a country: due to the unprecedented rise in the population of the country in the past decades, a dreadful condition is arising on account of gross imbalance between available resources and overall development and services; no Government can succeed in providing necessary resources and services at the same pace at which the population is growing, more than 70 years have passed since the country got its independence but we have not been successful in providing potable water, healthcare facilities, food, housing, means of employment, electricity, etc, to the citizens as per the need due to the root cause of fast growing population, this House urges upon the Government to -
(a) formulate a stringent population control policy to check the mammoth growth of population, and
(b) make stringent and uniform population control laws to overcome the crisis arisen due to the rise in population."
Binoy Viswam will move the following resolution:
"Having regard to the fact that
(i) The last financial year has seen the country's economy face several setbacks with a continuously declining GDP growth rate, precarious fiscal deficit, surge in unemployment, decrease in domestic demand and a decline/stagnation in key sectors such as manufacturing, FMCG, coal, banking, telecom and automobiles amongst others.
(ii) The decline in the economy has been stated repeatedly by numerous national and international agencies including the World Bank, IMF, Asian Development Bank and Moody's International Services.
(iii) The direct consequences of this economic setback are being faced by each and every citizen of our country as the price of daily essential goods, ranging from vegetables to pulses have been increasing rapidly, while consumer spending has rapidly decreased indicating an increasing prevalence of unemployment and poverty in the country.
(iv) Recent reports and studies have indicated an unprecedented increase in unemployment with over 11 million Indians losing their jobs and the unemployment rate reaching a 15 year high of 8.5 per cent.
(v) The most devastating effect of this economic crisis has been on individuals belonging to vulnerable sections of society, especially in rural areas.
(vi) While the Government has attempted to make several strategic decisions to revive the economy ranging from introducing FDI in key sectors to demonetisation and GST, very little has changed in reality.
(vii) As representative of the people, it would serve national interest if the Government provides clarity about the prevailing economic situation and its plans to address it, this House urges upon the Government to present a comprehensive and holistic report as to the causes of the current economic situation and future action plan to address the same and take immediate action to prevent further decline of the Indian economy and create jobs for India's fast growing workforce."
Following Ministers to lay papers on the Table, entered in the separate list:
1. Hardeep Singh Puri for Ministry of Commerce and Industry
2. Mansukh Mandaviya for Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers
3. Danve Raosaheb Dadarao for Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
4. Parshottam Rupala for Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
5. Angadi Suresh Channabasappa for Ministry of Railways
6. Som Parkash for Ministry of Commerce and Industry
7. Kailash Choudhary for Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
The Friday list of business in the Lok Sabha includes a bill on taxation laws and reports of the Standing Committee on Labour for consideration and passing.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will move the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to amend the Income Tax Act 1961 and the Finance (No. 2) Act, 2019. An ordinance was promulgated by the President on September 20.
The Standing Committee on Labour will table three reports in the House for consideration and passing. The reports include -- Demands for Grants (2019-20)) of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Demands for Grants (2019-20) of the Ministry of Textiles, and Demands for Grants (2019-20) of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship.
Congress MPs Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, K Suresh, Gaurav Gogoi and Abdul Khalek in Lok Sabha have given Adjournment Motion Notice on the issue of "Encroachment by China along Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh"