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(Proceedings other than Questions & Answers)
Monday, December 22, 2014 / Pausa 1, 1936 (Saka)
HON'BLE SPEAKER: Hon'ble Members, I have to inform the House of
the sad demise of Shri H.A. Dora who was a member of the Eighth Lok Sabha
representing the Srikakulam Parliamentary Constituency of Andhra Pradesh. Shri
Dora was a member of the Committee of Privileges; Committee on Petitions;
Committee on Subordinate Legislation and the Joint Committee on Offices of
Profit during the Eighth Lok Sabha. Shri Dora worked relentlessly for the welfare
of the poor and under-privileged sections of the society.
Shri H.A. Dora passed away on 5th September, 2014 in Srikakulam, Andhra
Pradesh at the age of 79.
We deeply mourn the loss of Shri H.A. Dora and convey our condolences to
the bereaved family.
The Members then stood in silence for a short while.
Important decisions arrived at in the Conference of Parties (CoP)
held from 1st to 14th December, 2014 at Lima (Peru) under the
United Nations Framework Conventions on climate change.
JAVADEKAR): The Climate Change Conference of Parties under the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto
Protocol was held in Lima (Peru) this year. The final decision was reached after
long deliberations and intense negotiations between parties. The key focus of the
current negotiations were the following:
Finalisation of elements of the draft negotiating text for 2015 Paris
Agreement in view of the Durban (COP 2011) decision to finalise “a
protocol, another legal agreement or an agreed outcome with legal
force,” applicable to all, by December, 2015;
Identification of information to be submitted with the Intended
Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) in pursuance of the
Warsaw COP (2013) decision wherein it was decided that countries that
were ready to do so would submit the INDCs by March, 2015 and other
countries would submit their INDCs as early as possible; and
Enhancement of pre-2020 actions which was part of the Warsaw
mandate to be taken forward in Lima.
I had the privilege and responsibility of leading the Indian delegation that
participated in the Lima Conference. India participated in the Conference with a
constructive and positive approach. Our main task was to protect India‟s long term
interests and emphasise the need for growth and development space to tackle the
problem of eradicating poverty, providing energy access to all and address other
developmental priorities. In this endeavour, we were guided by the vision of the
Government and Cabinet mandate. Our stand in the negotiations was also guided
by the principle of Equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities, which
is the bedrock principle of the UNFCCC.
Against this backdrop, I am happy to inform the House that the Lima
Conference took some important decisions and came out with a „Lima Call for
Climate Action.‟ India was able to play an active role in representing the interest of
developing countries by constructive cooperation with like-minded developing
countries and effective and persuasive presentation of its national position.
The Conference decided that the new agreement will be under the
Convention and – that is very important - will reflect the principle of Common but
Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities in the light of different
national circumstances. It was also agreed that the new agreement will address all
elements that is mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and
transfer, capacity building and transparency of action and support in a balanced
manner. The current submissions and views of Parties were captured in the form of
an Annex and it was decided to continue discussions on the issue in future
meetings of the Ad-hoc Durban Platform (ADP). However, this will not prejudice
the legal form of the agreement or the subsequent submission or views by Parties.
The draft placed in the Annex text has to be finalised by May, 2015 for being
placed for consideration and adoption of Parties in the Paris COP 21 to be held in
December, 2015. The recognition that all elements need to be addressed in a
balanced manner is a key outcome of the Conference as there were efforts by some
Developed Countries to undermine the basic tenets of the Convention.
Another key decision was regarding the INDCs to achieve the objective of
the Convention as set out in Article 2 of the Convention. Here, it was decided that
countries should not backslide from current pledges. This is especially relevant in
view of the action of some countries, which had gone back on their Kyoto Protocol
commitments. The Lima Conference agreed that the contribution of countries has
to be more than their current commitments.
The Parties have been requested to communicate their INDCs as early as
possible (by first quarter of 2015, by those who are ready to do so). Some Parties
were endeavouring to impose an ex-ante assessment of the INDCs in the process. It
meant that the INDCs would be mitigation centric and that after countries submit
their INDCs, these would be aggregated to ascertain whether the sum total of
contributions is adequate to achieve the global goal of containing temperature rise
to below 2 degree Celsius by the end of the century from pre-industrial levels. Any
gap between the two could mean pressure on countries to re-submit their INDCs or
enhance their contributions. However, India and many other countries of the
developing world were not in favour of such externally imposed review as it would
compromise the sovereignty of Parties in determining their targets as per their
national circumstances. We have been able to successfully ensure that countries
can include adaptation, finance, technology transfer etc also in their INDCs in
addition, to mitigation and there is no “ex-ante assessment” to be undergone. Now
countries have to submit quantifiable information on the reference point (base
year), time frames, scope and planning process, assessments etc. related to the
INDCs. This would only be published on the UNFCCC website and a Synthesis
Report of the aggregate effect of the INDCs of those Parties that have
communicated their INDCs by 1st October, 2015 will be prepared by 1st November,
The enhancement of action in the pre-2020 period was another important
issue. It was decided to accelerate action on enhancing the pre-2020 actions like
early ratification of the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period, revisiting of
targets and conditionalities associated with it and provision of finance, technology
and capacity building support by developed countries to developing countries in
consonance with Warsaw decisions. The Parties also agreed to organise further
Technical Expert Meetings to examine options for further action in the period
On the issue of finance, it was decided that developed countries parties will
provide and mobilise enhanced financial support to developing country parties for
ambitious mitigation and adaptation action. As hon. Members are aware, the Green
Climate Fund has been set up and over 10 billion US dollars have already been
pledged to it. However, the goal of mobilising 100 billion US dollars per year by
2020 is still a far cry. It was also decided to urge contributors to confirm pledges
in the form of fully executed contribution agreements taking note of the fact that at
least 50 per cent of pledges made till November, 2014 should be reflected as fully
executed contribution agreements by 30th April, 2015.
