PREVIOUS

1g/12.00/ks-akg

The House reassembled at twelve of the clock,

MR. CHAIRMAN, in the Chair.

 

--------

 

MR. CHAIRMAN: Papers to be laid on the Table.

 

RE. DEMAND FOR DISCUSSION ON MUMBAI BLASTS

SHRI MANOHAR JOSHI: Sir, my submission is that the discussion on the Mumbai blasts issue should be taken up immediately because the entire country is not in a mood to listen to any other subject. They want that this serious issue of the terrorist attack should be taken up first. So, this being an important issue, my request is that it should be taken up immediately for discussion. I don't think that anybody in this House is against a discussion on the Mumbai blasts issue. Therefore, our appeal is that this should be taken up for discussion immediately. Otherwise, it would be very difficult for us to participate in the debate. We cannot participate in a debate on any other issue. Only when this issue is taken up for discussion, would we be able to join the House. Otherwise, it is very difficult for us to do so. We, therefore, decide to stage a walk-out.

(At this stage, some hon. Members left the Chamber.)

(Ends)

 

MR. CHAIRMAN: Papers to be laid on the Table.

 

 

 


PAPERS LAID ON THE TABLE

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL: Sir, I lay on the Table

(i)A statement (in English and Hindi) showing the Bills passed by the Houses of Parliament during the Two Hundred and Seventh Session of the Rajya Sabha and assented to by the President.

(ii)     A copy of the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Bill, 2006, as passed by the Houses of Parliament and returned by the President for their reconsideration under the proviso to article 111 of the Constitution.

 

SHRI P.CHIDAMBARAM: Sir, I lay on the Table, under section 296 of the Income-tax Act, 1961, a copy (in English and Hindi) of the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) Notification S. O. 704 (E) dated the 12th May, 2006, publishing the Income-tax (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2006, together with an Explanatory Memorandum on the Notification.

SHRIMATI AMBIKA SONI: Sir, I lay on the Table

I.   A copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers, under sub-section (1) of section 619A of the Companies Act, 1956:

 

(a)

Fortieth Annual Report and Accounts of the  India Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ITDC), New Delhi, for the year       2004-2005, together with   the Auditor's Report on the Accounts and the comments of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India thereon.   

 

(b)

Review by Government on the working of the above Corporation.

II. Statement (in English and Hindi) giving reasons for the delay in laying the papers mentioned at (I) above.

SHRI PREM CHAND GUPTA: Sir, I lay on the Table, under sub-section (3) of section 642 of the Companies Act, 1956, a copy (in English and Hindi) of the Ministry of Company Affairs, Notification G.S.R. 387 (E) dated the 29th June, 2006, publishing the Cost Accounting Records (Electricity Industry) Amendment Rules, 2006.

SHRI S.S.PALANIMANICKAM: Sir, I lay on the Table

I.  A copy (in English and Hindi) of the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue), Notification G.S.R. 177 (E) dated the 24th March, 2006, publishing the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse) Rules, 2006, under section 77 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, together with an Explanatory Memorandum on the Notification.

II.  A copy (in English and Hindi) of the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue), Notification G.S.R. 292 (E) dated the 17th May, 2006, publishing Notification No. 31/2006-Central Excise dated the 17th May, 2006, amending G.S.R. 265 (E) dated the 31st March, 2003, governing duty-free procurement of goods by EOU/EHTP/STP units, so as to align the provisions of the Notification with the revised provisions of the Foreign Trade Policy, 2004-2009, under sub-section (2) of section 38 of the Central Excise Act, 1944, together with an Explanatory Memorandum on the Notification.

III.  A copy (in English and Hindi) of the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue), Notification G.S.R. 291 (E) dated the 17th May, 2006, publishing Notification No. 44/2006-Customs dated the 17th May, 2006, amending G.S.R. 569 (E) dated the 16th December, 1996, relating to re-import of goods, G.S.R. 360 (E) dated the 16th May, 2001, relating to duty-free import of cut and polished diamonds exported for the purpose of certification/grading, and G.S.R. 274 (E) dated the 31st March, 2003, governing duty-free import of goods by EOU/EHTP/STP units, so as to align the provisions of these Notifications with the revised provisions of the Foreign Trade Policy, 2004-2009, under section 159 of the Customs Act, 1962, together with an Explanatory Memorandum on the Notification.

(ENDS)

REPORT OF THE DEPARTMENT RELATED PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS

SHRI ABANI ROY (WEST BENGAL): Sir, I lay on the Table a copy (in English and Hindi) of the Twenty-first Report of the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways (2005-2006) on Terminal Facilities in Metropolitan Cities.

(ENDS)

ANNOUNCEMENT RE. RENOMINATION OF PROF. P.J. KURIAN

AS MEMBER OF THE PANEL OF VICE-CHAIRMEN

 

MR. CHAIRMAN: I have to inform Members that I have re-nominated Prof. P. J. Kurian, as Member of the Panel of Vice-Chairmen from 21st July, 2006. (Ends)

ALLOCATION OF TIME FOR DISPOSAL OF

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS

 

MR. CHAIRMAN: I have to inform Members that the Business Advisory Committee in its meeting held on Monday, the 24th July, 2006, has allotted time for Government Legislative Business as follows :-

BUSINESS TIME ALLOTTED

1.    Consideration and passing of :-

(i) The Cantonments Bill, 2003 4 hours

(ii)                       The Protection of Human Rights

(Amendment) Bill, 2005. 2 hours

 

2.    Reconsideration and passing of the

Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification)

Amendment Bill, 2006, as returned by the

President. 4 hours

 

