PREVIOUS HOUR

-VKK-TMV-AKA/3K/4.00

SHRI TAPAN KUMAR SEN (CONTD.): It is not only an occasion to rise to speak on the Bill, but, I think, also an occasion to seriously ponder over whether we should follow it blindly or whether we should evolve norms keeping in view those parameters, particularly, in the light of the specific situation prevailing in our country and fit those norms into our standards and requirements. Again I repeat that banks are not merely for commercial lending, but they are an instrument of growth when we consider the role of public sector banks. So, I request the hon. Finance Minister to seriously ponder over this aspect.

Another point is that in our case where we are trying to put these parameters. Is it a compulsion for us? I understand that the compulsion of following the Basel norms -- if I am wrong, I may be corrected -- depends on our presence in the international banking business. Now we are dealing with the State Bank of India. So far as my knowledge goes, the State Bank of India's presence in the international banking business is, as you know, hardly 6-7 per cent. The RBI has a view that if you have, at least, 20 per cent presence in the international banking business, Basel-II is a must for you. That is the view taken by the RBI. I don't know how far it is correct. I read it in the pink newspapers. So, I may be corrected if I am wrong. I have not checked the relevant document. If that is so, with only six per cent presence in the international banking business, it is not a compulsion. Just like the WTO compatibility, following these norms is strictly not a compulsion for our banking system when we are mostly operating within our country and there is enough room in our country to make the banking system accessible to our hundred crores of people. So, my request is that this aspect should also be reviewed.

My last point is that the Bill proposes to increase the capital of the subsidiary banks to Rs.500 crores. My question is: How? If the country's banking system or the Government is going to pump that much money to arrive at Rs.500 crores, well, it is a welcome step. (Time bell)... I am just concluding. But if it is by selling the bank's equity to private hands, definitely I object to it. I see it as a beginning of the process of privatisation. It may not be privatisation now. But it will make you to go two steps forward towards that goal. We can't agree to such kind of an enabling provision and I reiterate my opposition to such provisions and I reiterate the amendment that I have already submitted. Thank you. (Ends)

SHRI SYED AZEEZ PASHA (ANDHRA PRADESH): Thank you, Mr. Vice-Chairman, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. I rise here to support the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks Laws) Amendment Bill, 2006, of course, with certain reservations. It is a matter of great regret that we are reducing the capital in certain subsidiaries. What we are seeing is that the Government is reducing its capital from 55 per cent to 51 per cent, whereas the private capital is getting increased from 45 per cent to 49 per cent. It clearly shows that the Government is going towards privatisation. So, this is not a healthy sign for our country where public sector banks are performing really very well. If you look at the rural areas, it is the public sector banks which, through their branches, are doing a very good service, whereas the Government is concentrating on micro finance institutions which are not bothered in serving rural areas. Though the banks are supposed to give 18 per cent agricultural credit, they are hardly giving 14 per cent. So, it is not a healthy sign.

Secondly, the Swaminathan Commission, after seeing the agrarian crisis and farmers' distress, has mentioned that the interest rates should be reduced to four per cent. (Contd. by VK/3L)

SCH/VK/4.05/3L

SHRI SYED AZEEZ PASHA (CONTD): Anyhow, the Finance Minister has reduced it up to 7 per cent. If they are really concerned about farmers, I don't think there should be any problem in reducing the rate of interest to 4 per cent. Sir, this morning he was delivering a lecture on agrarian crisis. It was quite surprising when he revealed that in China they are providing loans to its farmers at zero interest. Of course, it is a far distant dream so far as the Indian farmers are concerned. But, at least, based upon the recommendation of the Swaminathan Commission, we must reduce the rate of interest for farmers up to 4 per cent. But, unfortunately, we are giving priority to corporate and big industrial houses who are really duping the nation of billions of rupees. If you see the NPAs, of course, you may feel some sort of satisfaction in saying that net NPAs have reduced. But what about gross NPAs which are showing a high level of increase? Until and unless, the Government becomes strict in dealing with the gross NPAs, I don't think there will be proper recovery.

When we deal with small consumers and small persons, we are very strict. But why isn't the law so strict while dealing with corporate or industrial houses?

Secondly, we have been told that the Government is thinking of superseding certain boards. If some director is not working properly, if you are finding fault with the functioning of a director, what is the necessity of superseding the entire board? We have also been told that the leading banks like the State Bank of Hyderabad, the State Bank of Mysore and other subsidiaries are going to be merged with the SBI. The question of merger comes when a particular bank is not functioning properly or it is sick. But we are seeing that the State Bank of Hyderabad, which is having a capital of Rs. 35 crores and which is really doing a very good service in Andhra Pradesh and other places, I don't think there is any need to merge this bank with the SBI. It is working very efficiently. Similarly, the State Bank of Mysore and other subsidiaries are also working very well. Keeping that in view, I strongly feel that the question of merger does not arise at all. So far as NPAs are concerned, the Government should give a serious thought to it. I once again repeat that the rate of interest for farmers should be reduced to 4 per cent. Thank you. (Ends)

