PREVIOUS HOUR

PB/3M/4.00

SHRIMATI SHOBHANA BHARTIA (CONTD.): The Government should ensure that all these criteria are met because, as of now, Sir, millions of our people do not have access to basic health care. What is extremely startling is that almost 22 per cent of our nation's diseased population suffers from malnutrition. For a country with its growing economic clout like India, Sir, this does not fit well at all. More importantly, almost 50 per cent of the 2.2 million annual child deaths are caused by malnutrition as well. This shows the growing importance of women and, more importantly, mothers in our nation's health care. And, it is not just poverty and food insecurity, Sir, but its unsafe feeding habits, its lack of proper nutrition that leads to this. So, the irony is, Sir, that whereas 70 per cent of Indians live in rural India, almost 70 per cent of India's doctors reside in urban India. This dichotomy has to be addressed even if incentives have to be given. Therefore, Sir, also falling out from malnutrition is a subsequent low birth weight of infants in this country, and almost 60 per cent of women in India suffer from anaemia, which is also linked to low birth rate. So, Sir, health care really means drastically improving sanitation providing safe drinking water, promoting hygiene practice, directly or indirectly, all what Government should ensure, is covered under health care.

Sir, I will spend a little time on education now. The IITs and the IIMs in our country are world class. But they are just too few in number. There is a need for many, many more. But the primary and secondary education is what requires extensive and urgent attention. If India is to take advantage of its reputation as a knowledge economy, what we really need is a quantitative expansion and a qualitative improvement in our educational services. For the past 25 years or so, we have been spending less then three per cent of our GDP on education. This year, the Government has given a healthy increase, but even so, Sir, a lot of this money has actually come from the education cess that has been applied. The CMP took note and said that 'we should achieve six per cent spend on education by 2009.' But if we still haven't crossed the three per cent mark, how is it going to be possible for us to come anywhere near this figure? And whether this figure is relevant or not too needs to be debated. The basic assumptions and the basic parameters which led us to arrive at the six per cent spend by the 2009 have undergone a sea change. To my mind, Sir, it is very inadequate if India is to make rapid strides that are required for us to maintain our position in the world scenario. The Government's priority should be to remove illiteracy and to provide quality primary education across the country. Sir, I would like to cite the example of one State, namely, Himachal Pradesh in this regard. In the 1950s, the Himachal Pradesh had a literacy level of 4.5 per cent. Today, it is second only to Kerala. They have the highest enrolment rate of 99 per cent, almost one of the lowest drop-out rates at just two per cent and in spite of the hilly terrain, they have got easy access to school. Their per capita expenditure on students, on education is almost double that of the all India average at almost Rs. 140 and they have one of the highest teacher-to-student ratios. And, how was this possible? All this was possible because of a very proactive Government policy pursued by subsequent Governments and a very high spend, almost 16 to 17 per cent of their expenses, go on education. So, if Himachal can achieve this, why can't we replicate this model all across the country? Sir, the paradigm of ensuring education for all has to change. The old attitudes and old mindsets will simply not work. There is just no transparency, no accountability and there is no incentives for the mover's of the scheme. Sir, even if we have to look around us to see what is the best tools used world-over to achieve higher levels of literacy, we should not shy away from doing so and I would just like to cite a few examples of schemes which have been extremely successful world-over.

(Contd. by 3n/KS)

3n/4.05/ks

SHRIMATI SHOBHANA BHARTIA (CONTD.): Sir, I would cite the case of Brazil where the resources for a district or a municipality are given through a framework of incentives. So, the higher the enrolment, greater the resources that are allocated to a district. This greatly incentivises districts and communities to work for greater enrolment. Also, Sir, they follow a pattern where education is not a linear experience; it is not a continuous experience; you have to have nine years of mandatory education which makes it so much easier for people to complete the so-called educational syllabus. Besides that, incentives are given to teachers to go to the countryside and pay-scales have also been hiked manifold. This has led to far better educational services that are being provided all through. Sir, I would strongly urge the Government to carry out some kind of an annual school census. The Government, the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister have often spoken about outlays versus outcome. Why don't we apply the same yardstrick, not only in terms of budgetary outlays versus outcomes, but annual school census too that actually measures student enrolment, teacher participation and community participation to see where the money is being spent and the position that we have reached.

Sir, we must have a proactive education policy that provides quality primary education to the villages of India and the small towns. Without this, the knowledge disparity will only grow. The Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti which seeks to ensure this must be prioritised and must be given all the support. Retention of students, student enrolment, absenteeism of teachers are all major issues plaguing the system today. The Government needs to address these.

Sir, the task before us is huge, and the holes are gaping. It is quite clear that the Government cannot achieve this on its own and, therefore, it has to involve the private sector. Our entrepreneurial energy has taken the economy to greater heights. This energy, Sir, needs to be harnessed so that the national goals of education and healthcare are met with jointly not only by the Government but by the private sector as well. Thank you, Sir.

