Winter Session Updates: 22 per cent groundwater in India dried up or critical, says Jal Shakti Minister

Zero hour notice in Rajya Sabha over privatisation of PSUs New Delhi

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lawmaker Sanjay Singh on Friday gave a Zero Hour notice in the Rajya Sabha over privatisation of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).

On Wednesday, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) accorded 'in-principle' approval for strategic disinvestment in five central public-sector enterprises including the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).

Apart from BPCL, the Union Cabinet has also approved the sale of its stake in four other public sector enterprises -- Shipping Corporation of India and the Container Corporation of India, Tehri Hydro Development Corporation India Limited and the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation.

The government will also cease the management control of the five PSUs. (ANI)

Congress MPs protest in Parliament premises demanding transperancy in Electoral Bonds

Congress calls Electoral bonds' sale "scam" and "threat to democracy", demand answer from PM

The Congress MPs staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha on Thursday alleging lack of transparency in electoral bonds after party leader Manish Tewari raised the issue and said that the decision has institutionalised "government corruption." Tewari raised the issue during the Zero Hour after the party protested on the issue in the morning when the Lower House of Parliament met for the day.

He said the Central government had gone ahead with electoral bonds though both the RBI and the Election Commission of India had "opposed it". (IANS)

BJP MP Vijay Goel talks about water pollution in Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha witnesses heated discussion over the water pollution issue brought up by BJP MLA Vijay Goel.

House Chairman Venkaiah Naidu intervened and appealed to both sides to not create a ruckus. "Please do not shout and put pressure on your lungs, anyway it is happening due to air here."

Parliament discusses death of 17,000 migratory birds in Rajasthan

The death of 17,000 migratory bird near Rajasthan's Sambhar lake was discussed in the parliament. BJP's Kirori Lal Meena demands an inquiry into the deaths.

Bill to pass ban on production, import and sale of e-cigarettes introduced in LS

A bill to ban production, import and sale of e-cigarettes and similar products was introduced in Lok Sabha on Friday. The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019 seeks to replace an ordinance issued recently.

Lok Sabha will discuss SPG act amendment next week

Lok Sabha speaker asks MPs to take pledge against single-use plastic

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday suggested that the members of Parliament should take a pledge to shun single-use plastic in a bid to encourage people for the same.

"This house represents 130 crore people of the country and I think the entire House will agree with the fact that single-use plastic should be stopped. If we (MPs) take a pledge then the message will be delivered to the people of the country. We should take a pledge in the session so that the message is delivered to the world that India's Parliament has taken such a pledge," Birla said.

Birla's recommendation was welcomed by MPs in the Lower House. He also asked Congress party leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in Lok Sabha, who also gave his nod.

Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar lauded the idea and said: "This is a good proposal. We support this." (ANI)

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2.30 p.m

RS speaker denies Congress permission to talk about Electoral Bonds issue

Opposition parties led by the Congress on Friday sought to raise the issue of electoral bonds in Rajya Sabha but were not allowed by the Chair. Congress and other parties gave several notices under Rule 267 seeking setting aside of the business to take up the issue after news reports suggested that the Finance Ministry overruled objections of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on the bonds. Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, however, said he has examined the issue and it was not important enough to set aside the business. (PTI)

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury attacks BJP-led government over disinvestment of PSUs, accusing it of pursuing privatisation to "pamper" some private players. 

Speaker Om Birla asks Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani to prepare diet chart for pregnant women and provide it to all members for circulation in their constituencies. 

64,334 or 4.70 per cent of total RTI applications filed in 2018-19 were rejected.  

22 per cent of groundwater in India has either dried up or is in critical category, says Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.