SYNOPSIS OF DEBATE
(Proceedings other than Questions and Answers)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012/Phalguna 24, 1933 (Saka)
MATTERS RAISED WITH PERMISSION OF THE CHAIR
I. Issues related to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (SHRI ARUN
JAITLEY): I have given a notice on a matter of importance for
suspension of the Question Hour and for raising this issue. When the
proceedings of this House took place on the 29th of December, 2011,
the debate on the Lokpal and the Lokayukta Bill was inconclusive.
There was some disturbance in the House and the debate could not
continue. Thereafter, the House was adjourned sine die. According to
the Rule 257 of the Rules of Procedure Conduct of Business in the
Council of States, no person who disturbs the House, can have a veto
to have a debate abandoned or indefinitely postponed. The debate
must continue. The whole country expects us to legislate on this issue.
The Government now cannot say that it will indefinitely postpone this
debate and bring it whenever the debate is required. It was said that
there were several amendments. But there were broadly only three
amendments. One amendment was in relation to the powers of the
State to enact on the Lokayukta part of the Bill. The second
amendment was with regard to the appointment procedure and the
removal procedure and the third was with regard to the independence
This Synopsis is not an authoritative record of the proceedings of the
and autonomy of the investigative agency. The first statement of the
Government in terms of the President's Address does not say anything
about what the Government wants to do on these three issues. We
should follow the spirit of the Rule which I have mentioned above.
Therefore, we urge the hon. Chair to consult various political parties
and start the debate immediately.
SHRI PRASANTA CHATTERJEE: It is a very serious
issue. Every political party should give its opinion on this particular
issue. The last time the House was adjourned sine die when the debate
was going on. We demand that this particular issue should be
discussed once again. All the political parties are interested in this
SHRI SHIVANAND TIWARI: In respect of the Lokpal and
Lokayukta Bill, which was introduced, we had also given our
amendments on behalf of our party. But it was not clear whether the
Government accepted the amendment or not. On that day the Minister
of Parliamentary Affairs had said that the amendments were in a large
number and the Government had not paid their attention to them. The
House had to be adjourned that day and the debate remained
incomplete. It would be our request to continue the debate.
SHRI D. RAJA: Last time, the House was adjourned. The
people were hoping that Parliament would pass the Lokpal Bill and
the country would get a very strong and effective legislation to fight
corruption. That did not happen. The Government will have to
consider the Rule 257. The processing of a large number of
amendments cannot be a plea for the Government to run away from
the debate. I have confidence in the competence of our Ministers and
bureaucrats. They can process the amendments.
I want to know the fate of this Bill. According to the Rule 257
we will have to continue the process of passing that legislation. I
would like to know the response of the Government in this regard. I
insist upon the Government to agree to the demand for further
discussion and disposal of this Bill.
PROF. S.P. SINGH BAGHEL: On December 29, 2011, the
House was indefinitely postponed. The debate on the Bill could not be
completed. Today the whole country wants to know what is the
condition of the Bill and when it will be brought. Will we continue the
discussion in the same form?
SHRI BAISHNAB PARIDA: I support the issue raised by
the hon. Leader of Opposition as to what steps this House is taking to
pass the Lokpal Bill. This is the desire of the nation and we should
complete the incomplete discussion which was postponed on the night
of 29th December, 2011. The Minister concerned should announce as
to when this Bill will be taken up and how this will be passed with the
SHRI BIRENDRA PRASAD BAISHYA: On the Lokpal
issue, we have also given amendment notice. The discussion on 29th
December, 2011 was incomplete. We hope that incomplete debate will
start immediately so that we get the opportunity to express our
SHRI SUKHENDU SEKHAR ROY: The hon. Leader of the
Opposition has rightly invited the attention of the Chair to Rule 257 as
to what should be done by the Chairman in case of grave disorder
arising in the House in respect of its adjournment. That was not a
normal adjournment. We, the Trinamool Congress MPs, want that our
amendments should come to a logical end.
THE MINISTER OF PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS
AND THE MINISTER OF WATER RESOURCES (SHRI
PAWAN KUMAR BANSAL) responding to the matter, said: The
hon. Leader of the Opposition has referred to Rule 257 of the Rules of
Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States. As per
the Rule, in case of grave disorder, the hon. Chairman may adjourn
the House or suspend any sitting for a time. Really the House was
adjourned for fifteen minutes before adjourning the House sine die.
There is a difference between adjourning a sitting to meet
again and adjourn the House sine die. As per the practice, the
Government gives the schedule for the session and approaches the
hon. President who summons the House. If the Government feels that
we want to extend the Session, we go to the Presiding Officers of any
of the two Houses for that purpose. That is why we had decided to
extend the Session for three days and only on the last day the matter
was taken up. At that point, I thought that it could not be passed. As
there was no further extension of the Session, there was no option left
other than to adjourn the House sine die. I should have stood up to say
that we want the Session to be extended. If the Members of
Parliament wanted to extend the Session, they should have gone to the
President. In the absence of seeking an extension, the House was
Even before the Address of the hon. President, we gave the
list of tentative business which the Government wants to take up. At
No.1, we have mentioned the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill. I have with
me the Bulletin issued by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. I do not know
whether the Leader of the Opposition has seen it or not. In paragraph 4
of the first page in the hon. President's Address, there is the reference
to the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill. Now, we feel that there is a need to
have an immediate meeting to discuss the matter with you.
