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Lok Sabha passes Finance Bill, 2012

News4u - News Desk : Lok Sabha passed the Finance Bill, 2012 in Parliament on Tuesday, and Finance Minister promises to table White Paper on black money by the end of the current session. 

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee speaking about the Finance Bill in Parliament said that, “India cannot be allowed to become a tax haven just to attract foreign investment.”

“Legislature has right to amend laws to correct Supreme Court judgement. India not inferior to any other country in respect of having retrospective changes in tax laws,” added the finance minister.

Promising to table a White Paper on black money by the end of the current session, the Minister said, three institutions were assessing the estimates of such funds and the reports are expected by July-August.

While responding to BJP leader L K Advani’s queries on disclosing names of those who had stashed black money abroad, Mukherjee said, the government would disclose them only when prosecution is launched by tax authorities.

Parliament

Lok Sabha

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Army chief’s allegation; Telangana issue rocks Parl

News4u-News Desk-Army chief’s allegations that he was offered bribe rocked Parliament on Monday with both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha adjourning twice after Oppo uproar, the House also witnessed uproar over Telangana issue.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned till noon after opposition members raised the demand for separate statehood for Telangana.
As soon as the Rajya Sabha met in the morning, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and some other opposition parties were on their feet, demanding a response from the government on the revelations made by the Army chief.

The BJP had given a notice for suspension of question hour on the issue.

Chairman Hamid Ansari said all matters were discussed in the house through appropriate procedures.

He urged members to allow question hour to proceed.

However, as opposition members did not relent, the house was adjourned till 12.

In the Lok Sabha, members of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and some other parties raised the demand for carving out a state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.

Some members also raised the allegations by Gen Singh that he had been offered a bribe to clear the purchase of substandard equipment.

Speaker Meira Kumar repeatedly urged members to allow normal functioning of the house.

However, as the din continued, she adjourned the house till noon.

The BJP had earlier signalled its intention to raise allegations by Gen Singh in Parliament Monday.

Party MP Prakash Javadekar said the revelations by the army chief were very serious.

“The government is neck-deep in corruption…The UPA has lost the right to continue even for a day,” Javadekar told television channels.

The Army chief told The Hindu newspaper in an interview that he was shocked after a lobbyist offered him a Rs.14 crore bribe for the purchase of a tranche of 600 substandard vehicles.

PARLIAMENT

PARLIAMENT

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Lok Sabha passes Lokpal Bill by voice vote

News4u-News Desk-New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday night passed the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011 with amendments by a voice vote following a day-long stormy debate in Parliament.

The bill obtained the “nod” of the Lok Sabha after the government moved a few key amendments to it.

Of the ten amendments moved by the government, seven have been accepted by Lok Sabha.

The amendment was decided during an emergency meeting the Prime Minister held with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and other senior party leaders ahead of the voting in view of opposition by allies.

The amendment includes keeping the defence forces and coast guard personnel out of the purview of the anti-graft ombudsman and increasing the exemption time of former MPs from five to seven years.

However, Constitutional Amendment Bill on Lokpal was defeated. In addition, a number of amendments moved by Opposition, including corporates, media and NGOs receiving donations, were defeated.

The Lokpal Bill now needs the nod from the Rajya Sabha before being enacted as a law. The Rajya Sabha will be debating the contentious issue Wednesday.

This is the ninth Lokpal Bill introduced by the government in a series that started as early as 1968 and ended in 2001.

Seven of them lapsed with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha while one was withdrawn.

 


Several parties, including BJP, BJD, JDU, RJD, SP, TDP and Left said that the bill was weak and wanted it withdrawn. However, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee rejected the contention that the legislation had been brought in “haste” or under pressure. 
Ahead of the vote on the bill, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party staged a walkout, saying that the bill was not “strong” enough and was passed by Parliament in haste.

The Lokpal Bill was passed after its pros and cons were debated in the Lok Sabha for ten long hours.

Participating in the debate, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked parties to “rise above partisan politics” to demonstrate to the people of the country that “this House means business” in its effort to combat corruption.

Earlier in the day, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said that the bill was anything but a strong and effective law to deal with corruption in the country.

“It is patently unconstitutional (bill)… deeply flawed and tampers with the basics of our Constitution,” she said.

The firebrand speaker attacked the government point-by-point on important points of disagreement between the government and her party.

She accused the government of trying to target the federal structure of the government by making it mandatory for the states to implement the Lokayukta Bill as being proposed by the government.

Swaraj further slammed the government’s move to bring in reservation – especially minority quota – in the Lokpal Bill. She said that giving reservation based on religion is against the basic tenets of the Constitution and that the move holds the potential of acting as a trigger for the second partition of India.