3.    Consideration and passing of :-

(i)  The Food Safety and Standards Bill, 2005

after it has been passed by the Lok Sabha. 4 hours

 

(ii)           The Drugs (Control) Repeal Bill, 2006

after it has been passed by the Lok Sabha. 3 hours

 

(iii)        The Produce Cess (Abolition) Bill, 2006,

after it has been passed by the Lok Sabha. 2 hours

 

(iv)         The Banking Companies (Acquisition and

Transfer of Undertakings) and Financial

Institutions Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2005, after

it has been passed by the Lok Sabha. 3 hours

 

(v)            The Government Securities Bill, 2004,

after it has been passed by the Lok Sabha. 3 hours

 

(Ends)

(Followed by 1h/tdb)

TDB-HMS/1H/12.05

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

MR. CHAIRMAN: I have to inform Members that a letter has been received from Dr. M.S. Gill stating his inability to attend the House till the 6th August, 2006. He has, therefore, requested for grant of Leave of Absence from the 24th July to 6th August, 2006 of the current Session of the Rajya Sabha.

Does he have the permission of the House for remaining absent from the 24th July to 6th August, 2006 of the current Session of the Rajya Sabha?

(No Hon. Member dissented)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Permission to remain absent is granted.

(Ends)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Now, we take up the Short Duration Discussion on price-rise. Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu.

 

SHORT DURATION DISCUSSION ON SERIOUS SITUATION ARISING OUT OF RISE IN PRICES OF ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES DURING LAST ONE YEAR

 

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU (KARNATAKA): Mr. Chairman, Sir, the entire country is really agitated and surprised over the way in which this UPA Government is dealing with an important matter of the livelihood of the common people of the country. We have an expert economist Prime Minister, another expert Finance Minister and another expert Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, who always speaks about reforms and who also comes from the so-called party which speaks of aam admi, concerned for the common man.

Sir, when we were in power, the NDA, the Congress had no occasion to talk about the price-rise or shortages or black market ...(Interruptions)... or black market. ...(Interruptions)... I will come to that, Sir. The only occasion that was made available to them was about the onion price. These friends carried big, big onions, some of them were fake onions, went from street to street in Delhi, and that had resulted in the defeat of the BJP in the last Assembly elections for the Delhi State. I do agree. But, today, what is happening...(Interruptions)...

SHRI JAI PARKASH AGGARWAL: What about corruption?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Let him speak. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: ֮ ָ , ־֮ ֓֋ ...(־֮֬).... Volcker, Bofors, Scorpene, how many ...(Interruptions)...

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please take your seat. You will get a chance to speak. SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Morning, evening and in the night, there were scams, scams and scams. Please be calm. ...(Interruptions)... Please be calm. ...(Interruptions)...

ֳ֯ן : և ...(־֮֬)... ֮֮ߵ ֤õ, ׾ֵ ֯ ָ ֓ , ׻֋ כÙ , ֤ ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Sir, the entire country is watching that such an important, sensitive and serious issue of price-rise which is being taken up by this Upper House, it should reflect the mood of the country. I need not take much pains to buttress my point about the price-rise. Here is a Government whose partners, my Left friends, they have said so many things, they have taken to agitational path, they courted arrests, Shri Prakash Karat, Shri A.B Bardhan, they also courted arrest. They have given a protest call across the country. They have temporarily suspended it for some reasons, for the Mumbai blasts, etc. So, there is a testimony that their own friends, their allies are also agitated on this very issue. My friends from the other side say, 'they are behaving as if there is no problem at all'. I would like to remind them that the Congress Party, led by its President has to call an emergency meeting of the Congress Working Committee to discuss this very issue, express concern and tell the Prime Minister on his face that a serious situation is emerging, and he should take care to see that prices of the essential commodities are controlled. Sir, we know that it is a political one-upmanship. The Congress Party is ruling the country, it is heading the Ministries, their own Ministers are there, and they are heading various Departments. And they have to convene a meeting! That means, the Government do not know what is happening till their own party tells the Government that the prices are going up, and you do something. This is an irony. It is really surprising. But, this has always been a part of the Congress Party's strategy, of political one-upmanship, of waking up a little later, trying to be smart, and then projecting before the people as if they are also champions of the cause of the common people.

(Contd. by kgg/1j)

kgg/1j/12.10

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU (CONTD.): Sir, I would like to quote from the Economic Survey, presented by our learned Finance Minister when our Government went and his Government came, "2003-04: The UPA Government confirm that the economy was on a resilient mode in terms of growth, inflation and balance of payments and this combination offered a large scope for consolidation of growth momentum. It is also reported, "The Economic Survey 2003-04 presented today by the Finance Minister, Shri P. Chidambaram said that while the economy grew at 8.2 per cent during the last fiscal year, India has an impressive 23 year record of growth averaging 5.12 per cent per year." That is the situation in which you came to power. And today, what is the situation? How is the common man suffering? You gave a great slogan: ֣ ִ ֤ ֣օ And you increased the prices of petroleum products by 58 per cent in 2 years. It happened. It has never happened. During our Government, we also increased it because we had to dismantle the administered price mechanism. But whenever there was a decrease in the international prices, we also have decreased the prices. You have not done it. You have increased it and the price rise went up to 58 per cent, which had a cascading effect on the overall price situation in the country, making the life of the common man miserable. And you did not even bother to tell the Prime Minister to save the common man from his suffering. And your friends have advised you. The Left have met you morning, evening; there were so many meetings. Nothing has happened. They have to give you advice; you never bothered for their advice.