Now, this is important for us. The political consensus across the country on
the issue of climate change has strengthened our hands and we were able to project
successfully the various initiatives taken by the Government including the
ambitious target of generating 100,000 MW of solar energy, doubling of cess on
coal for clean technologies, rapid afforestation through the Green India Mission
and devolution of CAMPA funds to the States, expansion in wind energy and other
Energy Efficiency measures. Many Countries appreciated the aggressive efforts of
India on climate change under the leadership of hon. Prime Minister of India, Shri
Narendra Modi.
We are working on the voluntary national goal of reducing energy intensity
of GDP by 20-25 per cent by 2020 as compared to the base year of 2005. The
recent UNEP Emission Gap report (2014) has recognised India as being one of the
countries on track to achieve the voluntary pledges. We are committed to taking
pro-active steps on enhancing energy efficiency and expansion of renewable in the
fight against climate change. At the same time adaptation measures in agriculture,
water resources and urban areas will remain our key priority.
The next year is likely to witness a series of meetings to finalise the new
2015 agreement. We will continue to participate actively in the negotiations and
ensure that it is rooted in the Convention and its principles and our national
interests. I have benefitted from the able guidance and advice of hon. Prime
Minister, eminent cabinet colleagues and fellow Members of the House, and hope
you will continue to support us on these issues. We will continue the dialogue
between our Government and hon. MPs so that we share and exchange views on
this extremely important matter in the coming days.
The situation arising out of spread of Encephalitis in Uttar Pradesh
and other parts of the country and steps taken by the Government in
this regard.
YOGI ADITYANATH called the attention of the Minister of Health and
Family Welfare to the situation arising out of spread of Encephalitis in Uttar
Pradesh and other parts of the country and steps taken by the Government in this
JAGAT PRAKASH NADDA): Hon. Members will recall that my predecessor in
office and esteemed colleague had on 4th August, 2014 apprised the hon. Members
regarding the situation arising out of spread of Encephalitis in Eastern Uttar
Pradesh and other parts of the country and steps being taken by the Government
for the same. We are again discussing this topic today which is an indicator of the
significance of this important issue impacting large sections of our population
especially in the eastern parts of the country.
Though many hon. Members, I am sure, are already aware, it would be
useful to apprise this august House regarding certain basic facts of Encephalitis
also known as brain fever. Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain which can be
caused due to various pathogens including virus, bacteria and protozoa. While
Japanese Encephalitis is a Vector Borne Disease transmitted through Culex group
of mosquitoes, Encephalitis can also be caused by entero-viruses which are water
borne. Recently in Muzaffarpur and Malda, cases reported for Encephalitis were
neither due to Japanese Encephalitis nor due to entero-viruses. Normally,
Encephalitis is affecting children below 15 years of age. However, in the last few
years, epidemiological data has revealed that many adults are also being affected
and cases of morbidity and mortality, particularly for JE, have been observed in
adults in Assam and recently in the districts of North Bengal.
The total numbers of Encephalitis cases reported were 5167 in 2010, 8249 in
2011, 8344 in 2012, 7825 in 2013 and 9912 cases this year up to 17th December.
For mortality, the numbers were 679 in 2010, 1169 in 2011, 1256 in 2012, 1273 in
2013 and 1495 up to 17th December, this year. In terms of distribution of cases this
year, we find that the maximum reported numbers of 3291 cases were from Uttar
Pradesh, followed by 2317 cases in West Bengal, 2194 cases in Assam and 866
cases in Bihar. If we look at the districts, the main districts affected in Uttar
Pradesh are Khushinagar, Deoria, Maharajganj Gorakhpur and Sidharthnagar; in
Bihar, the district Muzaffarpur; in West Bengal, the districts Jalpaiguri, Bankura,
Darjeeling, Coochbehar, Burdwan and Bankura and in Assam, the districts
Sonitpur, Golaghat, Dhimaji, Shivsagar, Dibrugarh, Kamrup (Metro) and Tinsukia.
The Government of India launched a National Programme for Prevention
and Control of JE/AES in the end of 2012-13. This Programme envisages a
multipronged strategy in 60 high priority districts in five high endemic States of
Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu & West Bengal. The districts covered
include 20 in Uttar Pradesh, 15 in Bihar, 10 in Assam, 10 in West Bengal and 5 in
Tamil Nadu. The stakeholder Ministries include Ministry of Drinking Water and
Sanitation with the task to provide safe drinking water and sanitation facility;
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment with the task to provide rehabilitative
services to disabled children; Ministry of Women & Child Development to provide
nutrition to children in the affected districts; Ministry of Housing & Poverty
Alleviation to provide drinking water facility in urban slums and Ministry of
Human Resource Development (Education Department) to develop special
curriculum for mentally and physically disabled children. The Ministry of Health
and Family Welfare is the nodal Ministry with the task to vaccinate the children in
the endemic districts, to improve the case management by establishing Pediatric
ICUs at district hospitals, to establish Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Departments and to strengthen public health measures including informationeducation-communication/behavior-change-communication for prevention and
control of JE/AES.
I would like also to share with the Hon‟ble Members the action taken by the
Government under the National Programme. For JE vaccination, out of 60 high
priority districts, vaccination has been completed in 59 districts, the remaining one
District (Kanpur Dehat) will also be covered during this financial year. Funds have
been released for setting up of Pediatric ICUs in 27 districts. We are following up
with the State Governments for setting up and complete operationalisation of these
Pediatric ICUs on priority. This requires civil work, procurement of equipment and
recruitment of manpower. While the Physical & Medical Rehabilitation
Department at BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur is already functional, the Units at
K.G. Medical College, Lucknow; BHU, Varanasi; Bankura Medical College;
North Bengal Medical College; Gaya Medical College and Patna Medical College
require upgradation. Units are required to be set-up at Assam Medical College,
Dibrugarh and at Guwahati Medical College in Assam. Out of the total 10
proposed Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Units, Rs. 25 crores has already
been released for 5 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation units in 2013-14 and for
another 4 units release of Rs. 20 crores is under process. Vector control and
surveillance activities are being supported under the National Vector Borne
Disease Control Programme. Surveillance is also being undertaken through the
Integrated Disease Surveillance Project under the National Centre for Disease
For detection of non JE pathogens, the Indian Council of Medical Research
has already established a field unit of the National Institute of Virology, at BRD
Medical College, Gorakhpur. In addition, the ICMR is conducting research-cumintervention projects. The NIV, Pune is supplying IgM ELISA kits to sentinel
laboratories for the detection of JE cases. These kits are funded by the Directorate
of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, the Government of India.
