Parliament LATEST Updates: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that additional resources as part of the first demand for excess grants is being used for "people-centric activity and some of the most critical government schemes like the PM Gareeb Kalyan Yojana," The Hindu reported.
"The MNREGA scheme has been allotted Rs 40,000 crore, with which the total amount touches Rs. 1 lakh crore- the highest ever spent amountt on MNREGA. Opponents should also recognise this, she says, alleging that under the UPA, the funds of MNREGA went to ghost accounts according to a CAG report," the report said.
She added, "The total transfer to states exceeds centre's gross tax revenue- it is at 107%," she adds. The centre has gone much beyond what it had in protecting the States. "61% of grants put in the budget provisions has already been given. There is a frontload."
DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran said that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was "diluting" the issue of GST compensation with the 'Act of God' remark.
He added, "Demonetisation was a man-made pandemic, and then GST was hurriedly introduced. How can the Centre expect the States to go for additional borrowing? The Centre is accountable for providing GST compensation to the states.
"The Central government's policy and financial response to the COVID crisis has been lukewarm; the economy has collapsed under the weight of the pandemic. It has not undertaken any economic reforms in the last six years."
He also demanded a white paper on the economic crisis.
BJP MP Jayant Sinha has taken up the discussion on the supplementary demands for grants 2020-21. Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Centre's COVID-19 response, he said that the supplementary demands for grants "is a manifesto for atmanirbharta".
The Lower House has resumed proceedings at 6 pm, and Speaker Om Birla addressed the MPs and appealed to them to maintain decorum. He added that in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to set an example for people.
He also addressed the Opposition's allegation during the ruckus that he was favouring MPs of the Treasury Benches, and said that he was not partial towards anyone.
He also asked MoS Anurag Thakur to apologise for the remarks that had caused the ruckus. He had said that the PMNRF fund was made "only for the Gandhi family". Subsequently, Thakur apologised.
The Lok Sabha reconvened at 5.30 pm but was immediately adjourned as the Opposition continued to raise slogans demanding an apology from MoS Anurag Thakur for his remarks against the Gandhi family.
The Chair appealed to Opposition MPs to pay heed to COVID-19 precautions and to allow House proceedings to continue, failing which, the House was adjourned till 6 pm.
The Congress raised objections in the Lok Sabha over MoS Finance Anurag Thakur's comment that the PMNRF fund was made "only for the Gandhi family". The Lower House has been adjourned till 5 pm amid the ruckus.
The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, seeks to provide the same tax treatment to PM CARES Fund as available to Prime Minister National Relief Fund.
The Bill also seeks to provide the same tax treatment to PM CARES Fund as available to Prime Minister National Relief Fund.
The Rajya Sabha passed the Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill by voice vote.
Responding to questions raised by MPs during the debate on homeopathy and Indian system of medicine bills, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said there is nothing abnormal about the ordinance route. He added that "whenever history will be written about health reforms of India, PM Modi will remembered fondly".
Echoing the sentiment against the ordinance route taken by the Centre, RJD's Manoj Kumar Jha said, "This is not a government, this is an ordinance factory." Congress' L Hanumanthaiah cited different ordinances that were brought in by the government, raising the question, "What is the necessity of so many ordinances even when the Parliament is running?"
President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the resignation of Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Narendra Modi Cabinet. She had submitted her resignation over the passage of two agriculture bills in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut gave a Zero Hour notice in the Rajya Sabha over farmers' agitation over ban on the export of onion.
On the fifth day of the Parliament's Monsoon Session, the Rajya Sabha will see the introduction of five bills for consideration and passage. These bills include The Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill and The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill.
Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha will discuss bills pertaining to taxation and finance. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will introduce five bills for consideration and passage - The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, The Appropriation (No 4) Bill, Appropriation (No 3) Bill, The Companies (Amendment) Bill, The Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill and The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill.
Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. The Congress said the farm sector legislations brought in by the government will be "a death knell for the future of farming".
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) member Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from the Union Cabinet in protest against the farm sectors bills. Her resignation came after SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal strongly opposed the bills in Lok Sabha, claiming that they will "destroy" the agriculture sector in Punjab.
Congress MPs Jasbir Singh Gill, Ravneet Singh Bittu, Gurjit Singh Aujla and Amar Singh burnt copies of the bills and said they will oppose the proposed legislations tooth and nail. They also wore black robes, saying "I am a farmer and farm labourer and don't betray me".
The Rajya Sabha saw a detailed discussions on the LAC border issue with China, and the Centre's COVID-19 management strategy. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said that a coronavirus vaccine is likely to be available in India by early next year and added that the Centre is aiming to bring down India's COVID-19 mortality rate to less than one percent from the current 1.64 percent, which is "still the lowest in the world".
Defence minister Rajnath Singh addressed the Rajya Sabha on Thursday regarding the border row with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. "China has shown complete disregard for bilateral agreements and violated peace in the east Ladakh," he said in the Upper House, days after Congress MPs in the Lower House had staged a walkout claiming that the Centre is unwilling to discuss the India-China border row.
The Monsoon Session of Parliament will go on as scheduled despite ministers Nitin Gadkari and Prahlad Patel testing positive for coronavirus. BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe also tested positive for the virus.