Sir, here, the situation is that the entire country was speaking with one voice--the political parties, the ruling party and opposition parties. Newspapers wrote editorials one after another; there are stories also in front page about the price rise, about shortages, but the Government was unmoved to the last moment. That is why I feel that there is every need to tell this ruling party on its face that you have failed in your responsibility.

We went to the President of India yesterday with a memorandum to the hon. President to remind his Government that it has failed in its responsibility of an important task of protecting the interest of the common man. What else is more important? There are other issues concerning the country and I am not entering into the various other sufferings of the common people now.

Sir, when we were there, everything was in surplus. When these people came, they have the great capacity and they converted surplus into shortages. There were no lines in queues, no waiting list, no shortage, no black-marketing, everything was in surplus. I can challenge. Today, this Government has come and even for MPs, for LPG gas cylinders, there is a waiting list! Ask anybody. There is surplus sugar in the country today but the prices are going up. Cement is in surplus, but the price is going up. Coal production has been increased but the price is going up. Steel production has increased. Petroleum is an international phenomenon, I do agree, to some extent all of us have to share that concern and take corrective measures. But, at the same time, how do you explain about these products? Sugar is sold in the market at 20 rupees a kilo. Cement is sold at 170-175 rupees a bag. (Interruptions) My colleagues are saying more than 200 rupees. I do not want to raise the price in the House, but, at the same time, the cement prices are increasing. Then steel, per tonne, there was an increase of more than Rs.1,500. And all these people are getting good money. I have no problem. But what about the common man?

Bank interest rates are going up. I am told that one more dose is in the offing. I hope the Finance Minister would take the House into confidence to say that the interest rates are going to go up further. We can take credit in saying that the housing loan was reduced between 6.5 and 7.5 per cent. And today, the housing loan rates are going up.

Even for the farmers, Sir, during our Government we brought down the interest rate from 14 per cent to 9 per cent. Our Finance Minister assured the country that he would bring it down to 7 per cent. But today, in actual practice, you can ask anybody, you can ask the Andhra Pradesh Government about the cooperative loans given to the people. This Government says that you cannot give 2 per cent concession to the cooperative loans. But cooperative sector accounts to 30 per cent of lending. Even today, we know that most of the money, in spite of figures provided by the hon. Finance Minister, is coming from the unorganised sector. (Contd. by kls/1k)

KLS/IK-12.15

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU (CONTD): That is the case and this is the way they deal with this and give figures. Our Finance Minister is an expert, at the same time, I thought he will be sensitive enough to respond to the story that appeared in the newspapers. Sir, there is a frontline story in the Economic Times, if you permit, I quote: "The cost of living, the Wholesale Price Index deflating inflation, the real price is something and that the figures that are provided by the Government are something else. They have given it in detail, I do not want to take the time of the House. There are one or two items, which I will just give, Sir. Foodgrains -- the increase, as was shown, the inflation was 9.5 per cent. But in real terms the increase was 26.6 per cent. And this Government of India has developed a knack of putting up such figures for the index to see that inflation rates are not really understood by people. This sort of cheap gimmicks will not help, Mr. Finance Minister. You go to the market today, find out from the retail market, find out from the wholesale market whether the prices are going up or they have come down, and then you yourself will understand. Dal, oil, wheat, rice, even ordinary item chappal for common man, every price is going up. There is saying in Telugu, Sir, in the market all prices of kandipapu, minapapu, ordia, thirkada, nipu, aapu, sapu, papu, chipu, and all have gone up. Everything is going up. The intention of the Government may be that everybody has to go up once, so first the prices are going up and then they want to send the people also, I do not know. They are fudging the figures of even the Wholesale Price Index and inflation. That is my charge against this Government. ...((Interruptions)...

Papu means dal, and chapu means chappal, Sir. It is not my charge against this Government. I would like him not to take it in a negative meaning. See the statements of Shri Bardhanji and Shri Prakash Karat, "Whatever steps the Government has taken so far is too little and too late. The Government has messed up the whole issue." This is what the comrades are saying, both the CPI and CPI (M). Still you have not moved, you are not worried about what is happening. Sir, the Congress Chief Ministers they went one step forward and they have criticised that our Government was responsible for the present situation because of the Essential Commodities Control Order. Sir, that was the consensus at that time. The hon. Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had convened a meeting of the all the Chief Ministers. The Chief Ministers of Congress and Chief Ministers of Communist parties were also there in that meeting and there it was agreed upon because at that time, as I told you, it was only surplus, surplus and surplus. There was no shortage of foodgrains and the farmers were suffering a lot because they were not getting the price as they were expecting, though it was better as compared to the present to the situation. At that time, this decision was taken. And now, this Government, the Chief Ministers meeting under the leadership of the Congress President attended by the Prime Minister, they go to that extent and carry out this negative propaganda across the country. Doordarshan flashes the story that the prices are rising because of the earlier NDA Government's order. If we had passed such an order and if you have a political will, why do not you reverse it? You never did it. On the other hand, Sir, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, hon. Defence Minister, went out and told the media after the meeting that the CMs spoke like this, the Government's order of February 15, 2002, rescinding all Control Order of the Essential Commodities Act was making it difficult for them to take action against hoarders. This was the charge made by the Chief Ministers. Sir, the hon. Defence Minister should know his party's and his own Prime Minister's views, I would like to quote the Prime Minister what he said at the India Economic Summit on November 20th, 2005, Mr. Finance Minister, please mark these words, of your own leader, the Prime Minister, "An integrated food law and forward marketing in commodities along with the amendments to the Essential Commodities Act are major steps towards having a single integrated market for agriculture in India. I see immense opportunities for private enterprise in the transformation of agriculture." This is what your Prime Minister says and your Chief Ministers find fault with my Government. If my Government had done something wrong, instead of correcting it, your Prime Minister is advocating the same. He went one step forward about forward marketing of commodities also. Sir, this NDA bashing will not serve the purpose. After all the people are suffering, they are seeing what is happening. Moreover the Standing Committee of Parliament, I do not want to quote, but the Bill was referred to them to remove the unnecessary and irrelevant restrictions on the movement of essential commodities particularly in the agricultural sector. (Contd by 1L)