֮֕ן ֤ (ײָ): ֮֮ߵ ֳ֯ן , ֮־֤ ײֻ ֮ ׻֋ ֛ ӡ ײֻ ֋

֡ -߮ ־ֻ , ֯ օ ֌ֆ ֟ ָ פ ָ ٿֻ ֋ ָ ֮֮ߵ ֤õ Ù ֱ ٿֻ ֱ

ֳ֯ן , ֕ ֲ ׬ ָ߲ , ָ ״ֻ ָ ֲ ׬ ׸ָ , ָ ״ֻ ֮ ָָ ֤ ָ פ , ֲ ׬ ן , ָ ״ֻ ֤ ־ָ 3M/MCM ָ ָ

MCM-RG/3M/4-10

֮֕ן ֤ (֟) : ֲ ֛-֛ ޛÙ׻Ù ״֡ 0ߕ0 ׻י׿ֵ֮ ״ֻօ ֟ ֵ֤ ־ ֲ ֻ 00 ֮ ֻ ֋ ֲ ֤ ׻֋ Ԯֻ ֮ ׻֋ ֵ פօ ֻ ֤ ֲ 00 ֮ ֵ ֻ ֋ ֯ ֛ , ֻ ֋ ֻ ֋ ׻י׿ֵ֮ , ֲֻ֟ ָ օ ֲֻ֟ ָ ֋ ֻ ֟ ׻֋ ֵָ֮ ו֋ ָ כו֙ ֯ , 0ߕ0 ׻י׿ֵ֮ ֛-֛ ֯ןֵ ָ߲ ֳ֯ן , ֟ ֯

ָ և ״׮Ù ֡ ״ֻ ָ ֌׸ ֺ ֯ ־ ֣ ָ ֋ և ׮׿֟ ָ ֻ Ùֱ ֯ ֯ ֌׸ , ֯ ֌׸ ֋ ֵ ״ֻօ ָ ֯ ֓ ָ, ֚ ָ ֋ ֋ ֯ ֌׸ ָ և ״׮Ù ֯ ָ ׻֋ ֌׸ ֺ ߛ , , ֯ ߮ ׾־ָ ׻֋ ֳ ֯ ״ֻօ ֻ֟ ֯ ٿֵֻ ֋ ָ օ

֟ ״֮֙ ֟ Ӆ ֻ , ֟ ֮ ֙ԇʹ ֜ ָ , ֜ ֚ ָ ֟ ׻֋, ׻֋ ֲ ֮ ֻ ײ֔ , ֛-֛ ڛ ֲ ֛ Ծ ָ߲ ֮֜, ֤֕ , ָָ , , әÙ ןִ ֟ פ ׻ֵ , ֮ ׻ֵ , ׻ֵ ָ ׻ֵ әÙ ָ ֤ ָ֟ ָ , ָ ֵ ָ פ ֵ ֋օ ױ ֋ ָ ֻօ ׻֋ ֳ֯ן , ֮֯ ִֵ פ ׻֋ ֯ ֮־֤ ָ ֯ ִֵ , ֟ օ (ִ֯) (3N ָ )

3n/4.15/ks

MINISTER OF FINANCE (SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM): Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, let me first apologise for not being present here when the first four speakers were speaking. I came in towards the end of Shri Tapan Kumar Sen's speech. I was held up in the other House; I had to reply to the debate there.

Sir, I have gone through the notes taken by my learned friend, Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal and the points made Shri Agarwal, Prof. P.J. Kurien, Shri Tiwari, Shri Tapan Kumar Sen and I have listened to Shri Syed Azeez Pasha and Rajniti Prasad as well.

Sir, let me make it very clear that the purpose of this Bill is very limited. There is the State Bank of India and there are subsidiary banks of the State Bank of India. There are seven subsidiaries. Between the seven subsidiaries, they have 4,688 branches. The State Bank itself has 9,143 branches. So, in terms of, simply, branch-network, the seven subsidiaries amount to one-half of the State Bank. It is half-a-State Bank. They must now have the opportunity, the freedom and the autonomy to grow at a faster pace. The subsidiary and the way they are governed today is a legacy issue. We are trying to overcome as many of those legacy issues as possible and trying to give them the room to grow, grow into full-fledged public sector banks which are able to compete with the other public sector banks. The fact that they are subsidiaries of the State Bank of India should not stunt their growth. So, the first main amendment is to increase their capital. Today, the capital is Rs. two crores or so. We want to raise it to Rs. 500 crores. Now, capital adequacy is very important. A bank's ability to lend, in fact, a bank's capacity to lend is severely limited by the capital it has to lend. Capital adequacy norms are laid down by the regulator, which is the Reserve Bank of India and, unless these capital adequacy norms are met, the bank cannot lend more to more borrowers. Therefore, capital has to be enhanced and the first step that we are taking is, increasing the authorised capital from Rs. 2 crores to Rs. 500 crores in each case. Two crores, as anyone knows, is a pitiable figure and it can't support any large-scale bank operations.

Then, what we are trying to do is, give more room to the banks to grow. Today, the State Bank Chairman is the Chairman of the subsidiary banks. Now, how can the Chairman of the State Bank, which itself is India's biggest bank, with so many responsibilities, devote attention to each of these subsidiary banks? So, we want each of these subsidiary banks to have its own chairman. We have now said either a State Bank's main official or an executive of the subsidiary itself can be appointed as the chairman so that you will have a full-time chairman devoting his entire energy, time and attention to that bank and allowing it to grow.