Keeping in view the sense of the House, the Bill was
prepared. On account of differences of opinions, there is the practice
of rethink in a democracy. A situation has arisen where more
consultations are necessary. Let me say that we want to bring this Bill
for further discussion in this Session itself. The Government has
studied the notices of amendments. We have formulated our view.
Besides this Bill, there are a large number of other Bills which cannot
be deferred. After the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address,
the Budget (Railways) and the General Budget, the Lokpal and
Lokayukta Bill will be taken up in the second part of the Session.
II. Need for Establishing an Ordnance Factory in Bihar
DR. C.P. THAKUR: There is a need to produce good-quality
weapons in India. One ordnance factory, which has been established
in Bihar, has been lying idle for the last many years. People had given
land for that. So, I request the Government that this factory should
urgently be started.
III. Issue of China’s proposal for Diverting River Brahamaputra
SHRI BIRENDRA PRASAD BAISHYA: The
Brahamaputra Valley Civilization is under great threat today due to at-
source-water-diversification planning of the river Bhrahmaputra by
China. Diversification of the River Brahmaputra by China very badly
affects our rivers. The reduced water level of the Siang River at GD
Station, Komlinghat, is 145 metres. There have also been reports that
some channels have constructed by China for its water scarce areas.
Also, in the upper Mekong Basin, in Yunan Province, China has
reportedly planned to construct eight big dams for hydro power
generation. The Government of India should take up the matter at the
international level to stop diversification of water of River
(Shri Bhubaneswar Kalita associated.)
IV. Increasing Incidents of Kidnapping, Forced Marriage and
Conversion of Hindu Girls in Pakistan
SHRI TARUN VIJAY: The incidents of kidnapping forced
marriage and conversion are on the continuous rise in Pakistan.
During one year itself more than 300 girls were kidnapped, converted
into Islam and forcibly married against their desire. Such criminal
incidents are encouraged by the Government of Pakistan and Pakistani
Police. It is a matter of regret that against such a violation of human
rights, a country like U.S. stand by the Hindus but the Government of
India do not take pains even to lodge protest. It does have an adverse
effect on the communal environment of India. Being Hindu is a crime
I urge upon the Government that whenever there is a peace
talks between India and Pakistan, India must express its sense of
concern over the issues of force marriage and conversion of Hindu
women in particular in Pakistan.
(Shri Shreegopal Vyas, Shrimati Maya Singh, Shri Ravi
Shankar Prasad, Shrimati Smriti Zubin Irani and Shri Balbir Punj
V. Suicide by a Tribal Student in AIIMS
DR. BHALCHANDRA MUNGERKAR: I express my deep
distress and anguish over the fact that a first year MBBS student in
AIIMS, who was a tribal student belonging to Rajasthan, committed
suicide. He had cleared the Common Entrance Examination in Hindi
with good marks, but he lacked fluency in English. This proved to be
a handicap for the further studies and created a sense of lack of
confidence and depression in him and led to his decision to commit
suicide. He approached the college authorities of AIIMS, time and
again, for help and assistance, but failed. The Thorat Committee had
suggested several recommendations to overcome the difficulties and
challenges that the SC/ST students were facing. But, AIIMS did not
implement a single recommendation.
I would, therefore, request the Ministry of Health to appoint a
high-level committee to look into all cases of discrimination, atrocities
and harassment against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
students and against all the disadvantaged sections.
(Dr. K. Keshava Rao, Shrimati Maya Singh, Shri Tarun Vijay,
Shri Shivanand Tiwari, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Shri Shreegopal
Vyas, Shri Nand Kumar Sai, Shri Anil Madhav Dave, Shri Ram Kripal
Yadav and Shri D. Bandyopadhya associated.)
I. Need for Effective Implementation of the National Urban
Health Mission Scheme in Gujarat
SHRI DILIPBHAI PANDYA: The National Urban Health
Mission aims to address the health concerns of the urban poor
covering in all cities (430 in total) with population above 1 lakh. The
duration of the Mission was supposed to be for the remaining part of
11th five year plan (2008-2012) and then extended for further period.
The urban areas lack such health infrastructure, especially in
Nagarpalika areas. In urban areas such mission is required to be
implemented on a priority basis in the State of Gujarat. I, therefore,
request the Minister of Health and Family Welfare to effectively
implement the scheme for the urban poor in Gujarat.
(Shri Anil Madhav Dave and Shri Parshottam Khodabhai
II. Need for taking Effective Steps to Remove Hunger from the
DR. GYAN PRAKASH PILANIA: India is 67th among the
worst 80 countries, in terms of malnourishment. India is firmly
established among the world’s most hunger-ridden countries. As per
NFHS 23 per cent of married men, 52 per cent of married women and
72 per cent of infants are anemic. In view of above horrendous
scenario of hunger, starvation and malnutrition, I would urge Hon’ble
Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution to
undertake corrective steps.