I would like to further elaborate on JE vaccination. This was started in the
year 2006 and was scaled up in a phased manner over the years. The strategy for
JE vaccination is to conduct a one- time campaign, which targets all children from
1-15 years of age, after which the JE vaccination is included as a part of routine
immunization in that area. Initially, only one dose of JE vaccine was provided at
the age of 16 to 24 months. From April, 2013 onwards, two doses of JE are
scheduled under routine immunization, the first at 9 to12 months and the second at
16 to 24 months of age. Out of the 179 JE endemic districts in the country, 152
districts have been covered by vaccination from 2006 to 2014. Further, a catch up
round to cover children missed out during the campaign, routine immunization
rounds have been carried out on 22-23 June, 2014 for ten districts of Uttar Pradesh
and eight districts of Bihar. Due to the recent cases of JE in adults, this issue was
discussed in the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization. It was
decided that we can take up vaccination for adults too in districts where such adult
cases are being reported. The Assam Government has covered adults with JE
vaccination in nine districts. This has been beneficial. It is crucial that the coverage
of immunization remains high. Our reports show that routine immunization
undertaken by the States may not have high coverage in all the target districts.
States must, therefore, focus on this important aspect also.
On 5th of December this year, a coordination committee under the
Chairmanship of the Secretary, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has
reviewed the progress of implementation of the Programme. The Ministry of
Drinking Water and Sanitation has initiated one week awareness campaign
regarding the installation of IM-II hand pumps in the affected districts and till date
75% of the 60-programme districts have been covered under this awareness
programme. To monitor the programme in Uttar Pradesh, a sub-committee has
been formed which will periodically review the progress. The Ministry of Women
and Child Development has made provisions for take home rations under the
Integrated Child Development Services Scheme for the moderately mal-nourished
children and also initiated a training programme for Anganwadi Workers.
Disability Rehabilitation Centers have been established in 11 districts out of the
proposed 15 districts by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The
NCERT is developing special curriculum for children affected by disability due to
JE/AES. The State of Assam has informed that additional 5 districts, that is
Barpeta, Darang, Naogaon, Sonitpur and Udalgiri, have been identified to be taken
up under adult JE vaccination. It is informed by the State of West Bengal that
Critical Care Units are functional and doctors from the District Hospitals are
undergoing one month hands on training at SSKM Hospital, Kolkata. Tamil Nadu
has informed that Paediatric ICUs of the district hospitals are already functional
though they need upgradation as per the specifications suggested under the
National Programme. The State further informed that the procurement of
equipment needed for the PMR Department of Madurai Medical College, is under
process. The Tamil Nadu Medical Officers from the District Hospitals are
undergoing training in critical care management at the Institute of Child Health,
Funds released under the National Vector Borne Diseases Control
Programme during 2014-15 to Assam were Rs. 9.16 crores, Bihar Rs. 28.57 crores,
Tamil Nadu Rs. 15.61 crores, Uttar Pradesh Rs. 23.76 crores and West Bengal
Rs.18 crores. These funds are to be used for prevention and control of Vector
Borne Disease including implementation of the JE/AES activities. In addition, Rs
5.35 crores have been released under NHM flexi pool to support the contractual
human resources at JE/AES wards at BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur. Similarly,
in 2011-12 and 2012-13 too an amount of Rs. 3.05 crores was released under NHM
to improve the manpower situation at BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur.
Hon‟ble Members will appreciate that prevention and control of AES/JE
requires concerted and coordinated action along with expeditious setting up of
infrastructure being supported under the programme. This entails effort by all
stakeholders including both the Central and the State Governments, the local selfgovernments, the medical fraternity and the non-Governmental organizations.
Provision of clean drinking water is critical for prevention of AES. For JE,
effective vaccination coverage and vector control measures are necessary. Vector
control measures include source reduction, sanitation and improving practices to
pig rearing. For quick response, doctors, whether from the Government or from the
private institutions, must assess cases of fever for neurological symptoms and refer
such patients to higher health facility without delay. The programme for
Prevention and Control of AES/JE is being regularly monitored and I would
especially appeal to the State Governments to utilize the funds already released or
being released to them.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will continue to closely monitor
the situation. I will be very happy to receive guidance from the Hon‟ble Member
for any further action in the matter.
Responding to the issue raised by Yogi Adityanath, Shri Jagdambika
Pal, Shri Ashwani Kumar Choubey, Shri Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary and Shri
Bhartuhari Mahtab, the Minister further stated: I have given a very detailed
statement in the House about the various aspects of the subject matter of the calling
attention moved in the House. The Government is fully alive to the various
concern expressed by the Hon. Members of the House.
The Government is
committed towards controlling and attaining a decisive breakthrough in
overcoming this disease. The Central Government is also working on various
issues like funding, creating infrastructure and enabling policy environment in this
regard. As far as implementation is concerned the State Governments have to play
a very important role in it. We all need to pay attention towards the grass root
level implementation because despite the funding we are not getting the desired
results. Going by the factual details we have got it becomes evident that the
primary reason for the disease assuming grave proportion is the lack of general
immunization and use of the contaminated water. Therefore this subject is not
restricted to the Health Ministry alone but it is related to other Ministries also. We
need to carry the agenda to the conclusive end by making exhaustive exercise
involving those Ministries. This disease is more prevalent in those areas where
there is low coverage of routine immunization. We have got funding for routine
immunization but need to hold detailed discussion regarding the bottlenecks in the
way of implementation including the problems related to the infrastructure and the
manpower shortage and ultimately the bottlenecks need to be thrashed out. I
would certainly like to apprise the Hon. Members that I myself proposed to head
the inter-ministerial committee meeting soon after the session. There I will try to
remove the shortcomings of the various works being undertaken by the interministerial committee.