Thirdly, Sir, we go back to the issue of how to expand the capacity of these banks to lend more. We have set very stiff targets for agricultural lending, stiff targets for priority sector, stiff targets for export sector, stiff targets for educational loans, self-help groups. All this requires that lending must increase by a factor of two and three. Today all bank credit accounts for about forty per cent of the GDP. Really, the bank credit should finance close to eight per cent or ninety per cent of the GDP. So, the bank credit must expand and the critical factor is that. Now, we have done a very quick analysis and we think that -- and this is reported in the Standing Committee's Report records -- something like Rs.3,161 crores are to be infused into the State Bank. It will be difficult for the Government to infuse that kind of money. That kind of money is to be raised in the capital market. That kind of money can be raised in the capital market because these shares can be sold at a premium today. For example, the face value of a share in the three banks which are listed is Rs.100. A State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur share is now quoted at Rs. 4,338. That shows the bank's performance has enhanced the inherent value of the bank. A State Bank of Mysore share is quoted at Rs. 7,340. A share of the State Bank of Travancore is quoted at Rs.4,300. So, there is great opportunity to raise capital in the market. When we raise capital in the market, that is not disinvestment. Government's shareholding gets diluted, but that is not disinvestment. If the principal shareholder is not able to put in the kind of money that is required to support the expansion, the institution should not suffer, the business should not suffer. (Contd. by 3o/tdb)

TDB/3O/4.20

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM (CONTD.): It should be able to raise money in the capital market. When it raises money, the capital of the Government will get diluted. But, we have made it very clear -- and I am not scoring any debating point -- the previous Government, for reasons best known to it, said that it is their policy to reduce the Government's equity in the public sector banks to 33 per cent. When this Government came, we said, 'we do not accept that; we reject that'. We will make it clear as a statement of policy that the equity of the Government in a public sector bank will not go below 51 per cent.

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: Sir, can I have a clarification here? You say, 'they said it'. But, did they actually do it? At present, what is the level?

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: I will tell you. They introduced a Bill which had a clause to reduce it to 33 per cent. When we re-introduced the Bill, we dropped that clause. That clause is not there. At present, the Act says, '51 per cent for nationalised banks' and at present, the Act says, '55 per cent for the State Bank group.'

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: So, at present, it is at 55 per cent and you want to bring it down to 51 per cent.

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: I am dealing with that. Yes you are right.

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: I am just clarifying it. Thank you. I needed that clarification because there is a lot of misinformation which has been given.

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: No, no; there is no misinformation. In fact, the Statement of Objects and Reasons says it. Now, why are we reducing it first to 51 per cent? The purpose, as I said, is to raise capital. Now, in three banks or so, we have got 100 per cent and in another bank we have got 75 to 92 per cent or so. We have to raise capital. We can raise capital at a premium today. But in terms of the shareholding, what decides this is the number of shares which are issued. Firstly, so far as all nationalised banks are concerned, the Act which the Parliament has approved and amended recently says 51 per cent is the flow for the nationalised banks. Only in the State Bank group, as purely a historical fact, this 55 per cent will bring them on par with other nationalised banks. That is the first reason. The second reason is, 55 to 51 gives me a four per cent head room, which otherwise we would not have. This four per cent head room could mean several hundred crores, if we want to raise capital. If you just work the numbers in the back of the envelope, you know a four per cent head room means several hundred crores capital can be raised at the premium at which it can be raised. And the third reason is that we intend to acquire the RBI shares in the State Bank. So, the Government will become the direct shareholder of the State Bank. RBI, the regulator says, 'a regulator should not also be a shareholder'. So, we will acquire the shares. I announced it in the Budget Speech. The Bill will come and we will acquire those shares. In RBI, our holding will not go below 51 per cent. In SBI, our holding will not go below 51 per cent. And SBI's holding in the subsidiary will not go below 51 per cent. The public sector character of this Bank will be preserved forever and forever, until the Parliament decides otherwise. And I can't see Parliament deciding otherwise. The Parliament is clear, at least, the broad consensus in Parliament that I am able to gather is clear that at no time should Government's shareholding go below 51 per cent. So, unless Parliament allows you to go below 51 per cent, the question of Government proposing it does not arise. This Government, let me make it very clear, does not intend to propose taking the shareholding to below 51 per cent. This Government is very clear that in all these banks, the nationalised banks as well as the State Bank group, the Government shareholding will be at a minimum of 51 per cent.

The third reason, Sir, not quite a reason, simply an explanation, whether it is 52 or 53 really makes no difference, to control. Sir, '51' is an important number, and '49' is a bad number, in terms of control. Fifty-one is a relevant number in terms of control. Whether it is 52 or 53 or 54, it is purely cosmetic, it makes no difference. But if you look at it, the four per cent head room, additional head room which we will get, will mean several hundred crores of rupees, then, the logic of bringing it to 51, bringing it on par with all other nationalised banks becomes very apparent. So, I want to conclude this part of the discussion by making it very clear; one, the public sector character of the State Bank of India group as well as all other nationalised banks will always be maintained; the flow to the minimum shareholding of the Government will be 51; and number three, the idea is to give them more head room to raise capital in the market. (Contd. by 3p-kls)

KLS/3P-4.25

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM (CONTD): The fact that we are now saying, please make it 51 rather than 55 as a nationalised bank, does not mean that we will go to 51 tomorrow, does not mean we are obliged to go to 51. In fact, where we have a 100 per cent holding I do not have to go to 51 immediately. I can raise capital and bring my shareholding to 75, I may get enough capital even when I dilute 25. I may dilute 35 per cent and get enough capital. What we are always saying is simply we are bringing comprehensive amendments to these four or five Acts which govern this. We are amending this also to bring it on par for the reasons I stated. But the assurances, which I have given, the provision that has been built into the Act will make it clear that the Government has no intention and the Government will not propose that the shareholding should go below 51 per cent, 51 is the floor and the shareholding of the Government will be between 51 and 100. As and when the bank decides it requires to raise capital in the market, it will go to the market to raise capital. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Let him complete.

SHRI RAMDAS AGARWAL: Sir, only one minute. I just enquired one thing about the four per cent offloading of the State Bank Shares and how much money it will be. You are saying several hundred crores. Can you tell specifically what will be the amount that you will be getting out of it?