(Ends)

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

* Pp 524 Onwards will be issued as Supplement.

 

3n/4.05/ks

MOTION OF THANKS ON THE PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS - CONTD.

SHRI ARJUN KUMAR SENGUPTA (WEST BENGAL): Mr. Vice-Chairman, Sir, as I rise to support this Motion of Thanks to the President, I would be bringing to the notice of this House -- fortunately, many of the Congress Members are not here -- how this whole notion of aam admi and aam janata came into the picture because we have been hearing about this from many quarters but, unfortunately, they are not being fully reflected in the policies that are being followed by this Government. I would like to draw attention to a document which was published in 2004 February-March, called `Economic Growth -- the Congress Agenda'.

(MR. CHAIRMAN IN THE CHAIR)

This was the basis on which later the Congress Manifesto and also the Common Minimum Programme were written. This particular document was drafted by Dr. Manmohan Singh and myself who was the co-chairman of the Congress Economic Affairs Committee but they reflected entirely the ideas of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. I would like to bring this to the notice of this House because this should be recorded. It was she who brought the entire Congress movement back into the mainstream saying that the Congress is basically a follower of the Nehru-Indira Gandhi tradition, followed by Rajiv Gandhi where common people, aam janata, garib people, are the main aims of Congress policies. This particular document was not critical of the reforms. It, of course, hailed the economic reforms and also pointed out the very good points of these economic reforms compared to the high rate of growth that the NDA Government was also achieving. This House is aware that the high rate of growth achievement is not the achievement only of this Congress Government; this was also achieved during the NDA period. This document clearly points out what the problems were and why the Congress approach to economic reforms and growth was superior. But, the most important feature in that was the clear spelling out of the notion of the purpose of the economic reforms, the purpose of economic growth, which is the improvement or upliftment of the aam janata or the poorest people. (Contd. by 3o/tdb)

TDB/3O/4.10

SHRI ARJUN KUMAR SENGUPTA (CONTD.): Sir, I want to emphasise this point because I want to be constructive. Let me take the simple issue. The first issue is agriculture. All of us have talked about it; I don't have much time to go into the whole notion of agricultural development. But, it is important that we must realise that out of the agriculture -- this is the document I have of 2002-03, Farm Survey -- 94 per cent of the farmer household belong to holdings of less than four acres. That is the aam janta of agriculture. No agricultural programme should be considered as the Congress agricultural programme or the UPA agricultural programme which does not address this 94 per cent people. I would like to ask the Ministers here -- I am sorry, there are no Ministers here -- I hope this would be reflected to them -- probably, it should be reflected to them. I would like to hear what exactly is the Congress' economic reforms agenda in agriculture which is addressed to this 94 per cent people. Mr. Chidambaram has talked about a lot of increase in credit, but at the same time, he says that the marginal and small farmers, we know, credit is not going there. He is talking about agriculture investment, this NABARD and all these things are going on. Only 1.8 per cent of the total investment is going to agriculture. When the total investment in the country is 34 per cent, and of that, 1.8 per cent or 1.6 per cent, even one quarter of that is only public investment. And it is this public investment only that will go to the aam janta. They cannot borrow money to invest; they cannot have access to the investment fund of the society. So, Sir, I am pointing it out that in the formulation of all our policies, the most important step is this social aspect. As all Congressmen should ask; all Members of this House should ask because this UPA Government has come on the picture, are you really having a programme which is helping the aam janta?

Next, Sir, let me come to the question of employment because this document is talking about agriculture, freedom from hunger and unemployment. Now, employment, Sir, if you look at the Economic Survey, it clearly says that unemployment is increasing. It is a bad thing, we all know. But, I am not going into that. But it also says -- we should not take credit for that -- that the rate of growth of employment is about 2.3 per cent. It came down a little before that, but it has again gone up to 2.3 per cent. But then it says -- it is very important to note -- that the rate of growth of employment in the organised sector is negative. Not only that employment is stagnant, it is actually falling. And with organised sector, manufacture sector is growing at a very fast rate at 10 or 11 per cent. I want to ask those friends of ours to say, if there is high rate of growth, there will be higher employment. How is it related to that? Nine to ten per cent growth is taking place in the manufactures' negative growth of employment. Where are these people going? Employment is increasing in the unorganised sector. What is the unorganised sector, Sir? It is the sector where there is no minimum wages; it is the sector where there is no labour laws; it is the sector where there is no social security. The people work in the most difficult situation. Without water, without light, without shelter, they work there. They work there because without working they would starve. Are we taking pride in this that employment is increasing in that sector which is going and going, again and again near starvation? What is the policy that this Government is following to increase the productivity of the unorganised sector? I tried my best to look into the Economic Survey, Sir, I did not see a single sentence which would say this policy should be followed in the unorganised sector so that their productivity increases, their enterprises increases.

