Coins of Rs 1, 2 and 10 are not being accepted by shopkeepers and even by banks in several parts of the country, a Janta Dal (United) member said in the Rajya Sabha today. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Ali Anwar Ansari (JD-U) said the people, especially the poor, were facing lot of difficulty due to non-acceptability of these coins. “Some banks too are not taking those coins”, even though they are issuing them, he said. In an apparent dig at the government’s November 8, 2016 decision to scrap old Rs 500/1000 notes, the JD(U) member said the coins should be taken back in the “second phase of demonetisation”. In his Zero Hour mention, KTS Tulsi (nominated) said the IT sector in the country was on the verge of slashing jobs to the tune of 37 lakh. He also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not raise the H1B visa issue during his meeting with US President.
CPI(M) member C P Narayanan raised the issue of the government’s move to privatise Air India on plea that the state-owned carrier was making losses. He said the losses to the Air India were because of mismanagement and the previous government’s decision to merge Air India and Indian Airlines in 2007. Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma demanded a discussion in the House on the government’s move to privatise Air India.
Jharna Das Baidya (CPI-M) raised the issue increasing number of rape incidents in the National Capital Region. “What is happening to the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao slogan,” she said, as she referred to the alleged rape of a national level Kabaddi player and that of a 10-year year old girl by her maternal uncle.
In his Zero Hour mention, nominated member Swapan Dasgupta raised the issue of “steady influx” Rohingya migrants in the country. He said it is “curious” why there are so many Rohingya migrants in Jammu and Ladakh and added that as per media reports, there were about 40,000 Rohingya refugees in the country. The presence of so many Rohingyas in the country was “suspicious”, he said expressed concern that they were “flaunting” to have voter indentity cards as well as Aadhaar card.
Digvijaya Singh (Cong) sought to raise the issue of the government planning to close the gates of Sardar Sarovar Dam on July 31, which he said would inundate tribal lands of some 16,000 families.
Gujarat, he said, was using only 20 per cent of the dam water and yet it wanted to close the gates. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on August 12 perform Narmada Arti along with several sadhus, he added. As Kurien said the notice has not been admitted, Singh said the tribals in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat will drown in Narmada waters due to the govenment’s decision.
Ali Anwar Ansari (JD-U) said Gujarat police was forcibly taking signatures of inhabitants for vacating the catchment area. D Raja (CPI) said the 1979 Narmada Tribunal award has not yet been fully implement for rehabilitation of those affected by the dam projects.
Thousands of tribal people will be displaced by the July 31 closing of the water gates, he said adding the government is forcing the tribals to evict from the land. Kurien asked the members to give a call attention notice instead of 267 notice.
Earlier when the House met for the day, Naresh Agarwal (SP) raised the issue of reducing sittings of Parliament. He said Article 85 provides that there cannot a gap of more than six months between two sessions of Parliament. It however is silent on the duration of the sessions.
The Parliament used to sit for 200 days previously which got reduced to 150 days and under present government it has come down to 90 days.
Kurien said when Article 85 is silent on the duration of sitting, he too should remain silent. “There is no violation of Article 85,” he said, adding it was up to the government to decide on the duration of the sittings.
Ram Nath Thakur (JD-U) raised the issue of shortage of medicines in hosptial post implementation of GST.
Congress member Rajani Patil highlighted that private hospital were forcing pregnant women to go for unncessary tests. She expressed concern over the high rate of c-section deliveries in the private hospitals.
Referring to a CAG report, senior SP member Rewati Raman Singh poor and unhygenic food was being servied in trains, which are used by 2.5 crore people everyday.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said it was a very serious issue and the government should take note of it.