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: Agarwalji, you are better aware than I am. It depends upon what prices is quoted in the market. Now, suppose, for example, the State Bank of Bikaner is quoting at 4338 a share of face value of 100 rupees. Now in the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur the Government holding is 75 per cent. Now the 50 crore is my shareholding, Government holding and Government means through the SBI. I am using it very loosely 'government holding', this 50 crore represents 75 per cent. I am sorry total equity is 50 crores, my holding is 75 per cent, it is 37.50 crore. Now, if I want to raise, if I say, I dilute it to 55 let us say, if I take another 20 per cent of the shares which means I have to issue shares for approximately about another 12-13 crores worth face value shares. For 13 crore face value share at 100 rupee, if the share is 4338, you multiply 13 by 43, back of the envelope calculations. So, 13 by 43 comes to almost 500-600 crores which can be raised. ...(Interruptions)... Only one bank. ...(Interruptions)... That is all I am trying to say. It gives you headroom to raise capital. ...(Interruptions)... At a given time - this is the price today. Now, if you dilute it, say, three years and later the price is 7000 rupees, you can raise much more. Therefore, what we are only trying to do is to give ourselves enough headroom to go to the market to raise capital - let me repeat, raise capital when necessary, when decided by the bank, when required by the bank at a price prevailing at that time which will be advised by the merchant bankers, etc. At the moment, there is no immediate plan. Only after this Bill is passed, they will have to sit down and decide what capital they will have to raise. So, we have to meet two norms. The hon. Members asked me why are you going international. Tapan Kumar Senji is very closely intimated with the banking industry. Why are we going international? We are going international because there is a large amount of international trade, a hundred billion dollars worth of exports, 156 billion dollars worth of imports. They are growing at 23 per cent a year. Indians are trading, buying, selling. Where will this business go and try if Indian bank does not have a presence abroad? There are millions of Indians settled abroad. ...(Interruptions)...I am answering a very serious issue. ...(Interruptions)... It is serious but that is equally serious. ...(Interruptions)... When international trade is the major driver of economic growth, the Indian banks must have a presence abroad. We just opened branches in Shanghai, we have opened branches in Hong Kong, and we have opened branches abroad. The State Bank of India today has -- State Bank of India's subsidiaries do not have branches -- 30 branches, 5 subsidiaries, 7 representative offices, 3 joint venture banks. The State Bank must grow. It must be part of international business, it must get a share of international business, it must get a share of India's international trade. Indian companies acquire companies abroad, those financing arrangements must be put together by Indian banks not by foreign banks. Today not one merger and acquisition is being financed by Indian banks simply because they do not have the size of the resources. (Contd by 3Q/sss)

-KLS-SSS/4.30/3Q

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM (CONTD.): Sir, one bank in China, ICBC in terms of its market capitalisation is more than all Indian banks put together. Why are the Chinese bank opening branches abroad? Forget the western world. Why is the Chinese bank opening branches abroad? With China's international trade is a major drive for growth and they want Chinese bank's presence abroad. Just on Janpath you will find a Chinese bank. Indian banks must have a presence abroad. Indians abroad have a natural affinity. We can market our banks there, we can collect deposits, we can raise ABRs, we can raise GBRs. We are part of an international economy. Whether we like it or not we are part of an international economy. I am not apologetic about it at all because that is what is driving growth. Therefore, Indian banks must have a presence abroad. Indian banks must go abroad and the world will do business with us on our banks only if our banks meet Basel II norms. Who will honour an Indian bank's LC if an Indian bank does not satisfy Basel II norms? How will a counterpart bank accept your LC if your bank does not satisfy Basic II norms? So, first condition is, we must satisfy Basel I norms as we do and we must satisfy Basel II norms. We are among the few central banks which are represented on the Basel executive committee. We are a major economy today and therefore, our banks must satisfy these capital norms and therefore, they must raise new capital and all that we are doing is allowing these banks enough head room to raise capital, to have more freedom, to have a full-time chairman and to be able to grow into strong flourishing, prosperous banks and able to compete. There was some debate about should these subsidiaries be merged. There are two views. You heard the two views here. There is a view that all the seven should be merged. If they are merged they will become half the size in terms of branches of State Bank. But, there are other issues, there are political, regional, state overtones, whether they will agree to a merger I do not know, but, we will come back to you if there is a movement towards a merger. At the moment, my effort is to give them freedom, autonomy, room to grow, room to raise capital, room to become strong. Therefore, Sir, I would submit that this Bill does in no way dilute Government's policies. Government's policy is very clear. Our banks have become stronger. Our public sector banks are stronger. Public sector bank groups, net NPA as on 31.3.2007 is the lowest ever. It is 1.18 per cent. I don't take credit for this. I give credit to the management and the staff and employees of the Bank. They have been able to recover Rs. 68000 crore of Non Performing Assets in the last three years. Today it is 1.18 per cent. It is one of the lowest in the world. Therefore, I think, we must compliment the bank management, the bank staff, the bank employees for doing a remarkable job in the last three years. Educational loans have tripled from Rs. 4000 crores to Rs. 12000 crores. I said so earlier in the morning. Agricultural credit has doubled in two years. We set a target in three years. We doubled it in two years. Our banks are doing a remarkable service. Our public sector banks in stiff competition are doing remarkable work. What we are doing is giving to the State Bank of India group what they legitimately deserve, what the nationalised banks have, freedom, autonomy, room to grow, room to raise more capital and become strong banks. Sir, with these words, I would respectfully request hon. Members to accept my clarifications, which were offered, and to pass this Bill. (Ends)

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: The question is:

that the Bill further to amend the State Bank of Saurashtra Act, 1950, the State Bank of Hyderabad Act, 1956, and the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959, as passed by Lok Sabha be taken into consideration.