(Shri Anil Madhav Dave and Shri Shreegopal Vyas
III. Need for Declaring the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan as an
SHRI TARUN VIJAY: The Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan has
done enormous work for the promotion of Sanskrit education in the
country. Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan was given the status of a
Deemed University in 2002, it is practically discharging the role of a
National Univeristy with multi-campus structure. Considering the area
of its jurisdictions and achievements, it certainly needs to be upgraded
as a full-fledged university under legislation by Parliament. There is
no Central University for Sanskrit. I demand that the Government
should accord the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan the status of an
International University of Sanskrit by an Act of Parliament.
(Shri Anil Madhav Dave, Shri Shreegopal Vyas, Dr. Gyan
Prakash Pilania, Shri Jai Prakash Narayan Singh, Shri Nand Kumar
Sai and Shri Kumar Deepak Das associated .)
IV. Need for Taking Measures for Revival of Mithi river in
SHRI SANJAY RAUT: India’s water security is in crisis.
The nalas of BMC flow into the Mithi river. The problem of
encroachment as well as pollution has increased rapidly. The long
abuse of the river as a result of neglect and haphazard urbanisation is
having widespread repercussions. Therefore, I urge upon the
Government to take up revival of the Mithi River on a priority so that
the river can retain its pure flow and become a vibrant place for arts
V. Need for providing adequate Power Transmission Lines to
the State of Tamil Nadu
Shri A. Elavarasan: I would like to bring the notice of the
Central Government about the power crisis in the Tamil Nadu and
urge Government to intervene and ensure the easing of congestion in
the electricity transmission corridor to enable our State avail of
contracted power from other states. Our State also has contracted to
the extent of 1750 MW from other States for March. In the month of
June last year Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has also sought
1000 MW of additional power for the State for one year till the central
utilities that supplied power to Tamil Nadu commenced production.
Therefore, I urge the Government to take immediate action to provide
the required quantum of 1000 MW of power transmission lines to our
VI. Need for uniformity in using the National Emblem
SHRI AMBETH RAJAN: Our national emblem was
adopted by Government on 26th January, 1950. This emblem is an
adoption from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka. Many States are
using National Emblem in their State emblems whereas few States are
not using. Ours is a federal nation and there must be uniformity in
using National Emblem Like using National Flag.
My appeal to the Government is to issue circular to all States
to include National Emblem in their State Emblem; bring out detailed
booklets explaining/detailing about our National Emblem, National
Flag and Ashok Chakra with 24 spokes; and include information about
National Emblem in all Government's web sites- Centre as well as
(Shri Pramod Kureel associated)
VII. Need for an effective mechanism to curb the business of
spurious drugs in the country
SHRI PRABHAT JHA: There is turnover of drugs worth Rs. 85
thousand crore in India every year. Out of this about 20 to 25 percent
share is of spurious and adulterated drugs. The maximum cases of
spurious and adulterated drugs have been reported from Uttar
Pradesh, Maharashtra and Haryana. These drugs are causing death to
people even in small diseases. There is open business of spurious and
adulterated drugs in the country. As per media report spurious drugs
are coming in large quantity in Indian market from China. The poor
and helpless people are becoming victim of it in large number.
Therefore it is demanded that the Government should enact law to
curb the business of spurious and adulterated drugs in the country and
take concrete action to strengthen the monitoring mechanism.
(Shri Tarun Vijay, Shri Anil Madhav Dave and Shrimati
Bimla Kashyap Sood associated.)
VIII. Need for making an effective policy for adoption of non-
conventional resources of energy in the country.
SHRI PARSHOTTAM KHODABHAI RUPALA: I urge
the Central Government to make an effective policy to issue directives
to giant industries to adopt non-conventional energy resources, in
view of possible severe energy scarcity due to rising industrial
activities and population in the country.
IX Need to expedite the implementation of the project for
SHRIMATI MAYA SINGH: Floods and drought affect the
general public almost every year in various parts of the country. The
project of interlinking of rivers was introduced in view of the above.
But, the Government has put the project in cold storage. After
implementation of the project of interlinking of rivers, the flow of
water of rivers will be distributed equally in the various parts of the
country. It would get rid of the fury of flood and drought and the
farmers will get adequate quantity of water.
There should not be any further delay in the project of
interlinking of rivers and work on this project should be started
immediately so that the general public could be benefited.
(Shri Kalraj Mishra, Shri Anil Madhav Dave and Shri
M.Venkaiah Naidu associated.)
X. Need to ban the export of bovine meat from the country
SHRI SHREEGOPAL VYAS: I have seen the report sent by
the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairy Working Group to
the Planning Commission in terms of 12th Plan. In view of popular
sentiment the Constitution prohibited the slaughter of cows. To think
about increasing the business through its meat would be a disregard of
popular passions. In view of Supreme Court decisions, Food - Safety
Plan, scientifically validated bovine products of exceptional value,
rich possibilities of additional measures for increasing the income,
exports of bovine meat should strictly be prohibited. I request the
government to invalidate the export proposal.