Secondly I will also hold discussion with the Health
Minister of all these five states trying to find out the reasons for the improper
implementation. Several Hon. Members have also raised the issue of research on
JE. We have covered JE under the regular immunization but there cannot be a
single vaccine for the treatment because the disease is caused by 17 types of
viruses. However, the most important point I would like to make is that we have
failed to create the desired level of awareness. We have been trying to sensitize
the doctors about how to take care when the first symptoms of brain fever emerge.
I would also like to say that the State Governments would also involve the MPs,
MLAs and the representatives of the Panchayati Raj institutions in the programs
likely to be arranged in the future.
Re: Waiving of loans of farmers in the country, bringing back black
money from abroad and reported intrusion by China and Pakistan in
Indian Territory.
the issue raised by an hon. Member said: We have kept most of the promises we
had made. We are doing very good job and the countrymen are happy with it.
Re: Reported large scale conversion in the country.
the issue raised by an hon. Member said: The Government is nowhere in the
picture. If an individual does it and if anybody violates the law then law must take
its own course.
The action has to be taken by the State Government.
Government made it very clear that it does not involve itself in conversion or
reconversion. The entire country is peaceful and people are living in harmony.
Re: The Statement of Prime Minister on Conversion in the country.
the issue raised by an hon. Member said: If people want to convert, then they can
convert. That right is there in the constitution. The Government has no role in
conversion or in re-conversion.
The party has nothing to do with these
programmes. Individuals are taking the programmes. If somebody violates the
law, the law is very clear and it will take its own course. The PM is our leader but
collective decisions are taken in the Cabinet.
Entire country knows it.
Government has made it very clear and it has no role. If things are happening,
States must take action.
Need to resolve the contentious issue of rented commercial property
in Delhi.
SHRI MAHEISH GIRRI: The refugees coming to India in various parts of
the country indulged in peculiar transactions of commercial property under the
'pagadi' system. This system has been mired in controversy. Therefore I would
like to request the Government that the affected people maybe provided relief by
immediately intervening in the matter.
Need to provide stoppage to Patalkot Express at Bordehi railway
station in Betul Parliamentary Constituency, Madhya Pradesh.
Patalkot express should be provided
stoppage at the Bordehi railway station in my Parliamentary Constituency, Baitul.
Need to provide a special package for providing drinking water under
the National Rural Drinking Water Project in Nagaur Parliamentary
Constituency, Rajasthan.
SHRI C. R. CHAUDHARY: The water in my Parliamentary Constituency
Nagaur is not fit for drinking as it is contaminated with fluoride. It will take more
than five years for the water of Indira Gandhi Canal to reach the entire district. I
would like to request the Government that it should sanction a special package for
the state government under the National Rural Drinking Water Project until the
canal water reaches there.
Need to improve the BSNL mobile telephone service in the country
particularly in Darbhanga Parliamentary Constituency, Bihar.
SHRI KIRTI AZAD: The standard of BSNL services to the consumers has
been becoming bad to worse in entire State of Bihar including Darbhanga. I would
request the Government that all impediments in the way of providing service to the
citizens be removed at the earliest.
Need to set up a bench of Allahabad High Court at Saharanpur or
Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.
SHRI RAGHAV LAKHANPAL: The High Court of Uttar Pradesh is
situated in Allahabad. It takes one to one and half day for the people of Western
Uttar Pradesh to reach Allahabad. Almost 52% of the total cases pending in
Allahabad High Court pertain to the people of Western Uttar Pradesh. I would
request the Government that an additional bench of the High court should be set up
in district Saharanpur or Meerut of the Western Uttar Pradesh.
Need to undertake repair and maintenance of National Highway
Nos. 75 and 7 in Madhya Pradesh.
SHRI GANESH SINGH: The condition of the NH No. 75 and NH No. 7 is
absolutely pathetic. The Government had decided to make both these highways as
four laned but the speed of work is very slow. Therefore I would like to request
the Government that a Central Team should be sent to study the condition of both
these national Highways and finish the construction of these roads in a time bound
manner by expediting the work.
(vii) Need to construct a bypass railway line at Mariani railway junction in
Jorhat district of Assam.
SHRI KAMAKHYA PRASAD TASA: Jorhat is an important city of
Assam. The railway connectivity is very poor to this city. The people of Jorhat is
served by a branch station of Mariani named as Jorhat town Station, which is not
linked directly to the Station in upper Assam and even to Guwahati. Jorhat town
station is also connected to the Furkating junction which is at a distance of 87 kms.
As a result, passengers of Jorhat have to catch important trains at Mariani Junction
in late night. Therefore, I request the Government to construct a bypass line at
Mariani junction.
(viii) Need to set up a check post of custom department at Chhauradano in
East Champaran district, Bihar.
Choudhadano in East Champaran district
(Bihar) is situated on the Indo-Nepal border so I would request the Government
that a custom check post should be immediately set up at Choudhadano so that the
trade between the two countries could be increased and illegal movement of goods
could be checked.
Need to implement the final verdict of Supreme court on
Mullaiperiyar dam issue.
SHRI A. ANWHAR RAAJHAA: The Supreme Court has disallowed the
construction of a new Dam in Mullaperiyar Dam Area.
But the Kerala
Government is keen on a new Dam and has sought permission from the National
Wildlife Board to survey the proposed site for a new Dam. To uphold the rule of
law, the Centre has a duty to implement the final verdict of the Supreme Court in
inter-state water disputes.
So, I request the Union Government to positively
intervene in the matter.
Need to increase the upper age limit for recruitment in Central
Government jobs and also increase the age of retirement from 60 to
62 years.