The motion was adopted.

SHRI TAPAN KUMAR SEN: Sir, I have got one clarification.

MR DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: No, I have started.

SHRI TAPAN KUMAR SEN: I just missed it.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: At the time of your amendment you can seek your clarifications.

SHRI TAPAN KUMAR SEN: Okay.

Clauses 2 to 4 were added to the Bill.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Now, we shall take up Clause 5 for consideration. There is one amendment by Mr. Tapan Kumar Sen. Are you moving the amendment?

SHRI TAPAN KUMAR SEN (WEST BENGAL): I am not moving the amendment but I am seeking a clarification. The hon. Finance Minister requires headroom and at present the character of the equity holding in the subsidiary bank by the State Bank of India gives enough headroom from somewhere between 70 per cent to 55 per cent, somewhere between 60 per cent to 58 per cent. I think, given the market price of the share just now Finance Minister has given before, I think, there is enough headroom to manage for 500 capital for subsidiary bank is already there. (Contd. by NBR/3R)

-NBR-USY/3R/4.35

SHRI TAPAN KUMAR SEN (CONTD.): So, I think, there should not be any difficulty for the hon. Finance Minister to accept my amendment and in putting a cap. The SBI may be different from the other banks in our country to keep a cap on Government holding to 55 per cent in the subsidiary banks.

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: Sir, please give me a minute to answer. The point is, today, we are making comprehensive amendments based upon work that has gone on in the last year. We are doing nothing different from what is already available. The provision is already there in the Acts which govern the nationalised banks, namely, 51 per cent. As I said, whether it is 51 per cent or 52 per cent or 53 per cent or 54 per cent, has no impact upon control and ownership. Fifty-one per cent has as effective control as we have with fifty-five per cent. Fifty-five per cent does not give you more control or more ownership than fifty-one per cent. The control is with us. The control will always be with us. The point is, at this stage, you cannot say what headroom a bank will require. Theoretically, you can work out on the back of an envelope and say, "All right, it appears there is enough headroom". You, now, take for yourself more headroom. The Act bars from going below 51 per cent. There may not be an immediate requirement to go below 51 per cent. And, nobody can go below 51 per cent without the consent of Parliament. The law of Parliament will prevail. So, now, when we are amending the Act, we are doing a comprehensive amendment bringing it at par with the nationalised banks and taking the maximum headroom that can be taken. Having taken the maximum headroom, we must leave it to the bank management to decide when they will meet to raise capital, how much capital they will require; what the opportune time to raise capital is. So, in view of the fact that there is cast iron guarantee in the Act itself that it will not go below 51 per cent. In view of my statement, it is on par with nationalised banks, in view of my next statement that it makes no difference, either it is 51 per cent or 55 per cent, in actual control of the exercise, and a need to give these banks the headroom to take appropriate decisions, I respectfully request Mr. Tapan Kumar Sen to not to press his amendment.

SHRI TAPAN KUMAR SEN: Sorry, Sir, I can't accept your logic because from 75 per cent to 51 per cent is a long way. And, I cannot agree to a provision which enables to travel that way and remain only one per cent for privatisation. So, I am sorry that I can't accept it. In protest, we are staging a walk out.

ߴ֟ ִ þָ֕ : ֯ ֈ ?

ߴ֟ Ӥ ָ : ևև֮ ֱֻ ָ ֈ

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

...(Interruptions)...

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: Sir, he has not moved his amendment...(Interruptions)... He only stood up to speak. He did not move it. (Interruptions)

Clause 5 was added to the Bill

Clause 6 was added to the Bill

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Now, let us take up clause 7. There is one amendment No. 2 by Tapan Kumar Sen. He is not present.

Clause 7 was added to the Bill.

Clauses 8 to 26 were added to the Bill.

Clause 1, the Enacting Formula and the Title were added to the Bill

 

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: Sir, I beg to move:

 

That the Bill be passed.

The question was put and the motion was adopted

(Ends) (Contd. by 3s -- VP)

-USY/VP/NB/4.40/3S

MESSAGE FROM LOK SABHA

THE MIZORAM UNIVERSITY (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2007

SECRETARY-GENERAL: Sir, I have to report to the House the following message received from the Lok Sabha, signed by the Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha:

"In accordance with the provisions of rule 120 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, I am directed to inform you that Lok Sabha, at its sitting held on the 17th May, 2007, agreed without any amendment to the Mizoram University (Amendment) Bill, 2007, which was passed by Rajya Sabha at its sitting held on the 15th May, 2007."

(Ends)

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: We will now take up Half-an-Hour Discussion. There are five Members who have sought clarifications, and the Minister has to reply to that. I request the hon. Members to confine themselves to the time period of half-an-hour. Now, I now request Shri Murli Manohar Joshi to initiate the discussion.

HALF-AN-HOUR DISCUSSION ON POINTS ARISING OUT OF ANSWER TO STARRED QUESTION NOS. 405 AND 416 GIVEN ON 3RD MAY, 2007 REGARDING "CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT RAMSETU" AND "SETHUSAMUDRAM PROJECT ENDANGERING LINK BETWEEN INDIA AND SRI LANKA."

...