(Shri Tarun Vijay, Shri Jai Prakash Narayan Singh and
Shrimati Bimla Kashyap Sood associated.)
XI. Concern over the problem of malnutrition in children in
DR. C.P. THAKUR: Malnutrition is a major public health
problem in India. The importance of the problem has been
highlighted by the Prime Minister recently. Forty-eight per cent of
children under five are underweight. More than one-fourth of the
babies born in Bihar, Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tripura and Haryana
are low in birth weight. To improve and to fight this disease, the
registration of pregnancy should be made compulsory all over the
country. Once known to the competent authority, care of the mother
should start and delivery should be arranged in a good hospital. We
should work on all fronts of mother and child care to control this
XII. Need to make database of NGOs to monitor the inflow of
foreign funds to protect the national interest
SHRI B.S. GNANADESIKAN: I would like to request the
Government to set up a strong surveillance system against huge inflow
of foreign funds through NGOs likely to fuel unrest in the country.
Recently the amount of foreign donation has been increased manifold
and finally these funds have been utilized by some anti-social
elements against the Government’s projects and administration. The
report also discloses the donation received by some NGOs from Tamil
Nadu as contribution mostly from US, UK, Germany, Italy and the
Netherlands. There is no centralized database on the number of NGOs
in the country and the quantum of finance involved in their operations.
A large number of registered associations still do not submit their
statutory annual returns mandated by the law. Therefore, I request the
Government to establish a national database about the details of
NGOs, their activities and utilization of funds by those NGOs and set
up a strong surveillance system to watch the inflow of foreign
contributions to those NGOs in view of nation’s interest.
(Dr. E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan associated.)
XIII. Need to expedite the setting up of sports infrastructure in
SHRI KAPTAN SINGH SOLANKI: Madhya Pradesh is the
focal point of talented players. Training is imparted through modern
technology and scientific method to new players in various disciplines
of sports in the State Coaching Centre of TT Nagar stadium. But the
central assistance being extended for the construction of sports
infrastructure by the Central Government has been discontinued. It has
hampered the enthusiasm and growth of the players. The construction
work of the Central Regional Centre of Sports Authority of India is
running too slow. Therefore, I request that as soon as possible
guidelines for the smooth operation of the above works should be
released so that you can create talented players.
XIV. Need to update the national register for citizens before
issuing photo identity cards to voters in Assam
SHRI KUMAR DEEPAK DAS: The constitutional
responsibility of preparing authentic voters’ list is that of the
Government of India. Without discharging this responsibility, now
the Government of India has decided to issue Photo Identity Cards to
illegal foreigners and started a pilot project for the same in the district
of Kamrup. Now people are forced to participate in the process
against their will and against the greater interest of the country. But
the Government of India has stopped the working of pilot project of
updating of the National Register for Citizens (NRC) which was the
outcome of the tripartite talks between the AASU, the Government of
Assam, and the Government of India under the Chairmanship of the
Prime Minister of India. It is, therefore, urged upon the Government
to take immediate necessary steps to expedite the process of detection,
deletion and deportation of illegal foreigners from Assam to preserve,
protect and defend the culture and life of the people of Assam and for
the sake of sovereignty of the country as a whole.
XV. Concern over the slow growth of the economy of the country
SHRI N.K. SINGH: A combination of lower investment
activity, public consumption, and export growth has ensured that
India’s economic growth remains significantly weaker over the past
quarter. The investment activity is crucial for India to stage any
meaningful recovery. The gross fixed capital formation has
contracted for the second straight quarter with growth coming down at
1.2 per cent year-on-year. A rising fiscal deficit has ensured that
public consumption growth remains subdued. As total revenues
continue to remain deflated, public consumption growth slowed in the
last quarter. There has been a drop in quarterly export growth in
national accounts. Most sectors witness a drop in growth in the fourth
quarter. Manufacturing in particular has experienced an uninspiring
quarter . On the positive side, there was a surge in private
consumption growth to 6.2 per cent year-on-year. Therefore, I would
like to urge the Government to create a better business environment
and investment climate for boosting investment, inward capital flows
and export earnings.
STATEMENT BY MINISTER
Situation in Sri Lanka
THE MINISTER OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS (SHRI S. M.
KRISHNA): At the outset, allow me to convey that I fully share the
concerns and sentiments raised by the Hon’ble Members of this august
House regarding the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils.
The end of the long period of armed conflict in Sri Lanka in
May 2009, left around 3,00,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
living in camps in Northern Sri Lanka and general devastation of
infrastructure in the affected areas.
Since the end of conflict in Sri Lanka, the focus of
Government of India has been on the welfare and well being of the
Tamils citizens of Sri Lanka. Their resettlement and rehabilitation
have been of the highest and most immediate priority for the
The Prime Minister, in June 2009 immediately after the
conflict announced a grant of Rs. 500 crores for relief, rehabilitation
and resettlement work in Sri Lanka. The Government of India has
implemented and continues to implement a wide range of projects
covering assistance projects for IDPs in the areas of housing, de-
mining, education, connectivity, livelihood restoration, economic
revival, etc. We have been informed by representatives of Sri Lankan
Tamils that the tractors, seeds and agricultural implements gifted by
the Government of India have greatly benefited the people in the area.
