New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) A demand to frame rules giving Indian consultancy companies preference in contracts on the lines of the new US federal spending policy was made in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Raising the issue through a zero hour mention, BJP's Vinay P Sahasrabuddhe said the new US President Joe Biden last month asked federal agencies to purchase products and services produced in America.
The government of India, too, should frame a new policy giving preference to Indian consultancy firms over foreign entities.
Local consultancy often lose out to foreign firms due to eligibility criteria requiring certain experience, he said.
Consultancy, he said, is a big industry that is dominated by foreign agencies.
According to industry association Assocham, the turnover of the consultancy business in 2020 was Rs 27,000 crore, he said.
According to Sahasrabuddhe, public policy is an attractive domain and 80 per cent of B-school graduates get absorbed in consultancy firms. Rules need to be changed to give preference to domestic consultancy firms, he added.
A Mohammedjan of the AIADMK demanded that Haj pilgrims from Tamil Nadu be allowed to take a flight from Chennai and not from the mandated departure airport at Kochi.
He said about 4,000 pilgrims go for Haj from Chennai airport.
But Kochi has now been designated the Haj embarkation point and it is 700-800 km from Chennai, he said.
Stating that pilgrims have to spend four-five days in Chennai to get their documents from the Haj Committee before they can embark on the pilgrimage, he said travelling to Kochi after spending such time in Chennai would add to their inconvenience.
He said the Tamil Nadu chief minister has written to the prime minister requesting that Chennai be made a Haj embarkation airport.
The government should consider this request, he said.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said this is a very genuine problem and Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar should attend to this.
Subhas Chandra Bose Pilli of the YSR-Congress Party (YSRCP) demanded that the Central government release Rs 4,282 crore due to the Andhra Pradesh government for crop procurement.
The Andhra Pradesh Civil Supplies Corporation, which procures paddy from farmers, has no funds left to meet its obligations to pay minimum support price (MSP) to farmers, he said.
He sought the intervention of Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal for the release of the Rs Rs 4,282 crore to the state government in the best interest of farmers.
Shaktisinh Gohil of Congress raised the issue of 400 Indian fishermen languishing in Pakistani jails.
The government, he said, should take steps to bring back the fishermen as well as their 1,100 boats seized by the Pakistani authorities while fishing off the Gujarat coast.
While K Vanlalvena (MNF) raised the issue of illegal, temporary roads built by some businesses in Mizoram to smuggle goods from Myanmar after the main highway was closed due to pandemic, Prasanna Acharya (BJD) wanted the enactment of a special law for the destitute and a welfare fund for homeless orphans and street children.
Jyotiraditya Scindia (BJP) wanted a state-wise assessment of child marriages during the pandemic while his party colleague Anil Baluni sought a detailed study on Himalayan glaciers and rivers to prepare contingency plans for disasters.
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanded the establishment of a Centre for Excellence in microwave antennas and optoelectronics at the Central University of Karnataka, Gulbarga. PTI ANZ ANZ MIN MIN