Parliament proceedings live | What is the PM-CARES fund for if not for States’ use during COVID-19, asks Sanjay Raut


    Rajya Sabha is being convened in the morning and Lok Sabha in the afternoon.

    A day after the Rajya Sabha kicked off spirited discussions on India’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, two or more ministers are expected to respond to queries and clarifications posed by the Opposition.

    In the second half of the day, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to address the Lok Sabha on the India-China border row, primarily in Ladakh.

    (For a concise report on the daily going-ons in the Parliament, subscribe to our political newsletter. Subscribe here and get it in your inbox.)

    Here are the live updates:

    10.05 am | Rajya Sabha

    TN has done ‘maximum’ COVID deaths, says

    Tamil Maanila Congress MP G.K. Vasan speaks about Tamil Nadu’s coronavirus response.

    Parliament proceedings live | What is the PM-CARES fund for if not for States' use during COVID-19, asks Sanjay Raut


    He claims that the State is “effectively managing” the pandemic response by taking “all proactive steps”. He says that State has done maximum COVID-19 tests in the country, and that the death rate in the State is one of the least.

    BSP MP Veer Singh says unemployment has increased due to COVID-19 and the Centre’s lockdown without any preparations affected the poor the most.

    10 am | Rajya Sabha

    Distribute masks to poor for free: Binoy Viswam

    CPI MP Binoy Viswam says it is unfortunate that the Health Minister did not mention Kerala in his statement. Kerala played an exemplary role in fighting COVID-19 right from the word go, he says.

    He also commends all frontline workers, specifically mentioning the safai karamcharis, for their service in this regard, and says that the government should distribute free masks to all the poor in the country.

    9.55 am | Rajya Sabha

    Children are missing crucial immunisations, says Priyanka Chaturvedi

    Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi says it was disappointing to see an MP politicise the pandemic issue despite saying it shouldn’t be politicised.

    She points out that the States are being treated unfairly as it is being deprived of funds. She also says that more than 1 million children have missed crucial immunisation.

    TDP MP Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar says Andhra Pradesh government is under-reporting virus cases and that the Chief Minister is making unscientific claims like saying that paracetamol is the only medicine for COVID-19.

    9.50 am | Rajya Sabha

    Facing shortage of oxygen cylinders, remdesivir: NCP MP

    NCP MP Praful Patel begins by thanking the frontline workers for their service during the pandemic.

    He says there is no fixed direction of the pandemic — it started with the cities, and now it has spread across the country. “We have 1 lakh cases a day now and it is set to reach 2 lakh a day,” he says.

    He says that he read in newspapers that officials are saying that there is not shortage of oxygen cylinders and remdesivir drug, however the ground reality is different.

    9.40 am | Rajya Sabha

    What is the PM CARES fund for if not for States, asks Sanjay Raut

    Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut says he has personal experience with the danger of coronavirus as his elderly mother and younger brother are in the ICU, ailing from COVID-19.

    He hits back at BJP MP Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe for his speech in the House on September 16, where Dr. Sahasrabuddhe criticised the Maharashtra govermnment’s COVID response. Mr. Raut cites the example of the States successful arrest of spread of the virus in the heavily-populated Dharavi to refute Dr. Sahasrabuddhe’s claims.

    Maharashtra government has followed the protocol of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says Mr. Raut.

    He says that the Centre has stopped funds for PPE kits, masks and other materials from September 1. “It will cost Maharashtra government ₹50 crore a day. What is the PM CARES fund for if not for States?,” he asks.

    9.35 am | Rajya Sabha

    Discussion on COVID-19 resumes.

    Swapan Dasgupta, nominated member, resumes his speech from the previous session.

    Parliament proceedings live | What is the PM-CARES fund for if not for States' use during COVID-19, asks Sanjay Raut

    He asks the government what the scientific basis for a lockdown is and if a uniform guideline can be issued for lockdowns as States have imposed different versions which often are contradictory and causes confusion among the people.

    9.25 am | Rajya Sabha

    Special mentions begin.

    Congress MP K.C. Venugopal asks for a probe into Facebook’s interference into India’s electoral democracy.

    Congress MP Ripun Bora says NEET and JEE exams should be held again as many students could not attend due to COVID-19 pandemic.

    BJP MP Satish Chand Dubey raises issue of floods in Bihar every year.

    YSRCP MP V. Vijaisai Reddy asks for special trains in Andhra Pradesh, says not a single train running from Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam.

    Chairman Venkaiah Naidu reminds the members of special protocols in place wrt the COVID-19 pandemic, including compulsory face masks and seated debates.

    9.20 am | Rajya Sabha

    Release jailed J&K leaders, says MP

    BJP MP Nabam Rebia says Arunachal Pradesh got statehood in 1987, but has not been given Constitutional protection yet. He asks the government to consider the Arunachal Pradesh government’s demand of including the State in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

    BJP MP Vivek Thakur begins by saying that during the COVID-19 discussion in the Upper House on the previous day, it was made out as though the government has not done anything good during the COVID-19 pandemic. Updating the House on the vaccine status, he says there are three companies working on COVID-19 vaccines that come from the country of origin of virus. Should we entertain them, he asks.

    PDP MP Mir Mohammad Fayaz raises the matter of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir being under arrest for over a year after Article 370 was abrogated. He asks the government to release those who are still under arrest.

    BJP MP Surendra Singh Nagar points out that the J&K administration has not included the third most spoken language, Gurjari, in its list of official languages. He asks the Centre to include Gurjari and Pahadi in the list.

    9.10 am | Rajya Sabha

    Radio collars on Asiatic lions increasing their death rate?

    Congress MP Shaktisinh Gohil says radio collars put on Asiatic lions in Gir forest have led to increasing death rate. Chairman Venkaiah Naidu asks that this issue be noted and looked into.

    MP Sanjay Raut asks permission to address the House standing up, which Chairman Venkaiah Naidu declines citing COVID-19 protocol.

    Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut says  government is planning to privatise Jawaharlal Nehru Port and it will be a loss to the country’s exchequer as land and property worth crores will pass on to private hands. He asks that the project be reconsidered.

    Congress MP Dr. Amee Yagnik raises issue of patients who suffered from non-communicable diseases being unable to get treatment for non-COVID diseases as the focus is on COVID-19. She cites stalling procedures like chemotherapy, dialysis as an example. She asks the government for separate investment for diseases like cancer, diabetes, hypertension etc.

    Samajwadi Party MP Ravi Prakash Verma raises the matter of floods along the Indo-Nepal border, and says the government should take up the matter considering the adverse impact it has on Indian villages.

    9 am | Rajya Sabha

    Award frontline workers: request raised during Zero Hour

    Papers laid on table, including Report of the Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

    Zero Hour begins. Samajwadi Party MP Vishwambhar Prasad Nishad raises matter of vacancies in reserved government jobs.

    AIADMK MP from Puducherry N. Gokulakrishnan says that Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe citizens of the country are feeling apprehensive about their future as the reccomendations made in Mandal Commission report is implemented only on paper. He asks for moratorium on creamy layer principle till 27% reservation is filled.

    BJP MP Lt. Gen (retd.) Dr. DP Vats says frontline corona warriors should be awarded service or peace-time gallantry awards similar to the ones granted to the military. He cites the example of air hostess Neerja Bhanot as a precedent.

    Bill for Introduction

    • Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020

    Bills for consideration and passing

    • Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020
    • Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020

    Rajya Sabha

    Bills for Consideration and Passing

    • Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020
    • Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020
    • Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020
    • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020



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