ֳ֯ן : ִ ... (־֮֬) ... , ִ ... (־֮֬) ... , ִ ... (־֮֬) ...

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: He has spoken. He has spoken for 45 minutes. I will take only two minutes. I have to seek clarification only on one point. (Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Narayanasamy, please sit down. They have started the debate. Please cooperate. I will call you. Mr. Venkaiah Naidu.

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: There is nothing sacrosanct. I would have yielded to Mr. Narayanasamy. It is not a big matter. But he has not spoken on the issue. That is number one. Now he wants to seek some clarification. (Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: In fact, they withdrew two speakers. (Interruptions)....

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: Can't Congress Members seek clarifications, if they have not spoken? (Interruptions)...

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: I am not saying that. (Interruptions)...

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: Don't put that condition. Kindly don't put that condition.

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Even if you are not present in the House, you can seek clarifications.

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: Nobody can do that. There is no rule like that.

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: I agree with you. Why are you quarrelling unnecessarily at this late hour?

Sir, the point is that I am, at least, happy on one thing that the Finance Minister was honest to admit the so-called Control Order of which the Congress Chief Minister made a big issue. Now, the cat is out of the bag and the truth has come out. The second issue is that they have misled the nation to some extent.

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: Nobody has misled anyone.

ֳ֯ן : ֯ ׸ױ֮ ה ... (־֮֬) ...

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: They have misled the nation.

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: Nobody has misled anyone.

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: They have misled; the Congress Working Committee has misled; the Chief Minister has misled and you have been silent. Mr. Finance Minister, ...(Interruptions)....

ֳ֯ן : ֵ֛ , ֯ ׸ױ֮ ה ... (־֮֬) ...

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Now I want to compliment you for the same. (Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: We are not raising another debate. Please seek clarifications. (Interruptions)...

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: We are not ready to join issue with them on this. Now the debate is over. (Interruptions)..

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Please seek clarifications. There is no debate.

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: I am just seeking clarifications. He has said that you don't know the writer's way or whatever it is and you must know how to read also. So, I couldn't read it the way our Finance Minister has said it. He has practically justified the price rise. He has not announced even a single relief to the suffering masses. This is my concern. He has asked me to go to his chamber. I can go to his chamber; I like him also. He is very intelligent. I admire him also for his intelligence.

ֳ֯ן : ֯ ׸ױ֮ ה ... (־֮֬) ...

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: What is the relief to the people who are suffering? Do you think that the prices have really risen or that it is only a creation of the media and the Opposition? Sir, just with a jugglery of figures, he was trying to justify each and every thing. The entire country is watching. The people are suffering. (Interruptions)....

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: You please seek clarifications. Whatever he has to say he said. What can I do? (Interruptions)....

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: Whatever he has to say, he will say. I said in the morning also that he was not going to change his attitude in spite of our friends on this side... (Interruptions)...

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: What is the clarification?

SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU: The clarifications which I want are: What are the measures, except imports which you have mentioned, that you are taking to see that the prices which have risen are brought down? Do you have any scheme? Do you have any programme? Please take the House into confidence and tell us.

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: Sir, I am seeking some clarifications. I would like to express our deep disappointment with the way the Finance Minister has addressed this issue. It seems to me that the distance between Tamil Nadu and Delhi is so far that the Finance Minister has forgotten that implementing the Essential Commodities Act and accessible prices to the people was the key which allowed the formation of the DMK Government in Tamil Nadu. Mr. Chidambaram has himself campaigned on the platform and the language used in Tamil Nadu and Delhi is totally different.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Please seek clarifications.

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: No, I have to say this. The clarification is this. First, let him talk about the language that he used in Tamil Nadu and the language he used in Parliament here. The difference reflects the policy differences. He says that it is not a new liberal policy. What is it? Does he want to give a new nomenclature to it? The fact is that his admission today is that the Government has utterly retreated from the basic minimum responsibility of providing food security to the people of this country. I have three questions. (Contd. by VK/3U)


SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT (CONTD): He said, "The State Governments have done it". They have got some understanding between themselves. He said, "Okay, you are not that bad". They said, "Okay, you are not that bad". That is between them. I don't know that. What we want to know is this. Is the Finance Minister going to rescind two orders, one, about the change in the Essential Commodities Act which brought down the number of essential commodities from 79 to 15 by the NDA Government? Secondly, is the Government going to rescind the Government Order which says that there are no restrictions on the amount of stocks which can be hoarded by big traders? Let him answer that. Secondly, he has talked about regulations of future trading. We have made a very specific demand which is being supported by Shri Sharad Yadav, who also was the Agriculture Minister. We have said that you remove essential commodities from future trading. That is the question here. You have talked about regulations of future trading. That is fine. But the question here is: Are you or are you not going to accept the demand to remove essential commodities from future trading? My third question is about the Public Distribution System. He has given some * things. I am sorry to use such words. But when we go...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Please don't use such word. This word should be removed.

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: Sir, I withdraw that word. But the fact is this. There is a saying 'Lies lie in statistics'. I do not know what statistics are being used here. It is a fact that wheat allocations to the Public Distribution System have been cut from around 23 lakh tonnes to 8 lakh tonnes. This is a fact. Has it been done in consultation with any State Government? Have they even bothered to find out why the APL off-take is so low? They are not bothered because their one commitment has destroyed the PDS. Therefore, I have to say it very clearly that my party is not at all satisfied with this. We strongly protest against petrol price hike and diesel price hike. The figures that the


*Expunged as ordered by the Chair.

Finance Minister has given quoting that he has received a signed letter from my party Headquarters.....

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Brindaji, I cannot start a fresh debate.

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: I am sorry, Sir. I do not have a sense of humour when such issues are discussed which concern the people. I am sorry to say this. I have to....(Interruptions).

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I cannot allow separate debate on this.

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: Sir, he has raised this issue. He said....(Interruptions).

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: The system is, Members participate in the debate and the Minister replies to the debate. After that we allow Members to seek certain clarifications, but there cannot be a fresh debate.

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: All right, Sir. I am seeking clarifications.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: You said that you have to seek three clarifications. I have noted down your three clarifications.

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: My last clarification is this. The Government has given a note quoting certain figures. Is it or is it not a fact that the revenue earned by the Government, as far as this entire issue of petrol and diesel is concerned, has gone up from Rs. 96,000 crores in 2002-03 to Rs. 1,26,000 crores in 2005-06? Is it not a fact that these were the figures which were supplied in the Status Paper given by the Government? You give one set of figures when it pleases you and you give another set of figures when you want to justify the price hike....

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: You have made your point.

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: We cannot accept it. (Ends)

SHRI DINESH TRIVEDI: Sir, I have to seek three clarifications. Like a very good Professor of Economics, he said he is not a trained economist, but he gave a very good lecture here on theory. But when we come to practice; what is the reality on the ground, 'the taste of the pudding is in the eating'. Those people have not enough to eat. The question is this. He mentioned about the demand and supply side. He talked in length about the demand.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: You seek your clarification.

SHRI DINESH TRIVEDI: What are you doing specifically on the supply side? Agriculture land, as I mentioned, is getting out of your hands. Is it true that you are also permitting mutual fund on real estate?

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Please seek clarifications.

SHRI DINESH TRIVEDI: Supply side is a separate question and mutual fund is a separate question. (Contd. by 3W)


SHRI DINESH TRIVEDI (contd.): Are you giving permission for mutual funds in real estate? If you do that, more and more agricultural lands would be taken away by the land sharks.

SHRI SHARAD ANANTRAO JOSHI: As I mentioned in the last debate, I thought the current economic philosopher of the Government was Amartya Sen. Since Mrs. Karat has accused the Finance Minister of dual federalism, and the Finance Minister confirmed that he believed in market mechanism,...(Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Please, I will not allow everybody.

SHRI SHARAD ANANTRAO JOSHI: If he believes in the Essential Commodities Act, if he does not believe in future's market and if he believes in direct import of wheat, what kind of a market mechanism does he believe in?

ֳ֯ן : ִָ߅ ִֵָ ִֵ ! ...(־֮֬)...

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: I understand from the debate that the hon. senior Members from the other side have been putting blame on the Central Government. Sir, it is the collective responsibility of the Central Government as well as the State Governments to keep the prices under control, irrespective of the fact whether the States are ruled by the ruling party or by the opposition party...(Interruptions)

SHRI C. RAMACHANDRAIAH: He is supplementing the efforts of the hon. Minister.