Sir, I have a small Commission, which I head, where we have given a programme which is that if you are talking about the SEZs, --which I think is a wrong approach -- but SEZ has one implication that if you can put a cluster of inter-dependent units, there are internal economies so they can benefit from that and after that they can grow.

(Contd. by 3p-kls)

KLS/3P-4.15

SHRI ARJUN KUMAR SENGUPTA (CONTD): But it has to be supported only if we are infant industries, only when they do not have markets. There is absolutely no reason for supporting those who are rich, who are not infant, who can invest, who have their capacity to do that. There is very little reason today to support export industry because our exports are growing at 20 per cent. Today, Sir, there is no difference between the Indian Rupee and the exchange rate in dollar. In fact, Indian Rupee is probably or should be overvalued a little bit. There is no reason why we should subsidise exports for this SEZ by giving them land, giving them development. So, what we suggested that if you are accepting that in your law as SEZ law, apply that to cluster of poor, tiny sector establishments who need this kind of support, who need developers to come forward to help them, to push forward this question. If your SEZ principle is accepted, apply that to the unorganised sector. Sir, I am just putting an example how to improve this thing. There are questions of skills, there are questions of all other kinds that we can actually look at. But I do not see any reference to this thing either in the Economic Survey or in the Budget and not in the President's Speech either. Sir, there is a reference to a thing called the social security for the unorganised sector. I just want to mention, I do not want to talk about it because we have initiated this whole thing. But we proposed a scheme for 370 million workers in the unorganised sector -- 37 crores for giving, as you say, maternity benefit, life insurance, health insurance of small amount, accident benefits, sometimes if they are thrown out of employment, employment benefit and pension benefit - a completely feasible set of programme. One year earlier, we had submitted this report and this particular programme is absolutely feasible, Sir. We have gone to places, we have discussed with those who can do it and we have had several discussions. Mr. Oscar Fernandes is not here. He would tell you that this is the programme, which is perfectly feasible. The total cost is only .48 per cent of the GDP, less than half a per cent of the GDP. If you could provide that, 36 crore people in our country would come and support this UPA Government. Unfortunately, we have not made any progress in that. I am just talking about one particular area. The other question is, social sector programmes. I am just trying to be as brief as possible. Now, Mr. Sitaram Yechury pointed out that the share of expenditure in social sector is going down. It is very true. But it is a mistake to think of expenditure as the criterion of developing social sector. You have to deliver; you have to see that it is actually delivered. In fact, in the Budget document they have increased the allocation for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme. Now, it clearly says that they have increased from 200 to 300 districts but the Budget allocation for these 300 districts has increased to Rs. 700 cores. Why? It is clearly saying that whatever we have provided, we have not been able to spend. Who is responsible for that? Who is responsible for the fact that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme having been enacted and has not been implemented in this country? This is this Government, which should accept the responsibility and not only the Finance Minister, the whole Government should accept the responsibility. The only way to accept the responsibility, Sir, -- again this is in this document which I can say was drafted, written under the leadership of the Congress President -- was that you have to bring development through grassroots of the organisations, you have to go to the district level, village Gram Sabha, how it can be organised, monitoring system, all these things have been spelt out how it should be done. Why have you not tried to do anything? Do not be personal because this is something, which probably should be done by the Planning Commission because they can do it with the States. Sir, anything you talk about the social sector, they would say that it is the State's responsibility. But this is not correct. It is the Planning Commission, which will sit with the State Governments, hold their hands, give them incentives, and show how this can be done. The State Governments have also their problems, see how those problems can be solved, and go beyond that, to the Panchayats and all these places. (Contd by 3Q)

-KLS-SSS/3Q/4.20

SHRI ARJUN KUMAR SENGUPTA (CONTD.): We have a person in our Government. He is not present here, Mani Shankar Aiyar. I would say that he has shown a way to organise the Panchayats to do this kind of job. Sir, I am saying that this is possible if we really want to do this thing. How can it be done? Unfortunately, this has not been done. The social sector projects whether it is Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, whether it is the National Rural Health Mission, more and more money that you give, the money probably either will not be spent as in the Employment Guarantee Scheme mainly because we have a very good Rural Development Minister who does not waste money. I must give him credit or you spend the money without delivering. There has to be a mechanism to monitor those delivering and the only way to monitor this thing is to have the whole planning mechanism revamped. Unfortunately, that has not been done here. Sir, I wanted to bring these points, through you, to the House that the time has come to realise that the people of this country are not fools, they can see things done. They are not expecting miracles from this Government but they have trust. They trusted this Government. They trusted the Congress President when she went to the people and said that, look we are going back to the Congress ideology. This trust should not be betrayed. If you betray the trust, people of our country have shown again and again how to penalise and punish those in power. Thank you. (Ends)

