Leaders from opposition parties came together to attack the government on its demonetisation decision in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The government’s decision of scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes has drawn mixed response. The opposition argues the move, which the government said was aimed at rooting out graft and black money, has spelt trouble for the people.
Without touching upon the demonetisation issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a healthy debate on various issues including the GST during the winter session of the Parliament.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned after obituary reference as a sitting member Renuka Sinha of the Trinamool Congress had passed away in August.
Here are live updates from the Day 1 of the winter session of the Parliament:
6:10pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till tomorrow.
5:30pm: Congress party, please come out of dilemma. Are you in favour of smugglers or some strong steps? asks minister Venkaiah Naidu in Rajya Sabha.
4.15pm: Loan to Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher a write-off ‘only in books,’ but the Govt still pursuing his case: Arun Jaitley in RS.
3.45pm: Demonetisation pushed without adequate preparation, the country has virtually stalled: Mayawati.
3.35pm: Till those alternative arrangements are not in place, allow these notes to be transacted for all white transactions, public purposes:Sitaram Yechury urges the government.
3.30pm: If you stop Rs 500/1000 notes, do you think corruption will stop? Now corruption will double with Rs 2000 notes: Yechury.
3.20pm: Biggest hoarders of black money do not stash them under beds. They invest in real estates, bullion and make more black money: Yechury
3.10pm: Big crocodiles are surviving, the small fishes have died: Sitaram Yechury on demonetisation
3:00pm: In French revolution, they said if you don’t have bread eat cake. Now Modi says if you don’t have paper, pay by plastic: Sitaram Yechury in Rajya Sabha.
2:50 pm: “People are not standing in queue because they are happy, they are doing so hoping to get some cash,” Sharad Yadav tell the Rajya Sabha.
2:45 pm: “How will the government deal with those who leaked this decision early?” Sharad Yadav asks.
2:40 pm: “Farmers handle transactions entirely in cash and the price of their produce has been slashed in half due to this decision,” Sharad Yadav says.
2:35 pm: “The dishonest are sleeping peacefully, they don’t have to take sleeping pills as the PM suggested,” Sharad Yadav says. “It the hardworking, hungry people who are made to stand in queues for their own money.”
2:30 pm: “Government’s sudden decision demonetise is like asking the country to jump off a moving train,” JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav tells the Rajya Sabha.
“How many people from rural areas have a bank account, how many have heard of ATMs. I never had bank account for a very long time,” he adds.
2:25 pm: JD(U) leader, Sharad Yadav begins speaking.
2:10 pm: “I request the Finance Minister to bring back amnesty offer for those who have undeclared money. This will convince them to deposit large amounts in banks,” Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav. “If someone deposits 1 crore and you take away 90 lakh, where does this happen anywhere?”
2:05 pm: “People are not able to encash salary cheques, farmers are forced to sell grain for next to nothing,” Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav speaks.
2:00 pm: Debate resumes in Rajya Sabha over demonetization.
1:00 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm
12:58 pm: If the government goes to villages asking for votes, they will be taught a lesson by women carrying belans (rolling pins).
12:55 pm: “Those in government should look at the queues in front of banks. They are not black marketers, they are women from poor households whose daily life has been crippled,” Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav.
12:50 pm: Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav attacks the government on demonetisation.
12:45 pm: “We were told earlier that the PM would be here, but then we found out he was in the Lok Sabha,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in Rajya Sabha. “We listen to the PM all the time. On TV and elsewhere. But he doesn’t hear us, we are willing skip lunch if he can give just one hour here,” he adds.
12:40 pm: “I appeal to the people, please be assured your honest income is not in any danger. You have till 30th December to exchange or deposit old notes, please don’t panic,” BJP minister Piyush Goyal.
12:30 pm: “We never referred to this move as a surgical strike. If Anand Sharma Ji call it that then we consider it an endorsement of demonetisation,” BJP minister Piyush Goyal.
12:25 pm: “This is no curb on anyone’s honest income. This move attacks those who have illicit cash,” BJP minister Piyush Goyal.
12:20 pm: “When the PM was elected, he was elected on a mandate to curb corruption and black money. For the first time, the honest have been honoured and the dishonest have been troubled,” BJP minister Piyush Goyal.
12:18 pm: Former UP chief minister Mayawati interjects
Its a sensitive issue, we want the PM to come to the Rajya Sabha and take part in this discussion: Mayawati #Demonetisation— ANI (@ANI_news) November 16, 2016
I have been observing Jaitley ji in the Rajya Sabha and have noticed he does look very 'dukhi': Mayawati— ANI (@ANI_news) November 16, 2016
12:15 pm: Power and energy minister Piyush Goyal addresses the Rajya Sabha. “We also watch the television. We have seen how the entire nation has welcomed this step.”
12:10 pm: “Previous governments have also taken steps to stop corruption and money laundering.Stop your rhetoric, don’t divide the country on lines of patriots and anti-nationals just some of us question you,” says Congress leader Anand Sharma.
12:05 pm: “Rs 500 crore has been spent by Janardhan Reddy for his daughter’s wedding function, it is being attended by BJP leaders,and they talk about fighting black money,why dont you arrest him?” says Congress leader Anand Sharma.
12:00 noon: “I condemn PM’s statement in Goa for mocking the people who are standing in queues; he must apologise,” says Congress leader Anand Sharma.
11:55 am: “You did not listen to anybody. Just went ahead and announced. And asked the common man to comply,” Congress leader Anand Sharma. “If you have taken out so much money, why wasn’t the replacement available the next day.”
11:50 am: “Everyone claims to be a surgeon today, without ever performing a surgery. Everything is a surgical strike nowadays,” Congress leader Anand Sharma.
11:45 am: “Black money won’t be lying in suitcases, cupboards. It would have been invested in property, gold or gone out of country,” Congress leader Anand Sharma.
11:40 am: “You have created financial anarchy in this country with your decision,” Congress leader Anand Sharma. “Which law allows you to stop us from withdrawing our own money from the banks.”
11:35 am: “We are a civilized country, rule-based country – and you made all its citizens criminals,” Congress leader Anand Sharma tell the Rajya Sabha.“Do farmers have credit cards? Which economy works without cash?”
11:30 am: Whole world got the impression that India’s economy runs on black money,” Congress leader Anand Sharma tell the Rajya Sabha. “Does the farmer, who puts food on our table, bring home black money?”
11:25 am: Congress leader Anand Sharma begins addressing the house.
“ My question to the finance minster is that is was the Reserve Bank consulted on this decision,” says Sharma. “Is the government saying that 86% of the currency notes in the market all either black or counterfeit,” he adds.
11:20 am: Uproar in Rajya Sabha on the issue of Demonetisation.
11:10 am: Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourns Lok Sabha after obituary readings.
11:05 am: NCP will not participate in the march to the President’s house, Majeed Memon tells the media.
11:00 am: “Our party is not against the demonetisation decision but the way it has been implemented,” BSP chief Mayawati tells the media.
Today the session of the Parliament is commencing. The last session witnessed the historic GST passage: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) November 16, 2016
Am sure we will have good debates on various issues, parties will present their views on issues. We will talk about people's aspirations: PM— PMO India (@PMOIndia) November 16, 2016
The Government believes in debating every issue in an open manner, as this sets the stage for very good decisions: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) November 16, 2016