India also announced the construction of 50,000 houses,
mainly for IDPs in Sri Lanka. During my visit to Sri Lanka in January
2012, I handed over first lot of completed houses to the beneficiaries
at Ariyalai, Jaffna and Kilinochchi. These houses have been
constructed under a pilot project for construction of 1000 houses. As
of end-February 2012, a total of 365 houses had been completed,
another 370 houses completed up to roof level and 230 houses
completed up to lintel level. It may also be kept in mind that
construction is taking place in largely inaccessible areas, which in
many cases has to be freed of mines and other explosive ordinance
and cleared of jungle.
In December 2011, the Cabinet approved the modalities for
construction and repair of the remaining 49,000 houses. A
Memorandum of Understanding for construction of these houses was
signed between India and Sri Lanka on 17th January 2012 in Colombo.
The project is expected to be completed within three years of
commencement of work on the ground.
In addition to houses, I also gifted bicycles to IDPs and
handed over hospitals and schools rehabilitated under the assistance of
the Government of India in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka.
I would like to underline that it is mainly as a result of our
constructive engagement with the Government of Sri Lanka and our
considerable assistance programme that a modicum of normalcy is
beginning to return to the Tamil areas in Sri Lanka. There has also
been progress given the withdrawal of emergency regulations by the
Government of Sri Lanka and the conduct of elections to local bodies
in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka.
Our primary objective in all that we are doing in Sri Lanka is
to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of Sri Lankan Tamils, including
IDPs, and to assist in the reconstruction and development of areas
affected by the conflict.
Several Hon’ble Members of the House have raised the issue
of alleged human rights violations during the protracted conflict in Sri
Lanka and on the US-initiated draft resolution on ‘Promoting
Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka’ at the ongoing 19th
Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Concerns have been expressed by various quarters on
allegations of human rights violations, including as shown in the
Channel 4 documentaries; it is the responsibility of the Sri Lankan
Government, in the first instance to investigate and inquire into them
through a transparent process.
We understand that the Government of Sri Lanka has initiated
a series of measures, including appointment of a Cabinet Sub-
committee to monitor implementation of the proposals in the National
Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) and reactivating the National
Police Commission, in line with the recommendations of the Lessons
Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report. Separately, the
Sri Lankan defence authorities are reported to have appointed a Court
of Inquiry to look into allegations of human rights violations as
required by the LLRC report.
The Government of India has, nonetheless, emphasised to the
Government of Sri Lanka the importance of a genuine process of
reconciliation to address the grievances of the Tamil community. In
this connection, we have called for implementation of the
recommendations in the Report of the LLRC that has been tabled
before the Sri Lankan Parliament. These include various constructive
measures for healing the wounds of the conflict and fostering a
process of lasting peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.
We have been assured by the Government of Sri Lanka,
including during my visit to Sri Lanka in January this year, of its
commitment towards pursuit of a political process, through a broader
dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil National Alliance,
leading to the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri
Lankan Constitution, so as to achieve meaningful devolution of
powers and genuine national reconciliation. We hope that the
Government of Sri Lanka recognising the critical importance of this
issue acts decisively and with vision in this regard. We will remain
engaged with them through this process and in the spirit of partnership
encourage them to take forward the dialogue with the elected
representatives of the Sri Lankan Tamils.
Hon’ble Members may be aware that the Sri Lankan
authorities had said they would be happy to receive an all party
delegation of Members of both Houses of our Parliament. We are
working to undertake such a visit at the earliest.
Several Members have raised the issue of a draft resolution
initiated by USA at the ongoing 19th Session of the UN Human Rights
Council at Geneva on the issue of reconciliation and accountability in
I would like to highlight here that on such sensitive issues we
will need to consider the implications of our actions carefully. Any
assertions on our part may have implications on our historically
friendly relations with a neighbouring country. We would also need
to examine whether our actions will actually assist in the process of
reconciliation in Sri Lanka, and enhance the current dialogue between
the Government of Sri Lanka and Tamil parties, including the Tamil
As far as our position on the resolution is concerned, we are
engaged with all parties in an effort to achieve a forward looking
outcome that is based on reconciliation and accountability rather than
deepening confrontation and mistrust between the concerned parties. I
may mention that the issue of human rights allegations against Sri
Lanka is yet to come up for formal discussion at the 19th Session of
the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. A view on this issue will be
taken as and when the time is finalized for consideration of the draft
resolution on Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council.
I, therefore, would like to inform this House that our
objectives, as always, continue to remain the achievement of a future
for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka that is marked by equality,
dignity, justice and self-respect.
I may assure the House that the Government will bear in mind
the views and sentiments expressed in this House, and once a final
view is taken Government will keep the Parliament informed.