UPA partners, Trinamool Congress and DMK, today struck a discordant note saying the Lokpal Bill provisions to create Lokayuktas would encroach upon the rights of the states.

“Don’t undermine the rights of the state legislatures. Does the present legislation not take away the rights of the states?” Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee asked.

DMK leader TKS Elangovan asked the Centre to keep the law-making powers of the states with them and protect their rights. “Please ensure that the law-making power to create the Lokayuktas remain with the states,” he said. PTI


Lok Sabha

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Govt introduces Lokpal Bill and Lokayukta bill in LS

News4u-News Desk-The Govt on Thursday introduced the new version of the Lokpal bill in Lok Sabha after a lengthy debate during which almost all parties except the ruling one opposed the introduction of the bill in its current form. 

The bill was moved in the house by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Narayansamy who seeks to create a public ombudsman to check corruption committed by public servants.

The office of the Prime Minister is also within the ambit of the Lokpal but with certain safeguards.

However, the CBI has been kept outside the control of Lokpal as against one of the main demands of social activist Anna Hazare, who has launched a strong campaign for creating institution of a strong Lokpal.

The Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi, met on Thursday ahead of the introduction of the new Lokpal Bill.The meeting of the Congress Core Group was held at a time when some parties like the RJD, SP and BSP protested against exclusion of minorities from the anti-graft bench of the proposed ombudsman.

Besides Core group members like A K Antony and P Chidambaram, the meeting was also attended by Union Minister Kapil Sibal and Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh.

Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy tabled ‘The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011′ that also mandates the states to appoint a Lokayukta along with a Constitution (Amendment) Bill to provide Constitutional status for both Lokpal and Lokayuktas.

Pranab Mukherjee said it was the Constitutional responsibility of the House to pass a law.

After the Minister’s reply to the impromptu debate, the House allowed introduction of the Lokpal Bill by voice vote.

The government also withdrew the Lokpal bill introduced in August this year. 

Parliament

Parliament

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Parliament resumes normal work; about a dozen bills likely to introduced

News4u-News Desk-

Parliament has been functioning normally since morning as winter session commences its fourth week today.  

 

The Lok Sabha passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws Special Provisions Second Bill, 2011.

 

It is Scheduled to discuss the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Bill, 2011, Arms Amendment Bill, 2011, Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws Amendment Bill, 2011, Life Insurance Corporation Amendment Bill, 2009, Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines Acquisition of Rights of User in Land Amendment Bill, 2010.

 

In the Upper house business for the day includes The Chartered Accountants Amendment Bill, 2010, The Cost and Works Accountants Amendment Bill, 2010, The Company Secretaries Amendment Bill, 2010, The Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research Bill, 2011, The National Institute of Technology Amendment Bill, 2011 and The Institute of Technology Amendment Bill 2011.


Parliament

Parliament

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LS expresses concern on the plight of over 45 lakh weavers

News4u-News Desk

In the wake of concern expressed by Members from all sections of the Lok Sabha on the plight of the weavers in the country, Speaker Meira Kumar on Friday announced that she would allow a half-an-hour discussion on this subject affecting over 45 lakh weavers. 

 

The Speaker’s announcement was welcomed by the Members.

 

Earlier, the House during the Question Hour took up two questions on weavers’ conditions in the country vis-à-vis the non-implementation of the various schemes announced by the Government.

Meira Kumar

Meira Kumar

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LS passes bill for three-fold hike in MPs’ salaries

News4u-News Desk-New Delhi, The much talked about bill to hike salaries of MPs by over three times from Rs 16,000 to Rs 50,000 and doubling two of their key allowances to Rs 40,000 each was passed in Lok Sabha today.

During the debate on the Salary, Allowance and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2010, a strong demand was made for setting up an independent body to decide on their future pay.

As many as 10 members participated in the discussion on the bill and the demand for such a body was voiced by senior BJP leader L K Advani, who was supported by other members.

Replying to the debate, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said, “There is a need for setting up a mechanism for revision of members’ salary and pension.

The Parliament

The Parliament

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‘Saffron terrorism’ remark creates uproar in Lok Sabha

News4u-News Desk-Home Minister P Chidambaram’s reference to rise of “saffron terrorism” created uproar in the Lok Sabha on Thursday with Shiv Sena and BJP members demanding that he withdraw the statement allegedly projecting Hindus in poor light.

Shiv Sena members including Chandrakant Khaire, Subhash Wankhede and Ganesh Dudhgaonkar stormed the well during the Zero Hour protesting Chidambaram’s statement that a new phenomenon of “saffron terrorism” involved in many bomb blasts has been uncovered.

