Updates of Parliament's Budget Session.
Good morning! This LIVE blog will track the latest developments from Parliament.
The government is hoping to table the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s (CAG) report that mentions the Rafale deal.
The CAG report will be tabled a day before the end of the present Lok Sabha session. This is the last session of the 16th Lok Sabha as the general elections are due in April-May.
Meanwhile, the BJP is aiming to push through the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha will convene at 11.00 am.
CAG report on Rafale deal
The government's decision to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault has become a controversial political issue, with the main opposition party Congress levelling allegations of corruption and impropriety, and the ruling dispensation defending the move.
Former union minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Sunday had alleged conflict of interest and asked the CAG Rajiv Mehrishi to recuse himself from auditing the deal as he was the finance secretary when the deal was negotiated.
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill
BJP has been pushing for The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal immigrants (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan) eligible for Indian citizenship.
The bill is facing widespread resistance in the north-eastern states. Passing of the bill in Lok Sabha in the Winter Session had forced one of its allies -- the Asom Gana Parishad -- to quit NDA. Other allies such as the National People’s Party (NPP) and Mizo National Front (MNF) continue to oppose the bill.
Triple Talaq Bill
Speaker Mahajan is thanking all MPs for the cooperation during the five years. She has also thanked the staff, officers, gardeners, marshals, police and security forces.
Speaker Mahajan is listing the 16th Lok Sabha’s performance and achievements.
LokSabhaSpeaker SumitraMahajanis now addressing the House.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi has also reacted to Mulayam Singh Yadav's remark in Lok Sabha, “I disagree with him. But Mulayam Singh Yadav ji has a role in politics and I respect his opinion.”
Reacting to Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comment, PM Modi has thanked the Samajwadi Party supremo for “blessed us to carry forward the development agenda”.
PM Modi is listing the key bills passed by the 16th Lok Sabha.
India's self-confidence is at an all-time high. I consider this to be a very positive sign because such confidence gives an impetus to development: PM Modi
Most number of women MPs were in the 16th Lok Sabha. It is a matter of pride. It is also a matter of pride that we are at number 6 in the world when it comes to economy: PM Modi
Several sessions in this Lok Sabha had good productivity. This is a very good sign: PM Modi
PM Modi remembers Anant Kumar, who served as the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs from 2014 till his death in 2018.
I want to appreciate the role of Speaker Sumitra Mahajan ji in conducting the proceedings of the House: PM Modi
Prime Minister NarendraModiis addressing the last sitting of the 16thLokSabha.
Members of Parliament (MPs) are now taking turns to speak about their experiences in the 16th Lok Sabha.
The LokSabhahas convened.
The LokSabhawill convene shortly. Remember, today is the last sitting of the 16thLokSabha.
SP members raise Akhilesh Yadav issue in Lok Sabha
Samajwadi Party today raised in the Lok Sabha the issue of Uttar Pradesh authorities preventing their chief Akhilesh Yadav from flying to Allahabad even as the Centre asserted that neither the government nor the BJP had any role.
After Yadav was stopped at Lucknow airport, SP workers clashed with police in several parts of Uttar Pradesh yesterday.
During the Zero Hour, Dharmendra Yadav and other SP members displayed placards to register their protest on the issue.
Yadav, whose forehead was bandaged, alleged that workers were lathi-charged by UP Police yesterday.
The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 3.00 pm.
Lok Sabha passes bill to ban unregulated deposit schemes
The Lok Sabha today passed a bill to protect gullible investors from ponzi schemes, with Finance Minister Piyush Goyal saying the Government will ensure that no loophole is left while framing rules.
The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018, seeks to put in place a mechanism by which such depositors can be compensated. It has incorporated recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance.
Replying to a discussion on the Bill, Goyal said out of the total 978 cases of unauthorised deposit schemes, 326 are from West Bengal, which is more than one-third of the total such schemes. (PTI)
The government is giving itself a clean chit. The CAG report has been written by the government. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will reject this report: Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma has said reacting to the CAG report on Rafale
The Lok Sabha is discussing The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
As both the bills were passed by the Lok Sabha earlier, they were to lapse if not cleared by the Rajya Sabha today -- the last sitting of the 16th Lok Sabha.
The House sat in 18 sessions since June 2014, since the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s tenure began.
One of the first reactions from the Congress on the CAG report:
Former union minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari has told CNN-News18: I have not read the report but from what I have gathered, it is a very strange report. The CAG performs three kinds of audit. Perhaps this is the first report that has not gone into the pricing aspect. This report is not worth paper it is printed on.
With paper planes, Congress MPs protest outside Parliament over Rafale deal
Prior to adjournment, the Rajya Sabha passed the Interim Budget 2019-20, Appropriation and Finance Bills without debate. It also passed theMotion of Thanks on the President's Address.
The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 12.30 pm amid ruckus from Opposition MPs.
The CAG report has said that the fly away price of the jet is same as agreed in the 2007 by the UPA government.
More from the CAG report mentioning the Rafale deal:
The report suggests that a Defence Ministry team in March 2015 had recommended scrapping of the 126 jet deal saying that Dassault Aviation was not the lowest bidder and EADS (European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company) was not fully compliant with the tender requirements.
It also suggests that the delivery schedule of the first 18 Rafale aircraft is better than what was proposed in the 126 aircraft deal, by five months.
The LokSabhaand the RajyaSabha have convened.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has arrived at Parliament.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley has reacted to the CAG report that mentions the Rafale deal
Jaitley has said in a series of tweets: “Satyameva Jayate – the truth shall prevail. The CAG Report on Rafale reaffirms the dictum. 2016 vs. 2007 terms – Lower price, faster delivery, better maintenance, lower escalation. It cannot be that the Supreme Court is wrong, the CAG is wrong and only the dynast is right. How does democracy punish those who consistently lied to the nation? The lies of ‘Mahajhootbandhan’ stand exposed by the CAG Report.”
While the CAG report is around 140 pages long, around 30 are focused on the Rafale deal.
The report looks at 11 deals (five from the UPA era and six from the NDA era) -- all of which were signed between 2012 and 2017.
Prices had been redacted only in the Rafale report, media reports add.
India managed to save 17.08 percent money for the India Specific Enhancements in the 36 Rafale aircraft contract, as compared to the 126 aircraft deal proposed earlier, according to the CAG report.
The CAG, in the report, has observed that unnecessary India-specific enhancements were made in 2016, according to a report by News18.
According to a report by News18, the CAG report has said that the Rafale deal concluded in 2016 was 2.8 percent cheaper than the 2007 deal, and not 9 percent cheaper as claimed by the government.
The Rajya Sabha has also been adjourned till 12.00 pm.
Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 12.00 pm.
This is expected to mention the Rafale deal.
The LokSabha and the RajyaSabhahave convened.
Meanwhile, Congress President RahulGandhi would be addressing a press conference at 3.30 pm today.
The CAG report is likely to be tabled today in Parliament.