Hon’ble Minister, replying to the points raised by
Members, said: Conciliation Commission has made a number of
recommendations. During the course of my talks with the Sri Lankan
leadership when I was there, one thing came out and that is the Sri
Lankan Government is fully committed to see that Reconciliation
Commission” recommendations are implemented. We realize the
concern that we have for the people of Tamil-speaking Sri Lankans.
The Tamil sentiments are woven into the Indian sentiments. We are
committed to see that the Government of Sri Lanka will implement
the major recommendations of the Reconciliation Commission. I have
suggested that a parliamentary delegation can go to Sri Lanka. The
Leader of Opposition of the Lower House as well as the Leader of the
Opposition in the Upper House wherever they are ready to go, the
Government of Sri Lanka, we would also convey to them that they
will be coming as representatives of the Parliament of India. We have
to take decisions based on the merits of particular issue, without being
influenced by any other country. We would like Tamil-speaking
citizens of Sri Lanka to be treated with equal dignity an equal status
with Sinhalese citizens. This is the basic approach of India’s Foreign
Policy in Sri Lanka.
There are diplomatic talks going on. India values the human
rights. We would like Sri Lanka to look at this human rights issue in a
very serious manner. When I met the Prime Minster of Sri Lanka, I
did put this question whether he is still committed to the 13th
Amendment plus concept of the Sri Lankan Constitution. Then, he
said, “Yes, I stand by what I have said.” I think much could happen
between now and 22nd. So, we will closely monitor whatever is
happening on. When a final view is taken we will keep the Parliament
BUDGET (RAILWAYS), 2012-13
THE MINISTER OF RAILWAYS (SHRI DINESH
TRIVEDI): I lay on the Table, a statement (in English and Hindi) of
the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government of India for
the year 2012-13 in respect of Railways.
SUPPLEMENTARY DEMANDS FOR GRANTS (RAILWAYS),
THE MINISTER OF RAILWAYS (SHRI DINESH
TRIVEDI): I lay on the Table, a statement (in English and Hindi)
showing the Supplementary Demands for Grants (Railways), for the
MOTION OF THANKS ON THE PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS
SHRI SATYAVRAT CHATURVEDI : I move that an
Address be presented to the President in the following terms:-
"That the members of the Rajya Sabha assembled in this
Session are deeply grateful to the President for the address
which she has been pleased to deliver to both Houses of
Parliament assembled together on March 12,2012"
Presidential address is a mirror of the policies and direction
of the Government. The Government determines its priorities on the
basis of the assessment of political, economic and social conditions.
The present Government has fixed some main priorities on the basis
of this assessment in order to overcome the challenges before the
country and to strengthen the economy and the Government
If the economy of the country is not strengthened, the
development programmes could not be completed. Therefore, the
economic security has been given the top priority. Secondly, the lakhs
and crores of educated and uneducated people of the country are
worried about their livelihood. It is the responsibility of the
Government to formulate such programmes and policies which could
provide employment to the youth of the country and they could be
made financially stronger. If we want to carry out the development,
power will be required for that and it is a major responsibility of the
Government to meet the requirement of power. Due to lack of power,
all the activities of development could be adversely affected.
Therefore, the third most important requirement for the country is
power and it has been underlined in the address by the President.
Today, all the countries are worried about the measures
required to be taken to protect the changing environment of the world.
Being a developing country, our concern is how to protect the
biological environment of our country. Therefore, it was pertinent to
give priority to the environmental security and the Government has
given importance to this fact in the Presidential address. The last point
is about the internal and external security. It is the responsibility of the
Government to maintain a secure environment in the country and also
to guard the borders of the country. Therefore, the internal as well as
the external security has been given priority.
We have a parliamentary system in our country and the role of
opposition is very important in a democracy. A positive opposition
can give support to the Government during trying circumstances and it
also exercises control on the Government. But since past sometime, a
bizarre change has been seen. A positive and constructive criticism by
the opposition is always welcome, but the opposition starts opposing
the very same issues which it considered appropriate when it was in
power. The NDA Government started a bus service to Lahore. But if
a bus service is started during the UPA regime from Srinagar to
Muzaffrabad for the convenience of people, it becomes a point of
objection. The Setu Samudram project was sanctioned by the then
NDA Government and a provision therefor was made in the budget.
But if in our regime further work is started on the project, the bridge
made by Lord Ram is said to be damaged.
Efforts are made to label our Government as a failed
Government by criticizing our policies, our programmes. The average
growth achieved in the country during the NDA regime since 1998-99
to 2003-04 was 5.1 percent. In 2004, when the UPA Government
came into power, the growth achieved since the initial years to date is
6.5 percent in the first year, 8.2 percent in second year and than 8.4
percent and 8.1 percent. The global financial crisis in America,
Europe and the western countries affected the economy of the whole
world. The World Bank which criticizes us, was later compelled to
accept the fact that due to its moderate and guarded economic policies
India not only saved its economy from slowing down, it constantly
maintained a healthy growth rate also.
The export in the country is helpful in boosting our economy.