DR. P. C. ALEXANDER (MAHARASHTRA): Sir, the President's Address this year has conformed to the time honoured format followed by all Presidents, including himself in the past and that is to list out all the achievements of the Government but not referred to the shortcomings or failures of the Government. I propose to bring out three or four points, which I consider, are real failures or warning signals about likely failures. In the first place, I was somewhat disappointed by the fact that the President did not refer to what I would call the most pressing problem that the nation is facing today and that is the threat to our internal security. I would particularly mention the fact that we think of internal security and debate and we talk about it even in this House only when some disaster happens somewhere. Yesterday, we listened to very impassioned speeches about the need for better internal security safeguards because we were shocked by the dastardly killing of a sitting Member of Parliament in Jharkhand. A few months ago, we were shocked by the attack on Jehanabad jail and several people were released from the sub-jail. Again we were shocked previously by the mass murder of the tribals in Chattissgarh. Once we get shocked we debate, we discuss and then we forget all about it the next day and the Home Minister as usual will come forward with the stereo-typed explanation, 'it is mainly the subject of the State Government. We are doing everything to strengthen the hands of the State Government but it is mainly the work of the State Government. We will continue to strengthen their hands'. But their hands get weakened and we do not see the Central hands, strong hands behind it and the result is, the whole approach to the problem of internal security has been a law and order approach in our country. I should also say -- it may be treated as a criticism -- as one familiar with the working of the Government system for long years that internal security should be handled by the Prime Minister of the country, not that it should be taken away from the Home Minister. (Contd. by NBR/3R)

-SSS/NBR-MCM/3R/4.25.

DR. P.C. ALEXANDER (CONTD.): The Home Minister is directly responsible. But, at the same time, the main responsibility should be with the hon. Prime Minister. Then only he will be able to enlist the cooperation of all other Ministries concerned and also the State Governments concerned. If it is left entirely to the Home Minister, you will see that he would himself is helpless and he will not be able to deliver as much as the Prime Minister would be able to deliver on his own. This problem has become much more acute than ever before because of the fact that India, today, is surrounded by five failed States. In the Survey conducted by Washington-based Fortune Magazine, in 2006, about 146 countries were listed in the order of their failure or tendency to fail. In the top list of 25 countries, there were 5 countries in our immediate neighbourhood. We had Pakistan in the list, ranking at number 9 in the list of 146 countries, Myanmar at 18, Bangladesh at 19, Nepal at 20 and Sri Lanka at 25. Of course, our country was ranked at 97; and, to that extent, we can feel happy. But the fact that we are living in the midst of failed States, surrounded by failed States, and also the fact that many of the things which cause the failure of these States are in evidence in our country should send us the right warning signals for necessary corrective actions. A State fails not merely because law and order fails. A State fails for a variety of reasons and some of these reasons are very conspicuous in our own country. For example, the failure of institutions of democracy, failure of electoral system, failure of the executive, failure of political parties or the collapse of political parties influence over various parts of the nation, lack of real political leadership, lack of, at least, one or two leaders whose voice will be respected and heard all over the country, irrespective of religion, caste, community or political differences. These are all the reasons which led to the failure of the neighbouring States. And, I say, Sir, with all sense of responsibility, many of these reasons exist in our country today and if we just go on ignoring them and continue to have the policy of putting the blame only on the State Governments and not doing what we are expected to do as a nation united to handle this problem, we may also be included in that list of 25 top failed States in Asia.

The Home Minister does not like this statement. Sir, I am a Member of the Consultative Committee for Home Ministry and I have raised my voice there also. But, I know, he does not like the statement that I am making. When we say 176 districts in India are affected by the menace of naxalism or extremism, the Home Minister always defends by saying that these 176 districts are not affected, only certain areas in the districts are affected! That is, certainly, not correct way of looking at this problem. If the whole district is affected, then, that will secede. That will cease to be a part of India. If, tomorrow, the whole district is affected, naturally, it will become some other State with some other name. So, the Home Minister should have the capacity to understand, if a portion of a district is affected, then, that district is affected. Therefore, the number of 176 districts should be taken seriously. These 176 districts are spread over fifteen States in India. So, it is no longer a localized problem. We used to speak of this problem in the periphery States of the country -- North-East or somewhere in the Jharkhand, Bihar or some parts of Andhra Pradesh. But, 15 States have been affected and I would earnestly appeal to this House to exert adequate pressure on the Home Ministry, on the Cabinet and on the Prime Minister and make sure that this problem moves from the low-priority in the scale of importance which the Government has and moves right up to the top. (CONTD. BY VP "3S")

VP-GS/4.30/3S

DR. P.C. ALEXANDER (CONTD.): If you fail as a State, what is the use of thinking of 9 per cent growth or striving to achieve 10 per cent growth? You will create an oligarchy where a few people will be benefited and the country would have lost its integrity and national friends as a country.