Demanding an apology from the Home Minister, they waved copies of party mouthpiece ‘Saamna” and sought withdrawal of the statement contending ‘how could a Hindu be a terrorist in Hindustan?’
BJP members led by Ananth Kumar were on their feet to support the Shiv Sena members, who later staged a walkout.
Participating in the special discussion later on the situation in the Kashmir Valley, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi objected to the Home Minister’s reference to ‘saffron terrorism’.
Noting that ‘saffron’ is symbol of peace and cannot be linked to terrorism, Joshi warned that if such language is used against it, there would be a reaction.

“May be you are wanting that reaction and that is why you have said it.”
Proceedings in the Rajya Sabha were also disrupted briefly when LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan demanded suspension of Question Hour to discuss the issue of rise in saffron terror in the country.

As soon as the House met for the day, Paswan stood up and wanted to know the fate of his notice for suspension of Question Hour to discuss the rise in saffron terror as pointed out by Chidambaram.
The Home Minister’s comments came against the backdrop of investigators finding links between Hindu extremist outfits and at least five bomb blasts in recent years - at Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid, at Ajmer, Goa, Malegaon in Maharashtra and Modasa in Gujarat.

The Parliament

The Parliament

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Lok Sabha passes Nuclear Liability Bill

News4u-News Desk-New Delhi, The Civil Nuclear Liability Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday after months of complicated negotiations and with a political compromise between the Central Government and the Opposition.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh assured the parliament that the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill did not compromise India”s interests, saying it completes our journey to end the apartheid in the nuclear field.

“I categorically state that this Bill is a completion of journey to end the nuclear apartheid which the world had imposed on India. To say that this Bill is aimed at advancing US interest is far from truth; and history will be the judge,” said Dr Singh.

“We will do everything to strengthen the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Board. The concern over safety is one I share with the Opposition.India wished to use nuclear energy in a major way,” he added over the concern of the Opposition over the Bill.

The Prime Minister said the Government was indulging in a ”sleight of hand” by first introducing the word ”and” and later ”intent” in the draft bill, while referring to various attempts by the Centre to introduce contentious clauses in the Bill.

Referring to various attempts by the government to introduce contentious clauses in the Bill on which it had to backtrack, Singh said the government was indulging in a “sleight of hand” by first introducing the word ”and” and later ”intent” in the draft bill.

The Central Government tabled the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill on wednesday and dropped a controversial amendment to a contentious clause on the liability of suppliers in case of accident in the civil nuclear damages bill, in a bid to evolve a consensus on the measure.

Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan moved the Bill in the House and tabled an amendment to Clause 17(B), which now does not have the word ”intent” with regard to suppliers or their employees in causing an accident in a nuclear plant.

“The nuclear incident has resulted as a consequence of an act of supplier or his employee, which includes supply of equipment or material with patent or latent defects or sub-standard services,” reads the rephrased amendment now.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Opposition had on Tuesday decided to put the Government on the back foot over the issue of Nuclear Liability Bill in the Parliament today.

The Union Cabinet cleared 18 amendments on August 20, including the one, which deals with a clause on liability of a supplier in the event of a nuclear accident.

The passage of the Bill is considered important for starting nuclear commerce between India and the international community.

Earlier, the government had listed the Bill for introduction on March 15, but had to defer it at the last moment after it realised that it did not have the requisite numbers to see its introduction in the Lok Sabha.

In the present form, the Bill limits liability to the operator for each nuclear accident at Rs 500 crore.

Manmohan Singh

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Matter over salary hike resolved: Sharad Yadav tells LS

News4u-News Desk-The government on Saturday assured agitating MPs that their concerns on salary hike would be addressed, NDA convenor Sharad Yadav said in the Lok Sabha, a day after several opposition parties conducted a ‘mock’ Parliament.

Yadav made the statement during Zero Hour, shortly after he along with RJD chief Lalu Prasad and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, BJP deputy leader Gopinath Munde and BSP leader Dara Singh Chauhan met Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee.
“The matter regarding the hike of salary of MPs has been resolved,” Yadav said, apprising the House of the meeting. “The House will now function as per rules,” he said.
The leaders also conveyed their concerns over the manner in which the Medical Council of India Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha without discussion.
It was decided at the meeting that a short duration discussion would be held in the House on the MCI Bill and its outcome would be considered appropriately in the next session.
The meeting took place in the wake of disapproval by Speaker Meira Kumar of the ‘mock’ Parliament conducted by Lalu Prasad, Munde and Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Senior BJP leaders had also made known their displeasure to party members who participated in the ‘mock’ Parliament.
Several non-BJP opposition members had raised the salary issue in the Lok Sabha on Friday, saying the hike from Rs 16,000 to Rs 50,000 cleared by the Cabinet was inadequate.

They demanded that the salary be raised to Rs 80,001 as recommended by the Parliamentary Committee on Salaries and Allowances.

Sharad Yadav

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