In 2003-04, during the NDA regime, the best import performance was
of 53 thousand million dollars. It has increased considerably in the
UPA regime. Today, in 2011-12, our export is to the tune of 2 lakhs
50 thousands million dollar. This increase has been achieved on the
basis of these schemes. The export growth rate during the NDA
regime was 21 percent only whereas it is 41.2 percent in our regime.
During the NDA regime the total production of foodgrains was 190
million whereas during the UPA regime we have started producing
190 million tones to 250 million tones of foodgrains in the country.
Our government have been termed as the weak government as
far as internal security is concerned while the records are completely
against it as there is sharp decline in terrorist incidents. I don’t want to
politicize the fight against the terrorism as these terrorist are the
enemy of nation not of an individual. We have to fight with these
enemies of nation unitedly. We have to make this country
economically strong and this should be our priority. During the year
2011-2012 our growth rate has fallen due to economic crisis in the
targeted export countries. This is temporary phase. We will be able to
fortify our economy due to strong economic base, political stability
Agriculture is an important part of economic growth. Industry
and Manufacturing sectors are the other important areas of the
economic growth. Our agriculture growth rate was 6.6 during the year
2010-11 which was highest in the recent years. We were importing
wheat till 2003-04 but when we decreased the rate of interest on
agricultural loan then it made an impact on production. We have
record production of foodgrains ,pulses and other farm produce. We
are still trying to improve the production of oilseeds. As our
requirements are increasing,the government is trying to improve the
production of vegetables and fruits through National Agricultural
Development Scheme and Horticulture Mission. Government is also
enhancing irrigation facilities and we have been successful to cover
more land under the irrigation facilities. It also has impact on our
agricultural growth. It is a result of success of government policies.
Government have also taken measures to attract foreign capital
investment. We are trying to create friendly environment in the
economic sector. There is a remarkable increase in the export and we
will try further to take our export to record level. We are sure that we
will be able to strong our economy further.
Number of times it has been said in this house that we are not
paying attention towards the employment. Education is an elementary
factor for getting employment. The whole system of education need to
be developed in such a way that education may generates employment
opportunities for the people. Training is another important aspect
related to employment. Timely investment in industries can generate
new employment opportunities. It is necessary that institutional
measures taken by the government are executed on time as well. Here
I would like to say that by establishing National Vocational Education
Qualification Framework, we are trying to develop skills among the
people so that they become skilled. They will be able to find
employment opportunities themselves as per their skill. 5000 skill
development centers are being established with the purpose to provide
fundamental training in various fields.
Government is establishing a Higher Education Credit
Guarantee Authority for poor students who have brilliance but don’t
have resources. Government have provided scholarships and
fellowships to more than 1.5 crore students belonging to
SCs/STs/OBCs/Minorities. Government want to extend this
programme further. Government will make law for those people who
earn their livelihood on the roadsides as these people are harassed by
municipal bodies mostly.
Minorities have complaints regarding disbursal of business
loans. Therefore, Prime Minister has announced 15-point programme
for minorities. Fifteen percent amount of loan has been reserved for
minorities so that minorities may start their business and generate
employment opportunities for themselves. "MNREGA" has generated
crores of working days for poor and migrants in their own villages and
areas. We want to bring Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and
Resettlement Bill. We want to get it passed on consensus basis so that
opinion of all the parties can be taken on this important Bill. We want
to secure the future of farmers and agrarian labours dependent on the
farm land. National Rural livelihood Mission has been established for
villagers to access employment opportunities on sustainable basis.
Government is also of the view that similar National Urban livelihood
Mission may also be constituted for imparting large scale skill up-
gradation, enabling entrepreneurship development, and providing
wage employment and self-employment opportunities.
We have not been able to exploit the opportunities in the
tourism sector while it is an important sector for our economy but our
government is promoting the tourism and as a result thereof there was
12 percent increase in the foreign tourist inflow during the last year.
We have targeted to generate about lacs of employment opportunities
in tourism sector. Government has announced a special package of Rs.
3884 crores for handloom weavers. It will help in stopping the
exploitation and economic upliftment of weavers. We have
doubled the investment in textile sector. It will help in creating
employment opportunities in the sector. There is a plan for expansion
of banking services in the rural areas. I would also like to mention
about the manufacturing sector. We want to increase the contribution
of this sector in the GDP and it will generate crores of new
Energy is an important component. We have succeeded in
adding additional capacity of 15 thousand megawatt in 2011-12. 1400
cities have been identified through ' Accelerated Power Development
Programme' and Rs. 30 thousand crores have been sanctioned to
strengthen power infrastructure in these 1400 cities. National power
fund is established and in the next two years it will mobilize additional
capital of Rs. 25 thousand crores and infrastructure would be
strengthen. Efforts are being made by the 'Jawahar Lal Nehru National
Solar Energy Mission' to make the production cost of solar energy at
par with grid energy. In the matter of nuclear power Government
gives top priority to security.