-KLS-SSS/1L/12.20

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU (CONTD.): To top it, Sir, recently, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs announced that the Government proposed another amendment making the ECA applicable only in warlike situation. The provisions of ECA will be applied only in warlike situations. The Ministry further stated that the rise in prices of essential commodities was led by macro-economic factors and not because of future trading in these commodities. This is what they say. Now, they are saying that if there is a hoarding then who prevented you from de-hoarding? Another thing starts which made the Communist party friends to pass a resolution in the National Council at Hyderabad that they will take the lead and open the godowns. Your Government is there, you are supporting the Government and you have to take law into your own hands. That speaks of the helplessness of the coalition. Sir, coming to the issue of consumer, neither the consumer is benefited nor the producer is benefited. ֕ ֮ ֳָ פ ָ Ϭִ֮ӡ ׾֤ ֋, ׾֤ ״ֻ օ ֻܵ ֻ֮ , ָ ֻ֮ פօ ֻ֮ ֻ֮ פօ Ϭִ֮ӡ ׯ ֮ ֤, ָ֮ ֲָ ָ ״ֻ , ׾֤ ֤õ ָ ֯ע , 60 ָ ֋ ֮ ãן ִ ֤ ֮ , ֓ ֮ ֻ Sir, with regard to the management of public food grains, Sir, procurement of wheat during 2005-06, marked a seasonal drop by a steep 36 per cent to 9.5 million tonnes. The procurement was only 14.8 million tonnes. The buffer stock norm for 1st July 2006 was 17.1 million tonnes. By January stocks were only 4.9 million tonnes. This was the lowest ever in the last ten years. It is worth noting that the buffer stock was more than 50 million tonnes when the NDA relinquished office. The entire thing has evaporated. Now, it is not my charge alone. You see the Economic Survey. Even the Economic Survey also says that the food grain shortage was there and there was a shortfall of minus 11 per cent procurement, if you talk in terms of percentage. You don't procure. Then you accuse others without doing your responsibility. With respect to The Food Corporation of India, I think this was the great idea of our Finance Minister who is again very intelligent. I have very great respect for him Sir, because he is so intelligent that he can make and unmake and convince everybody that everything is fine. Sir, the secret according to me, if I understood properly -- he can correct me also; he is senior to me I am ready to be corrected -- the secret for non-procurement is nothing else but the financial management of the maya of the Finance Minister. He wanted to reduce the burden on the Government. He wanted to reduce the Bill. He wanted to reduce the subsidies. At what cost? Today, you have to import and import at a higher price which is offered to Indian farmers and while importing also this Government has gone to the extent of even relaxing the norms. I read in the newspapers. If I am again wrong you can correct me also. After the producers reached Chennai Port from Australia, they were found they were not up to the level of the standard fixed by Food Corporation of India by the Government earlier. I don't use the word 'human consumption' but they have given certain standards for these qualities and they have relaxed those conditions. Our own Member, Shrimati Brindaji also wrote an article. I have gone through that also. She mentioned about the same that Government so far is not contradictory. In order to help the farmers in foreign countries, the traders, you are ready to relax the norms. But when the farmers are crying, whenever there is a cyclone or flood or any other natural calamity you are not ready to relax the norms for Indian farmers. This is the charge we are facing now. It is because of your folly of not procuring enough food grains and not maintaining the needed buffer stocks. After all, Sir, there is an Agricultural Ministry, a Consumer Affairs Ministry, and a Finance Ministry. We have so many departments working. They should have foreseen what is going to happen. If the production level is going to go down, you must have had some buffer to meet that contingency.

(Contd. by NBR/1M)

NBR/SCH/1M/12.25.

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU (CONTD.): You have failed in that. It is an utter failure on the part of the Government not to foresee and then, at the last moment, now, you are going for import left and right. You are importing pulses, oilseeds, wheat and everything is being imported! I will tell you, Mr. Finance Minister, the day will come in this very House we will discuss, in the next season, its adverse affects on the fate of the ordinary farmers of the country. If you indiscriminately allow imports at zero percent duty, it will ruin the lives of the farmers. This is what international traders are waiting for. They want that the distress situation to come and they want to dump their stocks in India and make good profits. It is an open regime. I do admit. At the same time, there is a responsibility on the State. It is the responsibility of the Government to come to the rescue of the common man whenever there is a distress -- either way, for the consumer or producer. You have failed in understanding that situation and you also failed in taking preventive measures or appropriate measures to face such a situation. Now, you are giving such an open permission. I saw the other day. A noted agriculture scientist, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, has cautioned the Government that this indiscriminate import of oilseeds, pulses and wheat is going to adversely affect the interest of the farmers in the country.

SHRI AMAR SINGH: Sugar.

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Sugar also. But, I am not talking too much about sugar, because I am a diabetic patient. And, many of my friends are also suffering on account of that.