. ֮ (ָ Ϥ) : ֳ֯ן , ֯ ׮־ ֯ ׾ֵ , ׻֋ ֯ ָ ֬ ә ִֵ ߴ

ֳ֯ : ִֵ ߴ

. ֮ : ֳ֯ן , ֮ 1977 ֕ ֬ ә , ֬ ә ԅ

ֳ֯ : ִֵ ߴ

. ֮ : ו֮֟ ֋ ֯ ׾ֵ , ו ָ ֮֯ ֓ ן ִֵ ֓ ߮ ֮֮ߵ Ϭִ֮ӡ ֡ ׻ -ִ ָ օ ֮և , ӲӬ Ӯ ֡ ׻ օ ִ ׸֮ Ͽ , ָ ׾ָ , , alignment , ָ ϲֻ ׾ָ ֮ ֵ֟ ִ ֣ , ו֮ և , ו֮ ֮ ֮ , ֮ ֵօ ...... (־֮֬)

SHRI PENUMALLI MADHU: Sir, I want to register my protest. ..(Interruptions)..

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I thought you have gone. ..(Interruptions)..

SHRI PENUMALLI MADHU: All the other Half-an-Hour Discussions have been left out. Discussion on the working of none of the Ministries has been taken up. Now, this discussion on Ramsetu has come. ..(Interruptions)..

ֳ֯ : ֯ ך

ߴ֟ ִ þָ֕ : ֻֆ 22 ָ ָ , , ָ

. ֮ : ֳ֯ן , Ͽ - ֲ ָ և ֣ ׾ָ֓ ֮ ֡ Ϭִ֮ӡ ֋ ֣ ֻ , ֋ facts Ӥ ׸֮ ã֟ ֤, alignment ֤ ָ ָ ֟֋ ֲ ֮֟ ׸֮ ֵ ׸֮ ײי ֮ ֻ ָ ׾ָ֓ ׾ָ֓ ֤ פ ֵ , 㻟־ פ ֵ , postpone פ ֵ օ ֤֕ ֤ ָ ׾ָ֓ י ָ ֤֕ ֤ י ָ , ֲ ׾ֿ ֟ և, ָ

ֳ֯ן , 1961, 1968, 1996, 1998 ...... (־֮֬)

THE MINISTER OF SHIPPING, ROAD TRANSPORT & HIGHWAYS (SHRI T.R. BAALU): Sir, I want to say only one thing. My former senior colleague can take any amount of time. That is not the problem. But, till I reply, all the Members of the Opposition should be here to listen to me. They should not walkout. ..(Interruptions).. The second point is that, Sir, even after 5 o' clock, you should allow the discussion to go on. ..(Interruptions).. That is the usual practice of my friends. ..(Interruptions)..

SHRIMATI SUSHMA SWARAJ: We will listen to you, Mr. Minister.

DR. MURLI MANOHAR JOSHI: If you have anything tangible to say, ָ ֣ ֟ , ֺ ִ ֵ֟ ֵ ָ ׾ֵ ָ ״ןֵ ׾ָ֓ ָ alignments ֋ 1956 .ָ. ׻ֵָ ֮ , ו֮ -- "Alignments considered to either create a canal or just a passage across the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Straits," -- the categorical recommendations of the A.R. Mudaliar are as follows: (Contd. By PK/3T)

AKG-PK/3T/4.45

DR. MURLI MANOHAR JOSHI (CONTD.): I quote: "against any passage across the Adam's Bridge". It is surprising that these recommendations have been suddenly and arbitrarily abandoned. ׻ֵָ ָ ϴ פ , פ "First, the shifting sandbanks in this area present a far more formidable problem - both at the stage of construction and during maintenance -- than the sand dunes on the island site." ֻ ״ ָ ã֟ ֟ , land-based canal ֮֮ ֟ , ִ֮ þ ִ ֮֮ ֟, ײי ֻ ֮֮ ֟ ߅ ָ , "The approaches to a channel would be far too open with no possibility of construction of protective works. A channel at this site - even if it can be made and maintained -- would entail definite navigational hazard." ָ ֟ " The channel would be bordering on the Sethusamudram Medial Line." ֯ ֟ "In these circumstances, we have no doubt, whatever, that the junction between the two seas should be effected by a canal; and the idea of cutting a passage in the sea through Adam's Bridge should be abandoned." ß þָ 1983 Sethusamudram Project Committee Chairman, Shri H.R. Laxminarayan, Development Adviser (Ports), Ministry of Shipping and Transport, Member V. Sundaram, Chairman, Tuticorin Port Trust (one of four members), ֱ 6.1 , ֜ "The results of the investigations were briefly reported in his project report of May, 1968." Then, para 6.2 says and I quote, "As discussed in Chapter 5, the K-alignment across Dhanushkodi at one kilometre West of Kothandaramasamy Koil was chosen." ִָ ֮י ״ , ָ ִִ ֻ ֻ ֙ ֋ land-based canal ߅ Then, sub-para 5.1.1 of para 5.1 which deals with Canal alignment says, " Shri C.V. Venkateswaran, Consultant, Sethusamudram Project has recommended the DE-alignment in his project report of May, 1968, after careful investigation of all previous alignments. DE-alignment passes across Rameswaram island at Thankachimadam West of the famous Rameswaram temple. ֮ ִ ײΕ across ֙ ֮֮ ֱ׸ օ " They expressed the sentiments of the local public against cutting the canal along the 'DE' alignment separating the temple from the main land and also voiced their apprehensions that such a cut could endanger the island during cyclones." Para 14 of Sethusamudram Project Committee Report, April 1956, by Dr. A. Ramaswami Mudaliar, says, "Navigational safety -- overriding consideration. We may say, at the outset that both in settling the lay out of the route as well as in planning the project in detail, we have kept before us the question of navigational safety as an overriding consideration. It is unlikely that the route will be used merely because of saving in time and distance. We have, therefore, taken care to plan the project in such a way that the route proposed by us will be recognized as safe." Then, "The Sethusamudram Medial Line' and the location of the Project to its West -- one other consideration which we have kept in mind is the need to ensure that navigational works and facilities proposed will be wholly under the control of the Government of India." ָ ִִ recommendations ָ ֟֋ ָ ֻ ֵ֮ ֮ "Unsuitability of Adam's Bridge: preference for canal over passage. We have been asked specifically to consider the proposal of cutting a channel at the approaches to Adam's Bridge in order to connect the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Bay. The origin of this suggestion is to be traced to the opinion formed by the Harbour Engineer to the Government of Madras in 1921, and they have rejected it summarily. We consider that had a detailed study also been made of Adam's Bridge, this gentleman would have revised his opinion. (Contd. by 3U/PB)