Climate is changing not only in our country but in the whole
world. India have to protect environment and climate of the world
alongwith its own country with the help of developing countries. It is
our responsibility to conserve bio-diversity. Ganga Basin Authority
had been constituted to check the pollution and in the coming years,
we want to give top priority to the rivers particularly to the Ganga.
There are so many national parks in our country where tigers
are fully extinct but no action has been taken against the officer posted
there. An action must be taken against the officers of these national
parks. Efforts are also being made to rehabilitate extinct tigers.
Government has initiated green India mission to make forest
land green. Government would make all necessary measures for the
internal and external security of the country and will succeed in it.
Some necessary measures should be made by the Government to boost
up industry and manufacturing sector.
The limit of the loan being given to the farmers is Rs. 3 lakhs
but there is a need to revise it due to price rise of all the goods. This
limit should be at least Rs. 5 lakhs. The condition of the cotton
growers of Karnataka and Maharashtra is very bad. The Maharashtra
Government and other state Governments and Central Government
should also make such efforts so that cotton growers can get
reasonable price for their yield.
DR. E.M. SUDARASANA NATCHIAPPAN: I second the
motion moved by Shri Satyavrat Chaturvedi. This Address is a
historical one as it is a juncture at which the Eleventh five Year Plan
end and the Twelfth Five Year Plan begins. Livelihood security,
removal of poverty, hunger and illiteracy, economic security, energy
security, realization of developmental goals, internal and external
security are the main areas on which hon. President has made her
address. Government is very clear in its idea that it has to develop the
entire India. India is, now, totally integrated. This has happened
because of the powers given to the Union Government for collecting
the revenue and sharing it equally amongst all the states. Through
MANREGA forty-eight crore people have benefited. If the money
would not go to the common man, there will be terrorism.
Government has ensured that the people of India get their due
prestige. We have to provide opportunity to all our people to have
jobs, food, employment and health security.
The Central Government is pumping the money into Pradhan
Mantri Sarak Yojana. The State Governments should be courageous
enough to pass on the powers to the Panchayati Raj Institutions. The
Government launched the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan and is providing
money on demand. People are having connectivity with the world. In
2011, the teledensity has gone up to 70 per cent. From 2G, we are
now going into the 3G level and, from there, we will even go the level
of 4G and 5G. AllocationS for the social services sector have been
increasing every year. In 2011, the percentage of literacy in the
country came to 82 per cent. The health programmes are also reaching
more and more people and benefiting them. A scheme for skill
development among the people is very much on the cards now. the
Government has created a Higher Education Credit Guarantee
Authority. This Government is very much concentrating on the
vocational courses which lead to employment opportunities
immediately after completing the course. In the same way, banking
facilities are being opened up for ordinary people who need money.
The Restructured Technology Upgradation Funds Scheme is now
improved to Rs.15,000 crore.
The countries, which are Non-Aligned and are in our
neighbourhood, feel that not only are we friends for them but also real
brothers. Pakistan has given India the status of 'Most Favoured
Nation'. Everywhere, Indians are having complete closeness with the
people of Sri Lanka, more so with the Tamilians who are living there
numbering about 35 lakhs. They are leading a happy life. About one
lakh Army men are there. They are gradually going out because of the
friendship and diplomacy of the Indian Government. Now, the rail
lines are being laid there. We are going to have the airlines facilities
from Colombo to Madurai. In Maldives also, we are not showing any
big-brotherly attitude. We are having very good friendship with
countries in our neighbourhood and also extending our friendship
towards the East. Hon. President has mentioned about looking
We could not expect that Brazil, Russia, China and India
could be a powerful force in the United Nations. They are deciding the
fate of the world nowadays. In the United Nations also, I find that
India’s prestige is very much appreciated. We are sending our own
mission, Chandrayan-II. We are having the National Disaster Mission.
Terrorism has been controlled by the UPA Government. We can very
easily say that we are working well on the internal security front, we
are very much secured. We feel that our hon. Leader of Opposition
and all the Party leaders have to come together to see that the goods
and services tax system has to come into force. That is one way of
integrating the entire country. Entire country can have a good system
We were ruled by the Europeans in different ways. They are
following the Indians now. We are benefited by every Indian because
the Indian population is the most vibrant migrants within their own
States, within their own nation. The State Governments have to come
forward to see that all the States’ borders should have peaceful
settlement. Nationalization of important resources like the petroleum
products and also the banks has made us a very vibrant society .
Banks and industries are in the hands of public sector so we
are withstanding the economic problems. We are not stopping the
private sector. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru enunciated in 1950s that the
mixed economy is the way of living in India. We are exporting to the
tune of 100 million dollars and increasing it every year. Foreigners
have established many companies in our country. They are following
their own laws. They recruit the people for a meager salary of Rs.
3,000 or Rs. 4,000. Their intelligence and hard work are used for five
years or ten years and after that they are asked to move out for no
reason. Basic minimum labour laws should be applied to them.
Due to environmental laws, many of the public sector
undertakings are suffering. These things should be looked after. We
have to protect the ecology and environment but at the same time, the
society should also develop. With these observations, I second it.
Discussion not concluded.
V. K. AGNIHOTRI,