Parliament Highlights: Arun Jaitley takes on Oppn over Rafale allegations, ruckus in Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha was adjourned on Thursday amid ruckus by opposition leaders who did not allow finance minister Arun Jaitley to conclude his reply. Here are the highlights.india Updated: Feb 09, 2018 00:04 IST
The Opposition on Thursday targeted the government over agrarian crisis, unemployment and other issues, with Congress leader P Chidambaram dubbing its economic policy as a “betrayal” of the country and saying all norms of fiscal prudence have been thrown out of the window.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned on Thursday amid ruckus by opposition leaders who did not allow finance minister Arun Jaitley to conclude his reply. On the Budget debate, Jaitley said Congress was trying to manufacture a scam in Rafale fighter jet purchase because it could not find corruption case in the Narendra Modi led government’s tenure so far.
Both the Houses were discussing Union Budget 2018-19, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke in both the houses on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address.
Here are the highlights:
6:48pm: After finance minister’s address, Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweets:
Q. Why did the Raksha Mantri change her stance from :— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) February 8, 2018
I will reveal the price of the RAFALE planes in Nov 2017 to the price is a state secret in Feb 2018
B. To protect Modiji
C. To protect Modiji's friend
D. All of above #TheGreatRafaleMystery
6:22pm: Lok Sabha is adjourned for the day.
6:17pm: On the issue of special package raised by Andhra Pradesh MPs, Jaitley says the government has, so far, given funds for a large number of institutions created. Funds have been given and will continue to be given to all the institutions mentioned.
We have taken measures to create capital in Andhra... monies are being given: Jaitley
6:15pm: Amid protests by Opposition, Speaker tells Arun Jaitley to continue his address.
6:11pm: My charge is they (Opposition) are seriously compromising India’s security by asking for price of Rafale deal: Jaitley
6:10pm: Ruckus in Parliament, protests against Jaitley’s speech.
6:05pm: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor interrupts to say no one is manufacturing allegations. “You are accountable to Parliament to disclose expenditure of public money.”
Jaitley responds, saying NDA is as accountable to Parliament as UPA was.
6:03pm: So please ask your party president to go back to Pranab Mukherjee and take certain lessons from him: Jaitley says after quoting former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s earlier argument to Parliament over non-disclosure of defence deal prices.
6:03pm: The new trend is to manufacture allegations of corruption against the NDA: Jaitley says, referring to Rahul Gandhi’s demand for revealing cost of Rafale deal.
“It is in larger interest of India’s security to never disclose the price of defence transactions. You can give approx price but if you give exact price, you give away details of the weapons purchased.”
6pm: Jaitley tells Congress to remember inflation was 11% during the UPA government’s tenure.
5:55pm: “Even in this budget, I took care of middle class. In every budget, I gave the middle class relief... the total cost of relief to salaried class is Rs 8000 crores,” says Jaitley defending the Union Budget 2018-19.
5:50pm: I went to Singapore. There they levy 7% GST on both Mercedes and food. Can this be done in India, a country where a large population lives below the poverty line? How can same tax slab be implemented on a luxurious item & a necessity?: Jaitley
5:48pm: Finance minister defends GST, says even Congress states are aware of benefits of GST. He goes on to talk about the international recognition of GST’s positive impact. “We managed to stabilise its effect in a matter of months.”
5:46pm: Those who initially floated the idea of Aadhaar decided to disown it: Jaitley on Congress opposing Aadhaar law.
5:45pm: Every year we used to hear subsidies must be rationalised... The UPA govt brought in Aadhaar without a support of law. You could not get a law passed... the law was silent on all privacy requirements. We put in a full chapter on privacy... I personally believe privacy is a fundamental right, that’s why we put in a chapter on privacy: Jaitley
5:44pm: India will remain the fastest growing major economy in the world: Finance minister
5:43pm: Structural reform may pose momentary difficulty initially but in the long run it will prove to be beneficial: FM Arun Jaitley in Lok Sabha
5:40pm: Jaitley targets Congress, questioning the party if it took any measures to tackled the challenges faced by the Indian economy. To this, Oppn shouts: “Acche din kab aayenge?”
5:30pm: During UPA’s time, no body mentioned India as a growing economy in the world. It’s only happening now: Union finance minister Arun Jaitley says in Lok Sabha amid Opposition shouting ‘6.3’.
‘6.3’ apparently refers to India’s GDP growth for Q2 of the current fiscal, which was recorded at 6.3%. India’s GDP had grown at 7.2% in the corresponding quarter last year.
3.21pm: There are no jobs, farmers are in distress and education and health services are in pathetic state, says Chidambaram.
3.15pm: Chidamabaram says world’s “largest health protection scheme” is the biggest jumla.
3.05pm: Congress’ P Chidambaram poses 12 questions to the government on budget, says: “Budget 2018-19 has worsened the fiscal deficit.” “Shall we tell the people, NDA government believes that we must tax the hard-working middle class rather than the rich corporates?” he says.
2.45pm: By increasing the fiscal deficit from 3.2% to 3.5%, the government borrowed Rs 48,000 crore, says Chidambaram.
2.40pm: During discussion on Union Budget 2018-19 in the Rajya Sabha, Congress member P Chidambaram seeks to know the current account deficit number in the current year.
12.50pm: Taking part in discussion on Union Budget 2018-19, TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi says the Budget doesn’t address the concerns of climate change.
12.20pm: Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2pm after opposition uproar over Andhra Pradesh issue.
12.14pm: Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar requests protesting TDP and YSR Congress members to go back to their seats, assuring them that finance minister Arun Jaitley will speak on the issue while replying to discussions on Union Budget 2018-19 today.
11.54am: In a reply during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari pitches for passing of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill.
11.40am: Lok Sabha adjourned briefly following protests by members from Andhra Pradesh.
TDP MP Jayadev Galla says Rs 1800 crore is what the government gave specifically to Andhra Pradesh in budget and Baahubali’s collection is more than that. We received less than what a movie collected. If they can treat their allies like this, then many people will not want to be their allies in future, he says.
11.20am: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 12pm after the Congress protest over PM Modi’s comment on Renuka Chowdhury on Wednesday. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister took a dig at Congress member over her loud laughter at his claim that the idea of Aadhaar was conceptualised during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
11.17am: We have a new Congress president and on your behalf and my own I wish him all the best, says Sonia Gandhi. He is now my boss too. Let there be no doubt about that: Sonia Gandhi in Congress Parliamentary Party meeting, the UPA chairperson adds.
11.16am: The UPA chairperson says it has been almost four years since this government came to power. This has been a period in which institutions which have come under systematic assault -- Parliament itself, judiciary, media and civil society. Investigative agencies have been let loose against political opponents, she says.
11.15am: Sonia Gandhi, former Congress chief, says in the parliamentary party meet that the party performed very credibly, under tough circumstances, in Gujarat and recent by-election results in Rajasthan were huge.
10.45am: TDP and YSR Congress MPs protest in Parliament demanding special package for Andhra Pradesh.