Sir, I now come to a few areas where the President's Address has not focussed on the causes of failure or even the fact of failure. The hon. Minister for Rural Development is present here, and I am encouraged to talk on this subject particularly because of his presence. I entirely agree with Shri Arjun Sengupta when he said that the Rural Employment Guarantee Programme has failed. It is only one year it has been started. But in this one year, the performance has been a total failure. I am not blaming the Minister at Delhi for this. I, certainly, have high regard and respect for him. He is a real rural person. But, the failure is ...(Interruptions)..

ִ ׾ ӡ ( ӿ ֤ ) : ֳ֯ן ,

MR. CHAIRMAN: You will get the chance.

DR. P.C. ALEXANDER: You may kindly allow me to continue. You can reply at your convenience.

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00 ׻ֵ : ֯ ...(־֮֬)...

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ֳ֯ : ָ߲ ׾ָ ֟

ӿ ֤ : ָ, ׻֋ ֟ ֮ ֯ ֤ , ֲ þָ

ֳ֯ : ־ֻ ׻֋ ֵ 37 ָ ֟֟

DR. P.C. ALEXANDER: Sir, since the hon. Minister has referred to mandays and the amount of money that has been spent, may I take one minute to explain the position as it is? The average mandays created is only 37.5 as against 100 to be created. When the Scheme was introduced some of us said that 100 mandays will not make a difference because the people in the rural areas should be given, at least, 150 days mandays in order to make an impact. But instead of 100 mandays, the average worked out for the last one year is 37.5.

Secondly, the hon. Minister may kindly note this point. Till February this year, that is, till a few days ago, 1.64 crores of households have been covered by the Scheme. According to our programme, this should have resulted in 164 crores of mandays at the rate of 100, but, actually, the number of mandays created is just 64 crores. If the hon. Minister thinks that these are sufficient indices of the success of this Scheme, I am sorry I have no answer to him. I am not blaming you, Mr. Minister. The first one year of its beginning has not been successful, has not been auspicious, has not been adequate to guarantee results. So, it is up to us to look into the Scheme, find out what is specifically wrong about it, why it has failed or why it has not taken on, and, then, correct it. But, we have hurried with adding 130 districts to the list of 200. I leave it to the House to decide whether this addition of 130 to the existing 200 was really justified.

Sir, I said I will mention two or three points in which I consider the failure to be conspicuous. And the next point is about Judicial reforms.

(Continued by PK/3T)

PK/4.35/3T

DR. P.C. ALEXANDER (CONTD.): The hon. President has said that judicial reforms have been introduced, which will result in considerable independence of judiciary alongwith accountability and all that. But what has happened is that in the name of judicial reforms, we have just introduced a National Judicial Council Bill and that Bill takes away from this House the right of impeachment. It takes away from you, as the Chairman, the power to appoint the Committee to go into the allegations. It takes away the power of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha to appoint a Committee. Judges have appointed the Committee of Judges to look into the complaints. And if that Committee reports to this House, even if 50 Rajya Sabha Members or 100 Lok Sabha Members have signed the thing, then, no further action can be taken, according to this Bill on that later. Is it a progressive step, is it a reform or is it a retrograde step which will only help the judges or the judiciary, rather than the Parliament or the nation as a whole. Sir, judicial reforms should be handled boldly. You should think of All-India Judicial Service. You should restore to the Executive the right to appoint the High Court judges and the Supreme Court judges. The Constitutional right that had been given to the Cabinet, the Prime Minister of the country, has been taken away. Judges appoint judges; and judges judge the judges. And, then, we talk of judicial reforms in the name of this Bill before the House. So, practically, the Presidential reference with judicial reforms creates an impression that something is being done, when things that are being done, or, going to be done will mark only a retrogression and not a progress.

Sir, one more point and then I will stop, and, that is the creation of the post of a Minister for Minority Welfare. I belong, technically, to a minority group. But I am proud to say that we, the Christian population in our State Kerala, have been treated with utmost generosity, tolerance support and cooperation by the Hindu population of the State, not for one Century, but for 2,000 years. We have never, therefore, suffered from minority complex, the Christian community in Kerala. But there are needs of the communities, Christians, Sikhs, and Muslims in this country, but the solution is not to appoint one Minister for Minority Welfare. I am sorry, I know that Minister very well. Barrister Antulay has long experience of administration; Chief Minister of one of the biggest States in our country; a real, genuine nationalist Muslim; you put him in charge of Minority Affairs. All the powers are with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Home Affairs and various other Ministries. His hands are tied. At the end of five years, he will get all the blame for not doing anything for minorities; and, minorities will have all the deficiencies and defects they always had before. Therefore, these things should be redone, reworked, rethought, and this should be faced squarely. When we find something going wrong, correct it then, that is the sign of good administration, and not wait till the period is done. (Ends)