ֳ֯ן : ֯ ׸ױ֮ ה ...(־֮֬)...

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: I will have to give a prelude before seeking my clarification. In the matter of procurement, the States have to cooperate with the Central Government. I am not blaming the State Governments when they seek allocation for distribution of essential commodities through the Public Distribution System. But they are also responsible for procurement. In important States like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, etc. procurement has been a problem...(Interruptions)

SHRI RAMDAS AGARWAL: He is not giving the figures. He is just saying that the States have not procured what was required...(Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Now, everybody cannot get up and speak. Mr. Narayanasamy, please seek clarifications. We have to end the debate...(Interruptions)

SHRI TAPAN KUMAR SEN: Sir, I would just seek two clarifications...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: The entire House cannot seek clarifications...(Interruptions) Your party has already been given time. Then, everybody would like to speak.

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: I want to know from the hon. Minister that in case of sugar production...(Interruptions)

SHRI RAMDAS AGARWAL: We are having a discussion on price rise on the part of the Central Government. But he is pointing fingers at the State Governments just for nothing.

SHRI V. NARAYANSAMY: You have not understood what I said.

Sir, as far as sugar production is concerned, the hon. Minister stated that it is 170 lakh tons. Now, the farmers are crying for a better price for sugarcane. In the absence of this, sugarcane cultivation in the lands has come down...(Interruptions) Madam, I did not interrupt you when you spoke.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Narayanasamy, please seek clarifications. I am not allowing you for a debate. I am allowing you only to seek clarifications.

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: I will come straightaway to my point of clarification. There has been a demand from the farmers to increase the remunerative price of sugarcane so that the sugarcane cultivation can improve, and there will be more production. I want to know from the Government whether they are considering this demand of increasing the remunerative prices. (Followed by 3X)


SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: Sir, I thought I had listed the measures that we had taken on the fiscal and monetary side, and the supply side. But since Shri Venkaiah Naidu wants me to repeat it, let me repeat it.

Government has already announced that thirty-five lakh tonnes of wheat will be imported by State agencies; wheat is also now on OGL. Government has announced the release of forty-two lakh tonnes of free-sale sugar for the quarter April-June, 2006, which is eight lakh tonnes higher than the releases during the corresponding period of last year. Customs duty on import of pulses was reduced to zero on June 8 and ban was imposed on export of pulses. Import of sugar was permitted at zero duty ...(Interruptions)... You want our clarifications. When I read it, you do not want to listen! Import of sugar was permitted at zero duty. Export was banned till the end of the current financial year. Decision was taken to permit private traders to import wheat at a reduced duty of five per cent.

To contain volatility in the future price of wheat, sugar and pulses, pending the Bill, Forward Markets Commission has taken the following steps. It has reduced the circuit filter limit. In the case of wheat and sugar, the daily price fluctuation limits were reduced. Special margins were imposed and compulsory delivery put in place for urad and lemon are high. More steps will be taken once the Bill is in place.

These are the steps taken on the supply side. On fiscal side, as I have said, we have reduced the import duty on wheat and on sugar. Monetary steps have been taken by the Reserve Bank of India. Further steps, as I have always said, will be taken from time to time depending upon the need, especially on the supply side.

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

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: Sir, the only significant contribution that Mrs. Swaraj has been able to make is, announce the walk-out.

Now, as far as Shrimati Karat's questions are concerned, she will appreciate that I cannot, because I am not the Minister in-charge, give any categorical assurance on the first and second questions that you have raised. But I will explain the thinking in the Government...

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: Sir, what is the point of any discussion on price rise if he cannot ensure some concrete measures? What is the point of a discussion, Sir?

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I cannot give a ruling on that. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: Sir, we are totally opposed to this approach. They announce the measures when it is convenient to them. On retail, they will announce the measures without discussion. On price rise, he is not prepared to announce any measures. I am sorry, Sir. We are totally opposed.

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: She is not listening to what I am saying, Sir.


MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: He has not yet completed.