But, the point is about wheat. The point is about oilseeds. The point is about other commodities. Sir, you have to be a little considerate to the speakers, because the issue is a very serious one. Even the price that was given to imported wheat is between Rs. 850 and Rs. 950. And, here, the farmers are getting Rs. 650! You have not increased the Minimum Support Price adequately. You have the figures. Your own Economic Survey says. Whenever we did it, we did it in a big way. You yourselves have said that ֲ ִ ׻֋ , ׻֋ ֮֯ 1.6 ָ ߕ̅ ֛ ׾ֵ ? ָָ ָ , ׸ãן և ?

Sir, with regard to inflation I would say that when the NDA regime was in power the inflation was 3.4 per cent in the first year, then 3.8 per cent, 4.3 per cent, 3.9 per cent. The inflation in the UPA regime is, 4.1 per cent, 5.16 per cent. See the regime, Sir. Hon. Prime Minister, when he was the Finance Minster, when the so-called reforms started, the average inflation was 10.6 per cent. My friends were trying to accuse the BJP and the NDA. That is for record, Sir. There was an unacceptable record of inflation during the earlier regimes. Then, in between, another regime has come where our friend, Mr. Chidambaram was the Finance Minister. Some moderation came at the time of United Front or the divided front. I don't know. It was 5.4 per cent. Then, when our regime came, it came down from 4.7 per cent to 3.7 per cent. That is how we managed the economy. You have to admit it in your Economic Survey. And, now, you are trying to find excuses, instead of accepting your failures and trying to correct it because inflation was under control during our regime.

Sir, prices of all vegetables have gone up. They are saying seasonal. ߕֻ̮ , to some extent. But, at the same time, there cannot be such a variation. In Madanapalli, near Bangalore, Chittoor, tomato is sold at Re. 1 per kg. But, in Delhi, it goes up to Rs. 25 per kg.! And even onion at Nasik is sold between Rs. 2 to Rs. 3 per kg. And, here, in the markets, they are selling at Rs. 20 per kg. And the Government could not do anything. They have done some drama here in Delhi. Our Congress friends have done some drama. Here is what the caption says, 'Subsidized tomato sale begins.' This is the headline of a newspaper, 'Four outlets for a population of fifty million make a mockery of the exercise.' This is not my comment. This is "The Hindu" comment, not the Hindu Venkaiah Naidu. It is "The Hindu" newspaper comment. But, still, they feel that their responsibility is over. They are happy. Their happiness has been indicated today in Delhi election. Already one election has taken place today. And the people have shown their anger on that issue also. Aggarwalji is leaving. I don't know why. Sir, this is a small thing of winning a local election. I am not making it a big issue. I am just giving an indication that the people of the capital are not happy the way in which your Government have handled the issue of price rise. There was a situation that Arhar, Rajma, Moong, Urd, Chana and Malka were all selling around Rs. 50 per kg. How do you expect the common man to purchase these at Rs. 50 per kg. and still survive? Even the budget of the common man has undergone a sea change. There was an increase of more than 25 per cent. And, the Congress Party and its supporters are unmoved. With all this, I want to say that it is all because of financial mismanagement.

(CONTD. BY USY "1N")

NBR-USY/1N/12.30

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU (CONTD.): ...lack of foresight, lack of proper planning, lack of proper coordination among the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance, and the Government itself. They are more pre-occupied with other issues. They are not concerned about the common man. (Interruptions)

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: You are more concerned about the common man.

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Yes, common people like Narayanasamyji. Sir, when there was a severe drought situation in the country during our Government's tenure in 2002-03, the foodgrain production declined from 220 million tonnes to 170 million tonnes. There was a decline of 50 million tonnes because of the severe drought situation. Fourteen States had faced droughts. Our Government managed the situation in such a way that there was no complaint of any shortage anywhere during that period because we had maintained good buffer stocks. You did not have that foresight. You did not have that intelligence. You wanted to save money and let the common people suffer. As a result, the situations like the present one arises. Sir, there is a situation where the policy of the Government is such that what the left hand is doing, the right hand does not know, what the Ministry of Agriculture is proposing, the Ministry of Commerce does not know. The Ministry of Agriculture, at one stage, was saying, according to media reports, "The liberalised import regime is good for us. The Developed Countries have subsidies so they can produce more and we can import at this cost." That will never happen because they are more intelligent. What we need, what India needs is a 'home-grown food security', not an 'imported food security'. These things are doing small, small chitka things, which are not uncommon. In Andhra Pradesh also, during the municipal elections, our congress-friends had opened shops, but once the polling was over, the shops had also been closed. This is an easy way of meeting such a gigantic situation in a country of hundred crore people. You have a strategy that is lacking, and, then, you try to score political points over others with a view to divert the attention of the people from the burning issue of the price rice. What I am trying to say is that we have so much information on the issue which exposes the duplicity of the Government because, as I told you, in each and every sector there was unacceptable increase, making the life of the common life -- the rickshawpuller, the taxi driver, the auto driver, wage earners in the villages, agricultural labourers, slum dwellers in the urban areas -- miserable. Even the middle class is also feeling the pinch of the increase. But the Government is behaving as if the solution lies in passing resolutions and criticising the NDA. For what you are doing in India, you are criticising the NDA. And, then, your Prime Minster speaks the same language. You don't bother about the contradiction. Still you want to carry on. How long will you do like this? My point is even our Leftist friends were also making big noises, but what is more important is 'voice' than 'noise'. I have seen the voice of Dr. Kalaignar Karunanidhi. Dr. Kalaignar Karunanidhi raised his voice and the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and everybody had to withdraw their proposal. Do something like that my friends, who are sitting on the Left benches. (Interruptions)

SHRI A. VIJAYARAGHAVAN: We don't need....from you. (Interruptions) When you were in power, we know what was your approach. (Interruptions) We know what was your approach in Food Safety Programme. (Interruptions)

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Sir, wise men learn from others' experiences and fools learn from their own experiences. I can't help if anybody says. (Interruptions) We don't want any advice. (Interruptions)

SHRI A. VIJAYARAGHAVAN: I am not giving any advice to you. From your own experience you are saying that. That's why you are sitting there.