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD (KARNATAKA): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the Motion moved by -- I don't know whether to say Dr. Karan Singh or Maharaja Karan Singh -- Dr. Karan Singh thanking the President for addressing the Joint Session. ...(Interruptions)... . Sir, it gives me great pleasure in supporting this Motion. I start with the comments made by Dr. Sengupta that this speech or the programme of the Government has been chalked out after a serious thought by the Congress President Sonia Gandhi over Aam Aadmi. Sir, Sushmaji was saying about the prathmikta of the programme, and, Mr. Vyasji of BJP was speaking on the agenda of the then Government. Prior to 2004, we have seen various Presidential Addresses. If you just see the political agenda on that, there was no mention of farmers or the labour class in those agendas.

(Contd. by 3U/PB)

PB/3U/4.40

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD (CONTD.): After seeing for almost seven years, the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, brought this 'Aam Aadmi' theory into practicality by announcing these schemes in the manifesto. Sir, right from 2004, the highlight of all these manifestos was Bharat Nirman. In Bharat Nirman, there were a lot of programmes of the UPA Government wherein the stress has been given to NREG, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, the National Rural Health Mission, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, the RTI and Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyut Yojana. Sir, about all these programmes, a lot of Members have already spoken. They have made a mention about the Agricultural and National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme and other schemes like Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. I would just like to confine myself to Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. This is one of the noble programmes as far as the urban infrastructure is concerned because, probably, in 2025, almost fifty per cent of the population of this country will be living in the urban areas. Therefore, there should be a vision to tackle the problem of urban infrastructure in this country. Sir, if you go by the history of the major metropolitan cities like Mumbai -- I will start from Mumbai --you will find that almost 60 per cent of the population lives in the slums. If I take the example of Tamil Nadu, a huge population lives in the slums there. Even if I take the example of Hyderabad, there are also a large number of people who are living in slums. In Bangalore alone, a huge population, something around 20 lakhs people, is living in slums. The majority of the people who have come from Tamil Nadu are residing peacefully in Bangalore and in other parts of the adjoining States like Goa. These States get maximum migrated population from Northern Karnataka where because of severe drought, a lot of people migrate from that part of Karnataka to Goa and Maharashtra. Sir, the President has rightly given more importance to the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission. The Government has announced a huge package of almost one lakh thousand crores to be spent within seven years in almost 63 major metropolitan cities and towns. Sir, coming back to the rehabilitation of slum dwellers, I have been visiting some of the State capitals and some of the slum development areas, where instead of rehabilitating the slum dwellers, the programme is confined to relocating those slums. Some amount is also sanctioned for rehabilitation of the slums. Sir, there should be a proper vision, a proper planning while rehabilitating and providing the basic amenities for this poorest of the poor classes in the urban areas. Sir, there is a huge migration. As I said, by 2025, almost 50 per cent of the population would live in the urban areas. The reason for it is the huge migration from the rural areas to the urban areas because in the rural areas, we are not finding suitable employment opportunities for these people. So, the people are migrating to these State Capitals. Naturally, we have to provide the basic amenities for these people as there are not basic amenities in the original slums. Where we are unable to provide the basic amenities there, naturally we have to go in for rehabilitation. For rehabilitation, we have to construct houses. I think, Tamil Nadu is the number one State in the country which has provided a wonderful rehabilitation scheme for the slum dwellers. It has got relocated the slums. It is my personal experience. In Tamil Nadu, they have done a wonderful job. ...(Interruptions)... No; no; I belong to a national party, the Congress party, and I think in the national perspective and not in the regional perspective. Sir, the President has rightly announced a special package amounting to more than Rs. 60,000 cores which is to be spent in 31 districts which are most affected by the farmers' suicide.

Another point is, in para 20, it has been said that the Government recognises the serious nature of the problem of water availability and water use both in agriculture and the urban economy. (Contd. by 3w/KS)

3w/6.45/ks

SHRI B. K. HARIPRASAD (CONTD.): Sir, when the hon. President started his speech, he said that this is a special year in which we are celebrating the 60th year of the Independence, 150th year of the First War of Indian Independence and the centenary celebrations of our Satyagraha Movement. Sir, even after sixty years, some of the sensitive issues have not been addressed in this country, especially the issue of boundaries and water.

Let us take the example of Karnataka. Sir, after the reorganisation of States in 1956, the State of Karnataka was formed by taking bits and pieces from the Bombay Presidency, Madras Presidency, Nizam of Hyderabad and the Maharaja of Travancore. Bits and pieces were taken from these States and Karnataka was formed on linguistic basis. According to the Planning Commission, almost 160 taluqas are severely drought-prone areas. According to the Planning Commission, Karnataka has the largest arid area, more than even what Rajasthan has.