SHRI TAPAS PAUL: It is observed that during the last 20 years, in almost
all the advertisements issued by the Central Government and Central PSUs, almost
all the posts for employment are found to be reserved for SC/ST/OBC/ Physically
Handicapped and Ex-Servicemen and people from general category with requisite
education did not get any opportunity to apply for the posts advertised. As a result,
they have become over aged and deprived from any employment in the Central
Services. Therefore, the age limit should be increased upto 30 years for general
category. Simultaneously, the upper age limit for retirement may be increased to
62 years. I therefore, request to the Government to consider the proposal so that
the general category people do not suffer.
Need to construct a by-pass road on National Highway No. 26 in
Bhawani-Patna town in Kalahandi district of Odisha.
SHRI ARKA KESHARI DEO: National Highway no. 26 passes through
Bhawani-Patna town. There is heavy traffic jam during the peak hours of the day.
There is a demand for bypass road which will connect N.H.-26 on one side and
Junagarh Road on the other side. I request the Government that the by-pass as
mentioned above may be constructed during the current financial year.
(xii) Need to include Belgaum district which is having a majority of
Marathi-speaking people in Maharashtra.
SHRI CHANDRAKANT KHAIRE: There has been no solution to the
Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute during the last 58 years. There are 865 such
villages along the border in which only Marathi speaking people live. Entire
Belgaum district is Marathi speaking. I would request the Government that it
should immediately intervene for finding a solution to the Maharashtra-Karnataka
border dispute in view of the aspirations of the people in Belgaum and also in view
of the majority Marathi speaking population of the area.
(xiii) Need to make railway stoppages at Mangalagiri and Pedakakni in
Guntur Parliamentary Constituency, Andhra Pradesh as permanent
SHRI JAYADEV GALLA: Experimental stoppages at Mangalagiri and
Pedakakani stations in my Constituency under Guntur Railway Division should be
made permanent stoppages in view of Bifurcation of the State because both
Stations fall in and around new capital of Andhra Pradesh.
(xiv) Need to revamp and re-open Ramagundam Fertilizer Plant in
Karimnagar district, Telangana.
SHRI BALKA SUMAN: Due to limited oil resources and abundant coal
reserves, coal based fertilizer plant was established at Ramagundam, Karimnagar
District in the year 1971. The Fertilizer Plant at Ramagundam was designed with a
capacity of 1500 MT per day. But due to limitation of technology, the plant was
producing urea up to 1000 MT per day. However the accumulated losses, due to
regular power cuts, and wrong rated capacity, the economics of the plant was badly
affected which resulted in declaring Ramagundam plant as sick unit. I request the
government to take necessary steps to revamp and re-open Ramagundam Fertilizer
JITENDRA SINGH) moving the motion for consideration of the Bill said: Bill
introduced earlier seeks to propose certain amendments in the Lokpal and
Lokayuktas Act, 2013. One of the amendments proposes to make provision for the
inclusion of the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in the House of
People as a Member of the Selection Committee when there is no Leader of
Opposition recognized as such in that House. There is another provision which
seeks to provide that the eminent jurist shall be nominated for a period of three
years and shall not be eligible for re-nomination. It is also provided that the
Secretary of the Lokpal has to be of the rank of not less than Additional Secretary.
The amendments also provide for harmonizing provisions relating to filing of
information regarding assets and liabilities by different categories of public
Another significant amendment of Section 4(b) (a) provides for
qualification for appointment of Director of Prosecution in the CBI.
amendment seeks to omit Section 6(a) from the Act.
Another important
amendment to it is that in case of difference of opinion between the Director of the
CBI and the proposed Prosecution Director, the matter shall be referred to the
Attorney General of India for his advice and such advice shall be binding. The
Annual Performance Appraisal Report of the Director of prosecution shall be
recorded and maintained in the Minister of Law and Justice in such manner as may
be prescribed.
MAJ. GEN. (RETD.) B. C. KHANDURI, AVSM initiating said: I rise to
speak in support of this Bill. There is unanimous concern regarding Lokpal to
fight corruption in the country. Now India is counted among the corrupt nations. I
appeal to all to support this Bill. Uttarakhand had passed a good and strong Bill
which was appreciated by the entire country. The UPA Government in the Center
kept it pending for 1.5-2 years. After a lot of discussion when no shortcomings
could be found it was sent to the president which was later passed after about 18
months. Later Congress came to power in Uttarakhand. Those very Members who
had supported it unanimously, repealed it. I support all the amendments. The
statement of reasons is very clear.
One hon. Member suggested that if any
Member of the panel is not present the appointment should be treated invalid. In
my view it is like giving a veto power to a Member which should not be
incorporated in the Bill.
SHRI B. SENGUTTUVAN: This Bill seeks to introduce some amendments
in Chapter I to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 and some more amendments
in Chapter II to the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. In the past fifty
odd years, there had been many attempts to bring in the Lokpal Bill. The Lokpal
and Lokayukta Bill was passed in both Houses of Parliament in December 2013.
The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act received the assent of the President on the 1st of
January, 2014 and it came into effect on the 16th January, 2014. The first of the
amendments relates to Section 4(1)(c) of the principal Act. It is a matter of
convention where it happens that none of the Opposition parties has 10 per cent of
the total strength of the House, the House shall be without a Leader of Opposition.
The other Amendments are of course only cosmetic in nature. Now the Centre
comes up with these cosmetic amendments as if they would provide a panacea for
all corruption in public places. As of now, there is no Leader of Opposition in this
Hence the amendment is very relevant now.
The purpose of this
amendment is quite clear. The second amendment relates to clause (e) of subsection (1) of section 4 which of course confers the tenure for the eminent jurist
who could be nominated by the Selection Committee. If there is any inquiry to be
made against the sitting Prime Minister or the Chief Minister, it would definitely
detract from their authority and attach an unwarranted stigma; and the end losers
would be the people as the business of governance will become lax and indifferent.
They would not be able to enforce discipline among the subordinates. That is why
our party has been urging the Centre and the Parliamentary Committee to exempt
the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister from the inquiry by the Lokpal and the
Lokayukta respectively. It is the stand of our party that the Prime Minister should
not come within the ambit of inquiry by the Lokpal. It is the consistent stand of
our party, that the choice of constitution of Lokayukta should be left to the State
Government. The honest public servant should not be made victims of political
vendetta and false prosecution. This is also the reason why our party suggests that
the penalty for making false accusations and complaints should be enhanced. The
publicity-seekers are deterred from preferring false complaints against high
personalities and public servants. I welcome the amendments.