SHRI M. VENKAIAIH NAIDU: No problem. (Interruptions) Sir, my friend Yechury is not here now. (Interruptions)

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: He has started advising everybody. (Interruptions)

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: No advice at all. Don't heed anybody's advice. You follow what your Finance Minister has said in the other House while presenting the Budget. He quoted from Thirukkural. He said, "Hear whatever anybody says and do whatever you want to do".

(Contd. by 1o -- VP)

-USY/VP/GS/12.35/1O

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU (CONTD.): That is what he is doing. And if the Allies have no problem with that, I have no problem with them. My friend, Shri Sitaram Yechury, said, "We will not bark, if necessary, we will bite." When did you bite, my friend? I am only seeing bites on television. ...(Interruptions)... In the morning, it is Yechury bites, afternoon, Raja bites, late in the evening, Bardhanji's bites and before bed, Prakash Karat's bites, but still nothing is happening. The Finance Minister is unmoved. I don't want them to physically bite. I am only saying, "Please try to put some sense of responsibility to the Ruling Party if you have strength." You have strength. Without your support,


this Government cannot survive even for a minute. Dr. Kalaignar Karunanidhi has shown the way. If you are also concerned about the common man of the country, working class, ordinary people, then, do something, please. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: Your divide and rule policy will not work here. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Shri Narayanasamyji always believes in unity. ...(Interruptions)... You neither have unity nor clarity. , ï™ ֯ , ֯ ָָ ...(Interruptions)... Sir, I only suggest -- if they don't want to hear my suggestion, I have no problem,-- I am only appealing to the people of the country, "See, here is a Government which has become insensitive and here are Allies who are only making noises without making their voices felt by the Government." How long this situation should continue? How long the common man should suffer like this? How long the farmers in India in various regions of Uttar Karnataka or in Vellanad in Kerala, or Telangana in Andhra Pradesh, or Vidarbha in Maharashtra should go on committing suicides like this? ָ, ָָ People are weeping and this Government is sleeping! This is the situation. That is why we were compelled to go to the President of India and our demand is simple; we do not want you to get down. We always say, 'either govern or get out.' , ֙ , ׻ֲָ פֆ ִ ֤ ֤ ׻י ִ , ׻י rivals ֮ ֻ ֮ ִõ ִ֮֬ օ ֮֯ ֕ ֳ ֤õ ֤õ֟ ִ֯ և, ָ ߟ ևՅ ִõֆ ִ֮֬ ִõ , , ֮ , ׻֋ ֻ ִ֮֬ policy changes, foresight is required. Simply, you are saying rains are coming. Someone told me that, Sir, now the Ruling Party is ready to have a discussion on prices because the prices are coming down. So, if the nature solves all the problems, then, what for are you there in the Government? If the nature is going to solve all the problems, then, what for is the Government there? It is the duty of the Government; when there is a crisis or a problem, then, the Government steps in. և ֲ, everything happens also normally. The Government is there; and that too you are a Government which has sworn on the word of ֣, ִ ֤ ֣օ ִ ֤ ֣֠ * ֛ , * You have committed a * on the people by not bringing out the real picture to the people, by not taking effective, timely steps and also by accusing other parties for your failures, at the same time, opposing the reforms on the one side, and proposing reforms on the other side. This is what you are doing. How long you will do this? I agree with you, you are a coalition Government.

ֳ֯ן : ֯ ֮ և ֟

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Okay. We also ran a coalition Government. You have to take various important decisions. You have to take the coalition partners into confidence. You have to make certain compromises. I am not saying, "No, no; you should not make any compromises at all." The coalition dharma casts a responsibility upon you. You have to make certain concessions and certain compromises also. But, at the same time, what I am saying is, don't compromise on the interests of the people or the sufferings of the people. They should be the first and foremost to you. They should be top on your agenda. As for the present, your behaviour, 2 years of your conduct is concerned, I don't think any such thing is happening. Otherwise, the

--------------------------------------------------------------

* Expunged as ordered by the chair.

highest forum of the Congress Party, instead of accepting the responsibility politely, humbly, goes to the extent of blaming the earlier Government while supporting the same order by your Prime Minister. Is this not diplomacy? Is this not double standards, Mr. Finance Minister? If you are capable, then, convince all of us. I have quoted the speech of the Prime Minister. If I am wrong, I can be corrected. I have the extract of the Prime Minister's speech which was reported widely in the newspapers. As far as figures also are concerned, there was a reaction from the BJP on the story that appeared in the "Economic Times."

(Continued by PK/1P)

-VP/PK/1P/12.40

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU (CONTD.): The Government did not even bother to give a clarification or a reaction. Sir, if you see the irony, today, the Bombay Sensex is zooming day by day; it is fine; but, at the same time, the prices are also zooming for the ordinary people. We are happy; okay, the sensex is going up; but what about the fate of the common people? Are you concerned about that? Or, are you simply happy about the Bombay Stock Market and what is happening there, leaving the common people of the country, particularly, who are in the backward areas to their fate. This should not be allowed to happen. I only request the Government of India to have some introspection. Try to understand. Take the criticism positively and seriously. Try to make amends if you can. If you have the political will, govern; otherwise, get out. Thank you. (Ends)

(MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN IN THE CHAIR)

SHRI SHANTARAM LAXMAN NAIK (GOA): Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, let me, at the outset, say that price rise, whether we be in power or otherwise, has always been the concern of our Party. So much so that we never made any distinction as far as our position is concerned. And, if need be, our own party fora have met time and again to guide the Government, and even advised the Government if something goes wrong. That has been our policy. We have never felt shy of these things whereas your Government, your Party has always been hiding things, whatever your Government was doing. We never dared to tell your Government that here you are going wrong; here, you are going right. This is the distinction between the Congress Party and the BJP.