Sir, almost we have been seeing in the Parliament, some of our big brothers around us, around Karnataka, trying to paint Karnataka as a recalcitrant State, that is, the State which does not obey orders. Sir, it is ridiculous... (Interruptions) Is it correct? Sir, it is ridiculous if you go by the data pertaining to the Cauvery River. Karnataka's claim before the Tribunal is about 300 TMC for irrigation. Under the existing and ongoing projects, what is allowed is only 251 TMC. Against the cropped area of 25,284 lakh acres, what is allowed is only 18,000 lakh acres. The area of cultivation under paddy has been reduced from 8000 lakh acres to 7000 lakh acres. Sir, against the cropped area of 29269 lakh acres, what is allowed is only 24000 lakh acres. This is gross injustice done by this Tribunal which was constituted in 1980.

Sir, in 2002, the Cauvery Regulatory Authority was constituted to regulate the flow of water in the Cauvery basin. The Tribunal, in its Order, has gone totally against the interests of Karnataka. It does not do any justice to Karnataka. It is a death-knell to the farmers of Karnataka. People may say that Karnataka is greedy and does not allow the water to flow. Chandrasekar Reddyji or any of our other neighbours may say that. As I said, when the State was formed, it was formed with many disputes with the neighbours. In the past ten years, in Karnataka alone, 30,000 farmers have committed suicide. If there were proper irrigation facilities, if there were water, I don't think these many people would have died or committed suicide in Karnataka. The Tribunal is totally partisan in its approach. It never went into the technicalities of the availability of water. The demand of Karnataka is equitable apportionment of water to all the neighbouring States...(Interruptions).. I am not talking about Tamil Nadu... (interruptions)... I am talking about the injustice done to Karnataka. ...(interruptions)... I am talking to the Chairman. I am talking about the injustice done to Karnataka. The Tribunal should be thrown out into the Arabian Sea, not even in the ..(interruptions)... it is a partisan Tribunal.

DR. E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN: Sir, there is a provision to file a petition within three months before the Tribunal. That opportunity could be utilised; it need not be raised in this fashion...(interruptions)...

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD: Mr. Chairman Sir, that was the understanding that we would not raise the Cauvery issue. But hon. Member, Shri Narayanan had raised the issue yesterday. That is why I was forced to raise the issue. Otherwise, I would not have raised it. (Contd. by 3x)

TDB/3X/4.50

MR. CHAIRMAN: You raise some other issue.

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD: Sir, as far as the Tribunal Award is concerned, it is a death knell for the farmers of Karnataka. Karnataka will in-toto reject the Award given by the Cauvery Tribunal Authority, and we will not accept that. .

SHRI P.G. NARAYANAN: The Tribunal's order is a judicial order. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD: The Centre should intervene to save the suicide attitude of the people of Karnataka, especially in the Cauvery Basin because the people are suffering due to shortage of water. Not only farmers, Sir, there is shortage of water even in Bangalore, where almost 80 per cent of people from Tamil Nadu are living. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRIMATI S.G. INDIRA: There are so many people from Karnataka who are residing in Tamil Nadu. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD: Mr. Chairman, Sir, even the Tribunal has cut down the quantity of drinking water for Bangalore city. That is a great set back. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI JANARDHANA POOJARY: Are you not satisfied with 600 tmc of water? ...(Interruptions)...

SHRIMATI S.G. INDIRA: Sir, he is saying that people from Tamil Nadu are living in Karnataka. ...(Interruptions)... What is this?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please take your seat. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD: I am proud of them. ...(Interruptions)... I am proud of them. I am proud of Tamilians who are living in Karnataka.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Hariprasad, you have spoken enough about it.

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD: I am proud of Tamilians who are living in Karnatka. ...(Interruptions)... I am proud that even your leader is from Karnataka. ...(Interruptions)... Please sit down. ...(Interruptions)... Please sit down, sit down, sit down. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRIMATI S.G. INDIRA: You cannot direct me like this. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD: Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am not mentioning anything about Tamil Nadu. Sir, I am talking about problems in Karnataka, and they should not feel bad about that. ...(Interruptions)...

DR. E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN: There are 25 lakh peasants in Karnataka who are utilising the Cauvery water in Karnataka itself. We want to protect both the ethnic groups. ...(Interruptions)... They can't even now enter Bangalore. ...(Interruptions)... Without protection the Tamilians cannot enter Bangalore from Tamil Nadu. That is the worry we are having. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. CHAIRMAN: Let him speak.

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD: Sir, my only point is, only Tribunal or any court cannot decide on the nature. The natural resources can only be decided through the political statesmanship or through negotiations and not through the court or the tribunal.