SHRI RABINDRA KUMAR JENA: The amendment got necessitated
during the current structure of the 16th Lok Sabha, were we do not have a Leader of
Opposition. One of the primary objective of this Bill is to include the leader of the
largest Opposition Party as a member of the Selection Committee and Chairperson
and members of Anti-Corruption bodies. This amendment virtually brings the
Lokpal Act in line with the Central Vigilance Act, 2003 and RTI Act, 2005. The
eminent jurist on the panel shall be nominated for a period of three years and he or
she will not be eligible for reappointment. The Prime Minister, the Members of
Parliament and the Civil Servants will be out of the purview of the this Bill. For
the selection of Director (Prosecution) it is specifically and explicitly said about
the functional independence but if you go a little later the Bill also says the Annual
Performance Report of the Director (Prosecution) shall be recorded and maintained
in the Ministry of Law and Justice. Today, we are advocating the principle of
independence, equity, justice and transparency. Are we again going back where
the CBI and a Director Prosecution again become a tool in the hands of the
Ministry of Law and Justice? I will sincerely and very seriously urge upon the
Government, through you, that let this Bill be sent back to the Standing Committee
on this issue and let it be examined. The second most important observation is that
the proposed Bill provides that no appointment shall be invalid merely by reason of
vacancy or absence of a Member of Committee. The amendment Bill is virtually
doing away with the requirement of a quorum. When there is no requirement of a
quorum, are we again advocating the principle of justice and transparency? So, I
would again urge upon the Government not to push for this and ensure that all the
Members of the Committee are present with the selection is made.
DR. RAVINDRA BABU: I thank you for giving me this opportunity.
(Speech unfinished)
The Bill was deferred.
(SHRI JAYANT SINHA) moving the motion for the consideration of the Bill,
said: The Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill, 2014, inter alia, seeks to
introduce reforms to strengthen the capital base and improve the overall
capabilities of the Regional Rural Banks (RRBs). Keeping in view the role of
RRBs in financial inclusion in rural areas and to improve their functioning and
technology upgradation, several steps had been initiated. The RRBs had rolled out
to Core Banking Solution (CBS) and had joined the National Payment System.
RRBs had been advised to take necessary action for e-governance and concrete
branch expansion plan to cover under-banked and unbanked areas, etc.
proposed amendments also provide for raising capital by RRBs, from source other
than the Central Government, the State Government and the Sponsor Bank.
Provisions have also been made for (i) shareholders to elect directors: (ii) a person
not be a director on the Board of more than one RRBP; and (iii) appointment of an
officer of the Central Government on the Board of RRB, if considered necessary.
As regards managerial assistance
beyond five years, managerial assistance beyond five years through the higher
echelons of managers of RRBs appointed from the sponsoring banks is not
acceptable as it hampers the autonomy of the RRBs. Why should we want to
control the RRBs through managerial assistance of sponsoring banks, which
actually mean remote control by the sponsoring banks? Rather the right way is to
draw the managerial assistance from a pool of executives drawn from financial
institutions which will be maintained by the proposed apex body. The second
major point is the capital norms. No doubt that increased capital for RRBs means
increased rural credit at its disbursal. I fully support the move. The third point is
the shareholding pattern. The total shareholding of the Central Government, State
Government and the sponsoring bank should fall below 51 per cent level. Our
beloved leader Puratchi Thalavi Amma has always stressed that shareholding
pattern of public sector institutions should never allowed to be diluted, detrimental
to the interests of the common poor. The fourth major point is regarding the Board
of Directors. The Bill states that any person who is a director of an RRB is not
eligible to be on the Board of Directors of another RRB. This is a good measures.
The fifth major point is about the date of closure of annual account. I agree with
the hon. Finance Minister in the matter.
SHRI NISHIKANT DUBEY: In fact, the real problem is that banks be they
commercial, be they private banks, be they regional banks or rural banks, they are
not performing properly. The Government is not able to give to the public a good
banking system that is why chit fund institutes are emerging. That is why, the
RRBs ought to be strengthened. The private banks are bringing equity and there is
need of fund infusion in RRBs because the condition of our villages is no more like
it was in earlier days. In rural areas also, the service sector has grown. The
villages are dotted with mobile shops and other shops. This necessitates the
strengthening of the RRBs. Today, agriculture has been commercialized. That is
why, we need these RRBs. Earlier, the Government has made efforts to provide
credit to the farmers through Kisan Credit Cards. But, today, we have Pradhan
Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana under which farmer will be provided Rs.5,000 in his bank
account. Today, dependence on agriculture is declining. Now the farmers are
dong different kinds of jobs apart from agriculture. That is why, we need capital
infusion in RRBs. We know that there is a sessional employment for agricultural
labourers. When the agriculture season is over, the farmers have to do other
works. For this purpose, we need credit in order to support them. So far as CD
ratio is concerned, the fund allocated is being diverted for other purposes and the
fund is not reaching to the poor farmers. Therefore, we need to strengthen our
RRBs. So far as nationalization of banks in the country is concerned, AICC had
made a resolution in the year 1948 with regard to nationalization of banks and
insurance sector but the Congress party took 21 years in implementing their own
resolution. The RRB Act came in 1976. Though 40 years have gone by, the
situation is the same. Today, farmers are committing suicides; 70 per cent children
are still victims of malnutrition and 70 per cent women are anemic. Besides, the
labourers are migrating to other cities in search of employment. Earlier, those who
were engaged as marginal labourers, farmers, agriculturists, they have become
labourers. A number of committees were set up with regard to these RRBs. First,
a Narsiman Committee was set up in 1975.
Then there came Dantewala
Committee in 1978 which suggested the measures to reduce credit gap between
rich and poor.