PB-HMS/3U/4.50

DR. MURLI MANOHAR JOSHI (CONTD.): We are convinced that the Adam's Bridgesite is unsuitable for the following reasons: First, the shifting Sandbanks in this area present a far more formidable problem -- both at the stage of construction and during maintenance -- than the sand dunes on the island site. Secondly, the approaches to a channel would be far too open with no possibility of construction of protective works. A channel at this site -- even if it can be made and maintained -- would entail definite navigational hazard. Thirdly, the channel would be bordering on the Sethusamudram Medial Line." ָ ׾ßָ ֟։օ Then it is said, "In these circumstances, we have no doubt, whatever that the junction between the two sea should be effected by a Canal; and the idea of cutting a passage in the sea through Adam's Bridge should be abandoned." ָ-ָ ֟ ֯ ֮ ֟ ֮և ָ ß ֮֮ land based canal ֮և, water channel ָ ֟ ֮և ָ "The scope for development will be far more important at the recommended site; because of its situation on the mainland and in the vicinity of a natural harbour." ״ ֤ ֻ , ֻ֮ ә ֤ ֻ ֣--֣ ӕ׮ֵظ ә ֤ ֻ ָ և 1968 00 ָ ׸ It is by C.V. Venkateswaran, Consultant, Sethusamudram Project, and he says, 'Geologists affirm that there used to be a continuous passage between India and Ceylon and this did look like a causeway with two distinguishable paths -- a substratum of sand reef running almost horizontally, just below sea level, for the entire length and a superstructure of broken sandstone and marine sand, lying atop. The substratum of sand stone reef is still there, stretching in an unbroken line from India to Ceylon -- an unbroken line from India to Ceylon -- and lying just below sea level. But the superstructure is no longer unbroken, having being blown away by a great storm of 1480 AD. What remains of 'Sethu' above sea level to the west of Dhanushkodi consists of only two parts. 1480 ָ ָ ֻ ߻ ֟ ֦ ߛ ׸ ֵ 1480 ָ ֻ ֟ ֵֿ ֲ ӡ օ There was no bridge. ִ , ָ ֤ ։, , ֟ ֱ ָָ ׸ ָ ֻ ֟ ֻ ָ ׸ , ׾֤ ׸ , ֯ ֟։օ

߬ ֟ ו֤ ֋ ֺ ? ױ "The narrow stretch of water between the South-East coast of India and the North-West coast of Ceylon is not one sea but consists of two separate seas known as the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar, though they meet and mingle over Adam's Bridge through the Pamban Gap and remain as such for purposes of navigation, with the sand stone reef, called by Arab navigators as 'Adam's Bridge', constituting an effective shipping barrier, compelling all ships which proceed from this part to that part circumnavigating Ceylon." ãן 1480 ֻ֟ ß֮ ״ֻ օ ָ Ϭ֮ ӡ ׻ օ ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: Sir, I am on a point of order. ...(Interruptions)...

ֳ֯ : ә ? ..(־֮֬)

SHRI S.S. AHLUWALIA: Under what Rule?

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: It is under Rule 60. ...(Interruptions)... 60 ֜ ֵ Sir, I just wanted to know one thing. I had also given an item to be raised on 09.05.07. I am not informed by the Secretariat whether my item is allowed under any rule. That is one point. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: This is not a point of order. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: Then, another point is, I want to know whether this discussion is for half-an-hour or for an indefinite period. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: It is for half-an-hour. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: Then how much time would the first speaker take? ...(Interruptions)... There should be a limit. ...(Interruptions)... The Rule says, it cannot go ... ...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: No; no; I have already requested the hon. Member that ... ...(Interruptions)... I am clarifying it. ...(Interruptions)... Mr. Baalu, I am clarifying it. ...(Interruptions)... I shall clarify. Please...(Interruptions) (Followed by 3w/SKC)

3w/4.55/skc-psv

SHRI T. R. BAALU: I need, at least, an hour to answer these questions.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Baalu, please take your seat. I shall clarify. (Interruptions)

SHRI T. R. BAALU: Sir, if I have to answer, it should not be restricted to half an hour. If I am expected to answer all these questions, I would take not less than one hour. (Interruptions)

SHRIMATI SUSHMA SWARAJ: We shall listen to you for one hour. (Interruptions) We shall listen to you for one hour.

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: This is Half-an-Hour discussion. (Interruptions)...

ֳ֯ : ֯ ך ...(־֮֬)... ™ֻ , ֯ ך ...(־֮֬)...

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: What happens to my complaint? (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: It is the prerogative of the Chair to decide which Half-an-Hour is to be listed and... (Interruptions)

SHRI T.R. BAALU: Where is the time for me to answer? He has already spoken for twenty minutes. Where is the chance for me to speak?...(Interruptions)...There is no rule...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I agree with you... (interruptions).. Let me..(Interruptions)...