Sir, finally, I have one more point. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: Let us have friendly discussion. ...(Interruptions)...You are not agreeing to it. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD: Sir, we are ready for it. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: They are not agreeing to any discussion.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Narayanasamy, are you from Tamil Nadu? ...(Interruptions)... Then, please keep quiet. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI JANARDHANA POOJARY: Sir, we want to make it clear that we are ready for any discussion. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. CHAIRMAN: I wanted to know only one thing whether you are from Tamil Nadu. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: Sir, in the Cauvery water, Puducherry also has a share. ...(Interruptions)... It is not Tamil Nadu alone. We are also having interest in that. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. CHAIRMAN: You are from Puducherry. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: Sir, Puducherry is also having its share in the Cauvery waters. ...(Interruptions)... Sir, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry are the four States which have share in it. ...(Interruptions)... Sir, Puducherry is also getting its share in that.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Now, come to some other point. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD: Sir, the Award by any standard is biased and is not acceptable to the State of Karnataka.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You have spoken so many times about it. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI JANARDHANA POOJARY: Sir, it is a burning issue.

MR. CHAIRMAN: It may be a burning issue. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI JANARDHANA POOJARY: People are saying that we are not discussing it. ...(Interruptions)... The Parliament is not discussing it. It is an allegation against us. So, Sir, you have to allow us.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please take your seat. ...(Interruptions)... Let him finish.

SHRI JANARDHANA POOJARY: Sir, we have requested for a Short Duration Discussion on this issue, but you have not allowed it so far.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You are speaking on that particular subject, then, what is the need of the Short Duration Discussion? This matter has been discussed here. He is speaking on this. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI JANARDHANA POOJARY: Sir, it is not like that. What I am saying is, the Short Duration Discussion...(Interruptions)...

MR. CHAIRMAN: You please take your seat. ...(Interruptions)... I won't allow you.

SHRI JANARDHANA POOJARY: Sir, you are not allowing me to speak.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please take your seat. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD: Sir, the river Cauvery does not get any water from the mountains of the Himalayas. It is entirely dependent...

MR. CHAIRMAN: You take water for Cauvery from Rajasthan. Then, you will be satisfied. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI B.K. HARIPRASAD: Sir, it is a rain-fed river. Unless there is a good monsoon, there will be a serious problem in both the States.

(Contd. by 3y-kls)

KLS/3Y-4.55

SHRI B.K. HARIPARSAD (CONTD): The Cauvery is an emotional issue for all the States around Karnataka. I am not naming any State. Sir, even we have a dispute with Andhra Pradesh, as far the Krishna is concerned. We have a dispute with Goa which is a small State as far as the Mahadayi is concerned. We have a dispute with Mr. Narayanasamy's Pondicherry, which is also a small State. We have a dispute with a State like Kerala. But, Sir, it is a very sensitive issue because we are upper riparian State. The rights of upper riparian States are not defined. The same problem, what Chandra Sekhar Raoji is facing, we are also facing with regard to the Cauvery. Sir, what has happened in Punjab is that the Supreme Court has given an order, the Tribunal has given an order, it has not been implemented. It cannot be because it is an emotional issue. If there is negotiation at people to people level, then only this issue can be solved. Sir, in view of the kind of sensitivity the President has expressed in his speech, we should take it very seriously on emotional issues concerning boundaries and water, and it should be solved through negotiations. With these words, I support this Motion. Thank you. (Ends)

DR. BARUN MUKHERJEE (WEST BENGAL): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity. Sir, while generally supporting the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address, I would like to highlight a few important points which I wished should have been included in the President's Address.

I am thankful that a reference has been made to the 150th Year of India's First War of Independence, the great uprising of 1857. But while celebrating the 150th anniversary of this great event, we must not miss two very significant aspects. Firstly, it was not only an armed revolt of the then British Indian soldiers against the British Raj but the millions of oppressed poor peasants, ousted small Jamnidars and local freedom loving kings, retrenched soldiers and the common people as a whole joined the armed revolt.

(MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN IN THE CHAIR)

Secondly, people of all communities Hindus and Muslims unitedly fought against the British Raj. This question of communal harmony is still very important and relevant today. Of late, some forces are very active to create communal violence and casteist hatred and divisions in the country. It is necessary to defeat these evil forces. The hon. President should have made a reference to it. Great optimism about the economic performance of the UPA Government has been expressed in the President's Address. But the much-publicised 9.2 per cent rate of growth of the GDP has in reality no impact on the lives of the common people. Benefits of economic growth have been concentrated among the 15 per cent of our population. So, it is no point in just making a fanfare of this high GDP growth. The people are hard hit by all time high up to 6.7 per inflation and continuously increasing prices of essential commodities. It has been even admitted in the President's Address but efforts have been made to over simplify the crisis and its reasons. (Contd by 3Z)

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