Thereafter, we had Kelkar Committee on working groups of
Regional Rural Banks which pointed out that these RRBs were not able to operate
for the benefits of SCs and STs. Thereafter, an agriculture credit review committee
was set up in 1989. This committee said that the measures being taken for women,
SCs and STs, artisans and small farmers were not adequate. Then there came a
Narsiman Committee in 1991. This committee said that there is a need for capital
infusion to ensure viability of the RRBs.
In 1995 a Mishra Committee was
constituted which said that there is need for graduated investment in government
securities in RRBs.
In 1996 we had Basu Committee which laid stress on
restructuring RRBs. Despite setting up of all these committees, situation of RRBs
continued to worsen. Further, we had Thingalia Committee, Narsiman Committee,
Viyas Committee, Agarwal Committee, Thorat Committee etc. But nothing
materialized. Today, this Government had no other options but to bring these
amendments. I want to say to the hon. Minister that the area of operation of these
RRBs is very limited and the exposure of target group is at high risk. I am saying
this because skilled staffs are not being employed in these RRBs and there is very
low exposure of skill there. Today, the Government should specify the role of
these RRBs and to see how it can stop mushrooming chit fund companies. The
Government should also pay attention how it can provide non-interest cost of
credit to small borrowers and how the Government can extend its credit policy for
rural activities.
SHRI BHARTRUHARI MAHTAB: This Bill was long overdue. It is said
that the amendments will enhance the authorized and issued capital to strengthen
their capital base and to bring flexibility in the shareholding between the Central
Government, State Government and the Sponsor Bank. The term of non-official
director appointed by the Centre will be fixed not exceeding three years. I have
moved an amendment to this effect. It is also said that these amendments will
ensure financial stability by RRBs. But the we must remember RRBs are jointly
owned by the Union Government, by the State Government and the Sponsor Bank.
It said that the proposed amendments of RRB Act 1976 will pave the way for a
privatization of RRBs in the country, as the amendment was to raise the authorized
capital of Regional Rural Banks from the existing Rs.1 crore to Rs.5 crore. This
clearly demonstrates that the Bill would benefit private monopolies and corporate.
I want to know from hon. Minister whether any system in place to check if these
RRBs transgress from their mandate? It is said that the RRB Amendment Bill
aims to infuse vigor into RRBs by increasing their capital base from Rs.5 crore to
Rs.500 crore. But the capital will no longer be entirely borne by the Centre
Government of concerned the State Government Sponsor Bank.
shareholding will be limited to 51 per cent and the rest would be raised from
private investors.
Since the inception of the Regional Rural Banks, the
Government has appointed at least ten expert committees to analyse their financials
and suggest measures to revive them. Most of the committees have recommended
merge of the loss-making RRBs either with neighbouring viable RRBs or with
their sponsor banks. By April, 2013 there was just 61 RRBs from 196 in 2004.
Following the recommendations of the panel headed by Shri K.C. Chakrabarty,
Deputy Governor of RBI, the Government increased the capital inflow of 40 lossmaking RRBs. It had recommended that the Centre, the State Governments and
the sponsor banks should release Rs.2,200 crore to bail out these banks. The
impact of this capital infusion has begun showing on the ground. The latest RBI
report shows that there have been improvements in credit flow in rural areas. In
2004, more than half of the loss-making RRBs were in four States- Bihar, Madhya
Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha.
But these States neither provided proper
infrastructure nor managerial skills to RRBs. Since the inception of the Regional
Rural Banks, the Government has appointed at least ten expert committees to
analyse their financials and suggest measures to revive them.
Most of the
committees have recommended merger of the loss-making RRBs either with
neighbouring viable RRBs or with their sponsor banks. But the Government did
not act since 1981 till 2005. In that year, consolidation of loss-making RRBs with
profit-making ones began to make them economically viable. In Odisha also, a
number of RRBs were merged. By April, 2013 there were just 62 RRBs from 196
in 2004. There is a need for proper mentoring and that is the actual key in regard
to how to make a roundabout of the RRBs. In 2004, more than half of the lossmaking RRBs were in four States- Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and
Odisha. The major objective of setting up of RRBs is to provide credit and other
facilities, especially, to the small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers,
artisans and small entrepreneurs in rural. How far RRBs have been successful is
there for all of us to see. But allowing private investment how far the mandate will
be carried out, I have my doubt. Why would anyone invest in RRBs, which lends
to the rural poor and marginal farmers? As per the recommendations of Dr. V.S.
Vyas Committee, the Government of India, in consultation with NABARD, the
State Government concerned and the sponsor Banks initiated amalgamation
process of RRBs. After amalgamation, the number of RRBs has been reduced to
57 as on 31 March, 2014, and it is reported that all are making profit. But I would
repeat that rural areas continue to be ignored by banks. Rural branches have
declined to 37 per cent. The relevance of RRBs has, in fact, increased. More than
half of the population still depends on agriculture for their livelihood, and
agricultural credit continues to be scarce. Therefore, the effort is called for to
strengthen the rural credit system. The need for continuing with the expansion of
banking infrastructure in rural areas was recognized even by the Narasimham
Committee, but in reality the importance of rural financial infrastructure has got
relegated to the background. By bringing in private players into RRB, it would be
further relegated to the background, and rural investment will not be the priority.
NABARD is definitely playing a greater role. But having a corpus body like the
National Rural Bank of India looking into the aspects of Regional Banks, we will
be doing a great service for the rural poor of our country.
India is the real India and rural development is the real development of India. So,
the emphasis was to have one rural bank per each district, but it did not happen and
we ended up with having only 200 plus rural banks. Later on they have again be
amalgamated and the number was further reduced to 57 rural banks. Particularly I
will talk about my area, four or five banks have been clubbed into one rural bank
and as a result, one Decanni Grameen Bank came into existence. Later on, the
small or the marginal farmers who were supposed to be helped by these rural banks
were not being helped. This Bill aims at changing the fundamental institution. I
have particularly tried to get some loans for the shepherds in my area. There are
1200 shepherds. They were in want of loan. They simply rejected. They said that
these guys have no standing. Who is going to address the financial needs of those
people? The farmers and the rural people with small necessities were duped by
various agencies because the Government or the RBI really could not go to their
areas to rescue them.