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: I said I cannot give a categorical answer, Sir, whether the Control Order will be rescinded or future trading in commodities will be banned. This falls within the authority of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. I will explain the position. I will convey the House's views to the Minister and, I am sure, he will come and make whatever announcements have to be made. That is all I am trying to say. (Interruptions)...

SHRI PRASANTA CHATTERJEE: No, Sir. We wanted to curb hoarding and we wanted a specific assurance from the Minister. The Agriculture Minister is not here. That is not the reply.

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: I can't give this assurance. (Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: What do you expect the Chair to do? You have participated in the debate. The Minister has replied. Beyond that, what do you expect? What do you expect the Chair to do? (Interruptions)...

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: On the third question, Sir, I have already given the figures. I do not know what figures Shrimati Karat is quoting. I am sure she has got it from somebody.

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: Sir, what's this?

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: I have already given the figures. Petroleum figures are....

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: Sir, we totally protest against this answer and walk out of the House.

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

(Followed by 3y/tdb)


SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: Sir, I have given the figures of the Customs and Excise revenues of the petroleum sector, and those figures are the correct figures. Those figures are the correct figures. I cannot comment on what figures she has got. I have given the figures for 2004-05; I have given the figures for 2005-06. I stand by the figures. I am in-charge of the revenues. I know what Customs and Excise revenues are collected from the petroleum sector, and the figures that I have given are the correct figures.

Sir, thirdly, a question was asked about supply side. Now, I have said that supply side means augmenting the availability of essential commodities within the country, both public stocks and private stocks. If there is an overall supply-demand gap in the country, that can only be met by imports, and there is nothing wrong in imports. I take support from what Dr. Arjun Sengupta has said. The import is the correct way to augment availability of essential commodities which are in short supply.

Fourthly, Sir, there is nothing wrong in State import of wheat. I mean, again, as I said, on the one hand, we have got a powerful voice arguing for a dirigistic economy. On the other hand, we have a powerful voice arguing for a totally capitalistic economy. The State agencies are importing wheat. Wheat is on the OGL. The private traders can also import wheat. Both can import wheat into the country, and there is nothing wrong with State agencies importing wheat.

And, finally, Sir, on sugarcane, I would like to say that the price of sugarcane is decided every year by the Cabinet based on the CACP recommendations. The CACP recommendations are due on the price of sugarcane for the ensuing year. And, once the CACP recommendations come, the Cabinet will take an appropriate decision on the price of sugarcane. (Ends)

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Now, there is a statement by the Minister. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI C. RAMACHANDRAIAH: Sir, we have spent nearly three hours on this.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: No, six hours.

SHRI C. RAMACHANDRAIAH: What is the outcome of this debate?

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: It is for you to assess. ...(Interruptions)... It is not for me to say. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI C. RAMACHANDRAIAH: No, I am not staging a walk-out. Don't assume that. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: No, no. I am not. ...(Interruptions)... That debate is over. I have called the hon. Minister to make the statement.

SHRI C. RAMACHANDRAIAH: What I am trying to ascertain is...(Interruptions)... To elicit this information, we should have posed some questions, instead of disturbing the hon. Minister for three hours. But, ultimately, what is his concern? What are the constructive measures that the Government is taking to reduce the burden of the common man? Sir, no concrete measures have been announced.

MR.DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Ramachandraiah, I have called the Minister.

SHRI SANTOSH BAGRODIA: Sir, if you are not allowing clarifications...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: No, I am. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI SANTOSH BAGRODIA: Sir, I am asking a different thing. If you are not allowing clarifications, then, let it be laid on the Table of the House.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: No, no; the hon. Minister wants to make the statement. ...(Interruptions)...

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MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: If that is the sense of the House, ו֋, Ù ו֋

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ֳ֯ן : ֜ ָ ו֋ Mr. Minister, please lay both the statements on the Table.


ON JULY 11, 2006

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS (SHRI SHRIPRAKASH JAISWAL): Sir, I lay a copy of the Statement (in English and Hindi) on the Table. (Ends)


THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS (SHRI SHRIPRAKASH JAISWAL): Sir, I lay a copy of the Statement (in English and Hindi) on the Table.


MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: The House is adjourned to meet tomorrow at 11 a.m.


The House then adjourned at twenty-five minutes past six of the clock till eleven of the clock on Wednesday, the 26th July, 2006.