Secondly, one of the factors for increasing prices, apart from market forces and all other things, is the BJP who rescinded the order under the Essential Commodities Act on 15th February, 2002. The vital instrument which was available with the State Governments was rescinded by the BJP Government, as a result, the traders -- and I would say the BJP traders -- whom you have been favouring all the time...(Interruptions)..

ָ֕ : ֻ ֯ ֯ ? ..(־֮֬)..

SHRI SHANTARAM LAXMAN NAIK:....and now you are saying, " oh, they are making some money, let them make." You have said in your speeches now...(Interruptions)..

ֵָ : ߕ ? ..(־֮֬)..

ֳ֯ן : ֯ ך ߕ̅ If he yields, I will...(Interruptions)..

SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: Mr. Venkaiah Naidu has touched upon this point. Through you, Sir, I am appealing to the Finance Minister, let him stand up here and now and say that they are going to rescind the order of 18th February, 2002. If he has the courage and decency, let them...(Interruptions)..say they are rescinding the order now...(Interruptions)...

ֳ֯ן : ֮ , ֯ ך He has not yielded...(Interruptions)..

SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: The Prime Minister is supporting it. What is the point of this?

ֳ֯ן : ֯ ך

SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: You don't care the Prime Minister and not your leader. That is the problem...

SHRI SHANTARAM LAXMAN NAIK: The Essential Commodities Act was a vital Act, is a vital Act...(Interruptions).. Now, out of the way, you want to protect your traders for the purpose of favouring them and allowing them to hoard....(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Naik, please address the Chair...(Interruptions)..

SHRI SHANTARAM LAXMAN NAIK: Definitely, Sir....(Interruptions)...

ֵָ : ן ..(־֮֬).. ߕ ֻ..(־֮֬)..

ֳ֯ן : ֯ ך, ߅ ֯ ך ֮ Nothing will go on record.

..׻ֵ : ָ..(־֮֬)..

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: He has not yielded.

..׻ֵ : ׮֙ ָ, ׮ֵ , ߕ - ֟ ? Is it in good taste?...(Interruptions)..

ֳ֯ן : ֯ ך

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Naik, Please...(Interruptions)..

..׻ֵ : ױ ָ כ֮ ױ? ֟ ? This is not fair.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Naik, please avoid such things....(Interruptions)..

SHRI SHANTARAM LAXMAN NAIK: I am avoiding, Sir. If BJP is unparliamentary, then, I will avoid BJP. (Followed by 1Q/PB)

PB-MP/1Q/12.45

ִ֤ Ͼֻ : ֳ֯ן , כ ָ ֻ֮ , ָ ־ֿ ָ ֮ ־ֿ

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: Do you want him to avoid the BJP or the trader?

ֳ֯ן : ִ ֋, ֯ ך

SHRI SHANTARAM LAXMAN NAIK: Sir, hon. leader ...

AN HON. MEMBER: Say that in the speech.

SHRI SHANTARAM LAXMAN NAIK: Yes; yes. I am pointing out, because he said it. He said that the prices of steel, cement have been increasing. It is in our knowledge and you can find out that, before Elections, * ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: Sir, what is this? ...(Interruptions)... He has to substantiate it. ...(Interruptions)... There cannot be humour ... ...(Interruptions)... He has to substantiate it. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Naik, if you are making allegations, you have to ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI YASHWANT SIHNA: He has to substantiate it. ...(Interruptions)... Sir, you have to expunge it, and he must apologise for it. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Naik, if you are making any allegation, please substantiate it. ...(Interruptions)... ֯ ך....֯ ך ...(־֮֬).... ֯ ך ...(־֮֬)... ֯ ך ...(־֮֬).... Why are you standing? ֟ ? ....(־֮֬).... ֯ ך ...(־֮֬)....

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------* Withdrawn by the hon. Member

ߕ... ֯ ך ...(־֮֬).... I will look into it. ...(Interruptions)... ֯ ך ߅ ....(־֮֬).... ֯ ֮ ? ...(־֮֬).... Mr. Narayanasamy, why are you standing? ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: Sir, it cannot be like this. He has to apologise for it or substantiate it. ...(Interruptions)...

ֳ֯ן : ֯ ך ߅ ...(־֮֬)... ֯ ֮ ? ...(־֮֬).... ֤õ , ֮ ߙ ָ ֋Ӆ ....(־֮֬)....

SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: Either he substantiates it or apologises for it. This cannot be allowed to go on record. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Sir, we can have an enquiry. They are not ready for enquiry on Volcker or Bofors, etc. But we are ready for enquiry. So, come on. We are ready to take the responsibility. ...(Interruptions)... We are ready for an enquiry. ...(Interruptions)... We are ready for an enquiry. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I am trying to understand what he has said. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: He has to substantiate it. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I am calling for the records. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD: He should first apologise. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I am calling for the records. Let me go through it. Let me see it. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Sir, the Rules clearly say that you cannot make an unsubstantiated allegation in the House. He has referred to my speech and made an allegation on our party. ...(Interruptions)... We are ready to accept the challenge. We will have an enquiry where Volcker, Bofors, Scorpene, cement, steel and other things can be looked into. ...(Interruptions)...