The Bills aims at reducing the stake of the Central
Government and the State Government. Is this not privatization? The Bill should
have a holistic approach. This is a fundamental and serious issue. We should
think of our farmers and setup a regulatory bank under which these RRBs will
work. Let NABARD take over these RRBs. Whenever we are trying to divert the
funds of these banks, should not the State Governments get the first right of
refusal? Why are the State Governments being marginalized?
empowering all the RRBs, how do the Government proposes to take care of
financial institutions?
The financial closure date has been changed from 31
December to 31 March. When 31 December was kept as a financial closure date
of a RRB, it was more to be in sync with the seasons and with the yield periods. I
would request the Government to amend this Clause 4.
Further, State
Government‟s shareholding will be reduced to 15 per cent only after a
consultation. Kindly incorporate it in the Bill. Instead of „consultation‟, „consent‟
of the State Government is mandatory. Particularly when we are talking about
Swachch Bharat and Beti Bachao, Beti Parao. I would particularly ask you to look
at Kisan Bachao because today farmers particularly in Telangana are facing a lot of
problems. Telangana region was neglected in unified Andhra Pradesh as result a
number of farmers committed suicide there. Farmers do not get electricity, credit,
Urea and seeds. This Bill is not addressing any of the problems of the farmers.
Therefore, I would like to urge upon the Government to refer it to the Standing
SHRI ANANDRAO ADSUL: The concept of the RRB is to give the
financial help to the rural people, particularly small and marginal farmers,
unemployed youth and self-help groups. Public sector banks are not having much
more branches in the remote area. There are many financial institutions and banks,
some of them are controlled by State Governments and some of them are
controlled by the Central Government. It is the responsibility of the Central
Government to see that public money is not wasted, whether it is in the cooperative
sector or in the public sector. This is our Government, the Government of the
people, by the people and for the people. Therefore, I request the Government to
look into this matter and see how those institutions can be made to work
with the authorized capital, issue capital, Directors and other things. The main
purpose for which the RRBs have been created has not been properly addressed in
the Bill. Already the poor people are not able to approach the banks as the banks
are insisting on security and all that. Therefore, unless a percentage of the quota is
given to the weaker sections, the economic and the social gap between the rich and
the poor can never be filled up. In fact, the only banks serving the weaker sections
in the villages are the RRBs. If the private players are again brought into this also,
then they may not provide loans to the poorest of the poor people. So, I would
request that a proper credit policy earmarking a certain percentage of the credit for
the weaker sections should definitely be made.
SHRI JAYADEV GALLA: RRBs have encountered a number of practical
difficulties in deposit mobilization. The parent Act prescribed that RRBs will be
sponsored by banks and the sponsor banks will subscribe share capital, train RRB
personnel and provide managerial and financial assistance for five years. But under
the shadow of sponsored banks, RRBs are not able to grow the way they are
expected. It is because RRBs are controlled by NABARD, RBI, Central
Government and sponsored banks. So I request the hon. Minister that it is high
time to think of formation of a National Rural Bank of India with State level RRBs
as its constituents and the branches in every village which will provide the RRBs
the flexibility and improve their overall capabilities. The RRBs pace of growth in
disbursement of loans is slow. Most of the small borrowers do not like bank
formalities and prefer to borrow from the informal indigenous source of finance
such as moneylenders. There is also anomaly in rates of interest. RRBs are still not
able to penetrate into poorer sections. The success of the rural credit in our country
largely depends on the financial strength. At present, most of the RRBs are facing
the problems of overdo, expansion, infrastructure, technology, recovery, NPAs and
others. If we succeed in overcoming these difficulties, I am confident that we can
bring the image of the RRBs as the common man‟s bank.
(SHRI JAYANT SINHA) replying said: Agricultural credit is provided by a
variety of institutions, which includes RRBs. So, when we talk about agricultural
credit, we have to look at the entire picture, not just at the RRBs in isolation. There
are many institutions that are required to come together to provide agricultural
credit and services of various kinds. Right now we have 19000 branches of the
Regional Rural Bank that are covering 42 districts. Their total deposits are Rs. 2.4
lakh crore and their total loans are Rs. 1.6 lakh crore. Their priority sector lending
is 82 per cent and their profitability has been strong. So, these banks are actually
doing quite well and because we want to expand credit, therefore, we have to
strengthen them. This whole process of strengthening them has gone through a
long consultative process. The Chakraborty Committee deliberated on this for two
years. The NABARD came out with a report and it is on the basis of this report,
that we put all of this together. There is a basis fact of banking which I would like
the hon. Members to reflect on. If I want these banks to grow and if I want these
banks to lend more, then, we have to provide them capital. There have been
objections raised about the manner in which we are providing the capital. Certain
hon. Members have said that the States are being pushed out of this system. There
is a very simple answer to that. We are providing flexibility on the capital
structure. We are not necessarily saying that it should be private capital. We are
just saying that we need more capital and in this Bill we are creating the
opportunity to flexibly bring in the capital, whether it comes in from the States, the
sponsor bank, the Central Government or from private capital. The other concern
that we had from AIADMK was that we are tying these banks too long to the
sponsor banks. The sponsor banks right now own 35 per cent of the Regional Rural
Banks and it is important for them to maintain the managerial control that they
have. It is important for us to take the talent that exist in the PSU banks to bring
their excellent mangers into these Regional Banks on a rotation basis so that we
can strengthen the Regional Rural Banks. We are explicitly saying that the
ownership of the Central Government and the sponsor banks should be greater than
51 per cent. So, in no way the public nature of these banks is going to be
compromised. There was a final concern about 31st December. We are trying to
align them with the standard reporting and compliance process which all other
banks. It is a way to make the banks more efficient.
The Bill was passed.
NOTE: It is the verbatim Debates of the Lok Sabha and not the Synopsis that
should be considered authoritative.
English and Hindi versions of Synopsis of Debates are also available at
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