ֳ֯ : ֯ ך ...(־֮֬)... ™ֻ , ֯ ך ...(־֮֬)...

SHRI T.R. BAALU: Sir, I should know how much time I would be getting to answer. (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Minister, I have already reminded hon. Members that there are five Members more to speak. I am requesting them again to keep the time constraint in mind. It cannot go on indefinitely. Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, you have already spoken for 15 minutes. (Interruptions) ֯ ך ...(־֮֬)... He has also got the right to point out; it is not as if you alone have the right to point out. Please, sit down...(interruptions)...

SHRI S. S. AHLUWALIA: Sir, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs is here. I would...(Interruptions)...

ֳ֯ : ֯ ִ և Ù ? ...(־֮֬)...

SHRI S.S. AHLUWALIA: You are a Minister..(Interruptions)... you should not object to it. (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Please, sit down. I shall...(Interruptions)...

SHRI T. R. BAALU: I have got every right to intervene at any point of time. I am only requesting the Chair to give me adequate time to reply.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Minister, please be seated; I shall tell him. (Interruptions)

SHRI T.R. BAALU: There should be no partiality. ...(interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Please, don't use that word. Please, don't use that. The Chair is not partial. (Interruptions)

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: Sir, I must be given an answer too. (Interruptions)

THE MINISTER FOR PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (SHRI PRIYARANJAN DASMUNSI): If the matter were so serious, why did you bring in a Half-an-Hour discussion? (Interruptions)

 

0 ֮ : ֳ֯ן , , ו ӡ ׬֟ ֋ ...(־֮֬)...

ֳ֯ן: , ׸Ù ִֵ-ߴ ...(־֮֬)... half an hour Half an hour 5-10 ״֮֙ ָ-ָ , but it cannot be an indefinite thing. You have already taken up 15 minutes. ...(־֮֬)...

0 ֮ : , פ ֤ ֤õ ֬ ә ֓ - ә, ߮-߮ ә ֻ ...(־֮֬)...

ֳ֯ : ֲֻ֟ ә ...(־֮֬)...

0 ֮ : ׾ֵ ֛ ֯ ...(־֮֬)...

ֳ֯ : ׾ֵ ֈ ׻֋ ...(־֮֬)... ֯ ׻֋ ֯ , ָ ...(־֮֬)...

0 ֮ : ָ ֻ ֤? ...(־֮֬)... ָ ...(־֮֬)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Then you could have brought it up as a Short Duration Discussion. Why have you brought it as a Half-an-Hour Discussion?

0 ֮ : ׻֋ ָָ ...(־֮֬)...

ֳ֯ : , ָ ...(־֮֬)...

0 ֮ : , ֵԤ ֻ֮ ֟ , ֮ , ָ פ ...(־֮֬)...

ֳ֯ : , ֋, ...(־֮֬)... , Half an hour ֲ Half an hour ֋ ֯ ֮ ֻ ִ֯ ו֋ ...(־֮֬)...

ׯϵָ֮ ӿ : ָ, ...(־֮֬)... ֛ ן ֈ ֻ ָ ֯ ִ ׮־ ֲ ֈ ֻ֮ ׮־ ӡ ӡ ״ֻ֮ ...(־֮֬)...

ֳ֯ : ? ...(־֮֬)...

ׯϵָ֮ ӿ : ָ, half a minute ָ ֮ ֯ ׾ֵ, ־֮ ִ Half an hour כ֮ ֑ ֲָָ ...(־֮֬)... ָ ל ...(־֮֬)...

0 ֮ : ָ ֟ ֻ ...(־֮֬)... ֻ ߕ ֮ ׾ֵ ֮ ...(־֮֬)...

ׯϵָ֮ ӿ : ִ ִ ָ ߟִָ ...(־֮֬)...

ֳ֯ : ׸Ù և ֻܵ ֋ ...(־֮֬)...

֮֮ߵ ֤õ : ߟִָ ֮ ו֋ ...(־֮֬)...

׾ ֤ : ߟ ִֵ ...(־֮֬)... ִ ߟ ֮ ֋ ִ ֯? ...(־֮֬)...

0 ֮ : ׮־ , ֨ ׮־ ...(־֮֬)...

ߟִָ : ߟ ֮ ֮ פ , ߟִָ ֮ ...(־֮֬)... ָ ֮ ִ ...(־֮֬)... ָ, ֮֯ ײֻ ػ פօ ֯ ׾ֵ ָ ׻֋ ֮ כ֮ , ָ օ ֯ ֟և ֬ ә ֻ ִ ֻ ...(־֮֬)...

ֳ֯ן: ִֵ-ߴ ֮ ә ...(־֮֬)... ֯ ә ։ օ ֯ ։ ; I will have to follow the rules.

ߟִָ : ָ ָ, ѓ ֕ ֯ և ו֋

0 ֮ : ѓ ֕ ִֵ ...(־֮֬)... ѓ ֕ ִֵ , ֟ ...(־֮֬)...

SHRI PRAVEEN RASHTRAPAL: Kindly go through the rules. (Interruptions) I have given a notice. You must make only a short statement and the concerned Minister would reply to that. He should make only a short statement. (Interruptions)

ֳ֯ : ֯ ׻֋ Ù ו֋ ...(־֮֬)...

DR. K. MALAISAMY: Sir, this discussion needs more time, not half an hour. It needs more time.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: So, what should we do?

DR. K. MALAISAMY: Sir, you must decide that.

(Followed by 3x/hk)

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