ֳ֯ן : ֯ ך ߅ ...(־֮֬)... ֤õ , ֮ ߙ ָ ֋Ӆ ....(־֮֬)....

SHRI RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD: He will have to withdraw it.

SHRI JANARDHANA POOJARY: Sir, I am on a point of order. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: What is your point of order? ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Sir, what is his point of order? He cannot give me a proof. ...(Interruptions)... He has to either withdraw it or, otherwise accept an enquiry.

SHRI JANARDHANA POOJARY: Sir, I am on a point of order. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: Unsubstantiated allegation cannot be referred to. ...(Interruptions)... (Followed by 1R/SKC)

1r/12.50/skc-asc

SHRI JANARDHANA POOJARY: Rule 238A says, 'No allegation of a defamatory or incriminatory nature shall be made by a member against any other member or a member of the House unless the member making the allegation has given previous intimation to the Chairman... ." ...(interruptions)...

SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: Sir, he has made unsubstantiated allegations...(interruptions)... He has to either apologise or substantiate...(interruptions)...

SHRI JANARDHANA POOJARY: Sir, he has not made any allegation against any Member. It is against the party..(interruptions)...He has not made any allegation...(interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Please, sit down, Mr. Poojary ...(interruptions)... I have already said it. You have quoted Rule 238A. I have called for the records. I shall reach a decision after going through the records. Please, if you have to make any allegation...(interruptions)...

SHRI S.S. AHLUWALIA: Sir, I wish to quote from your ruling. You may read page 123 of The Rajya Sabha Rulings and Observations from the Chair...(interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Darda, please...(interruptions)...

SHRI S.S. AHLUWALIA: It reads, 'Debates: Allegations: Something said in the House, if it is of a nature of an allegation, has to be substantiated.'

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: You are reading from 156 or 157?

SHRI S.S. AHLUWALIA: Sir, it is 156. Let him substantiate it. Only then...(interruptions)...

SHRI RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD: He cannot be allowed to make unsubstantiated allegations against the party..(interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I have already told him...(interruptions).. I have told the hon. Member that if you are alleging anything, you have to substantiate it...(interruptions)...

SHRI RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD: He must withdraw....(interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I have already told him...(interruptions)... I will see what allegation he has made and will look into it...(interruptions)...

SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: He has no evidence to support whatever he has said...(interruptions)...Therefore, he must apologise for what he has said...(interruptions)...He must apologise...(interruptions)...

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: He has not made any observation against a Member ...(interruptions)... He has made a general observation..(interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I am looking into it....(interruptions)... I have called for the records...(interruptions)... ...(interruptions)... I would look into what he has said...(interruptions)... If he has made an allegation, which he cannot substantiate, I shall expunge it...(interruptions)...

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: They do not want to continue with the discussion...(interruptions)...It is not against any individual..(interruptions)...

ֳ֯ן: ֯ ך..(־֮֬).. ֯ ֮ ?...(interruptions)...֯ և, ׸֛ օ ...(־֮֬).... I am going to look into the records. ־ֵ I have called for the records...(interruptions)... If he has made any such allegation, we will look into it...(interruptions)... I am going through the records. I will make a decision as to whether he has made any allegation, which requires to be substantiated. Please, sit down...(interruptions)...׻ֵ , օ ...(־֮֬).... օ ...(־֮֬).... ...(־֮֬)... I told him that he has to substantiate...(interruptions)... ֯ և ߅ ֯ ֮ ߙ ָ և ...(־֮֬)..Mr. Naik...(interruptions)...

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: Similar allegations were made by him...(interruptions).. They also need to be expunged...(interruptions)...

SHRI SURESH BHARDWAJ: He must either substantiate or apologise...(interruptions)...

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: He has made several allegations against the Government. Similar allegations were made in the speech of Mr. Naidu....(interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Why did you not raise that...(interruptions)...Why did you not raise that?...(interruptions)...

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: Similar allegations were made by Mr. Naidu. What are you saying? You cannot dictate terms...(interruptions)... You cannot dictate terms...(interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I will refer..(interruptions)...֯ և, ֯ ׮ֵָ ָ ...(interruptions)... (Followed by 1s/hk)

HK-NB/1s/12.55

ֳ֯ן : ֯ ׻֋, , ֮ ָ ך .... (־֮֬) ֯ ֟ .... (־֮֬)

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Sir, my friend, Shri Narayanasamy, is a senior Member and responsible person holding a responsible post in the party. He is saying that I made some allegations. I only leave it to the Chair and to the wisdom of any Member, sitting on any side, if anyone can say that I made any allegation of corruption during my speech on the price rise. ..(Interruptions)..

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: You did say. ..(Interruptions).. You did say. ..(Interruptions)..

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Records are there. I will examine. Why are you ..(Interruptions)..

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: I said ..(Interruptions)..

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: That is why I said, I will refer to the record. ..(Interruptions).. Please sit down. ..(Interruptions).. ֯ և ... (־֮֬)

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Sir, ours was wisdom on statement. We did not mention about any corruption or any money, if at all. No money issue was raised by us. We raised about mismanagement and wrong policies and also I quoted the statement of the Prime Minister. I did not make any allegation. If I have made any allegation, I am ready to stand by it. My point is that he made an irresponsible and absurd allegation without knowing what he was speaking. Let him understand withdraw his statement and apologise to the House, otherwise you remove it from the records. ..(Interruptions)..

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: The House is adjourned till 2 o' clock.

----------

The House then adjourned for lunch at fifty-seven minutes

past twelve of the clock.

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