Parliament proceedings live | Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 p.m.

Lok Sabha will continue its discussion on demands for grants, while Rajya Sabha will take up The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019.

Here are the live updates:

Lok Sabha | 12.30 p.m.

Dr. Alok Kumar Suman (JD-U) says that farmers in his constituency have been affected by the economic slowdown.

Lok Sabha | 12.15 p.m.

C.R. Patil (BJP) says the diamond industry has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Suresh Kodikunnil is in the Chair.

Devusinh Chauhan (BJP) says there is sale of medicines online without prescriptions. He wants the government to clamp down on these sites.

Krishna Pal Singh (BJP) says Kendriya Vidyalayas in his constituency (Gunah) need to be renovated.

T.N. Prathapan (Congress) speaks about the Thrissur Pooram.

Rajya Sabha | 12.15 p.m.

House has been adjourned till 2 p.m.

Lok Sabha | 12 noon

‘Govt should give land to farmers in Andaman & Nicobar Islands’

Slogan shouting is on in the House. All adjournment notices have been rejected by the Speaker.

Papers are laid on the table.

Suresh Angadi reads out a statement on the demands for grants for the Ministry of Railways.

Zero Hour begins. Kuldeep Rai Sharma (Congress) speaks about Andaman & Nicobar islands, and says that settlers don’t have any land left. He also says that a lot of farmers also lost their lands after the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Another Member says the House should pass a resolution to thank all those who are working on the frontlines to bring down incidence of COVID-19.

A. Chellakumar (Congress) says Indians have been stranded in Philippines and Malaysia. He says students are struggling without proper food and adequate water.

N.K. Premachandran (RSP) says hundreds of Indians are stranded in Italy and in Malaysia. He urges the government to resolve this issue.

Rajya Sabha | 11.45 a.m.

‘Women in PSU banks, insurance companies don’t get child care leave’

Lt. Gen. (Retd.) D.P. Vats (BJP) says that women working in PSU banks, insurance companies do not get child care leave up to two years to take care of their minor children.

Chair says that Members who have given notice and are absent in the House, will not get an opportunity to speak for a week. Special mentions are being made now.

Sanjay Singh (AAP) says that more testing centres should be opened for COVID-19.

Chhaya Verma (Congress) speaks about celebrating Chhattisgarh Day.

Gokulakrishnan (AIADMK) says students of Pondicherry University have been demanding the rights of indigenous people, for reservation.

A Member wants to speak, but Chair does not allow him. This leads to a commotion. Chair is unwilling to relent.

Lok Sabha | 11.30 a.m.

No plan to shut down BSNL: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Telecom Minister, says that there is no scheme to shut down BSNL or pass it on to a private player.

Saugata Roy (Trinamool) says BSNL was not overstaffed. He says the government’s position that all those who took VRS, their posts will be abolished, is wrong. He says these posts have to be filled in three months.

Mr. Prasad says this workload cannot be established.

A Member says that BSNL has not paid salaries to contract workers. Mr. Prasad says this is under the purview of contractors.

Dayanidhi Maran (DMK) says employees have come down by 33% and asks how many subscribers moved to private operators. Mr. Prasad says he doesn’t want to go into the legacy of BSNL.

The next question is on the construction of the Imphal-Tupul-Jiribam railway project. Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (BJP) says the project is getting continuously delayed. Suresh Angadi, MoS, Railways, says 80% of the work is underway. It will completed as early as possible, he says.

Dr. Singh, who represents Inner Manipur, says there is no quality control. Mr. Angadi says Railway Board officials are working day and night to complete this project. 12 km has been completed, he says. Piyush Goyal, Railway Minister, says that some projects are delayed because of contractors delaying smaller projects.

Rajendra Gavit (Shiv Sena) says 1.5 lakh companies in Maharashtra have shut down. Mr. Goyal, who is also the Commerce and Industry Minister, says this should be viewed on an international level, where there is an international economic slowdown.

Rajya Sabha | 11.10 a.m.

‘Indians stranded in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia’

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says MPs should set an example by functioning in the House. Chair asks those wearing masks to remove them, again.

P. Chidambaram (Congress) says this is a matter that should be left to the judgment of the individual as some people may feel vulnerable. Many others associate with his statement.

Nadimul Haque (Trinamool), wearing a mask, speaks about Indians left stranded in Saudi Arabia, and other countries where flights to India have been stopped.

Mohammad Ali Khan (Congress) says people from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are stranded in Malaysia.

Shwait Malik (BJP) speaks about the number of people affected by kidney failure. He wants blood relations to be allowed to donate kidneys.

Vijila Satyananth (AIADMK) brings up the issue of salaries being included in the gross income of people belonging to OBCs. She says this affects the children of people working in PSUs, for whom this goes into the determination of the creamy layer.

Dr. Banda Prakash (TRS) speaks about orphaned children in India. He says orphanages take a charity-centric approach and do not concentrate on empowerment.

Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar (TDP) raises the issue of the price of crude oil.

Lok Sabha | 11.10 a.m.

We need to produce more coal: Pralhad Joshi

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (INC) says that the areas between Jharkhand and West Bengal are becoming polluted.

Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi says that as far as West Bengal is concerned, rehabilitation of households has already begun.

29,000 non-ECE households (Coal India subsidiary) have to be relocated, says the Minister. He says this comes under the West Bengal government and asks the State to take appropriate action.

Nishikant Dubey (BJP) asks about the Supreme Court asking thermal power plants to be shut down. He asks if the government has any policies to improve and expand these plants or renewable energy. Mr. Joshi says that as far as renewable energy is concerned, he hasn’t come up with a plan. He says we are producing more power and the economy should grow. We need to produce more coal, he says.

11.00 am

Question Hour in progress in Lok Sabha. Coal minister Pralhad Joshi is responding to queries.

In Rajya Sabha, some members wear masks. Vice President asks members to remove the masks.

Rajeev Gowda and Anand Sharma suggest the parliament can be postponed. “The virus doesn’t know if we are MPs or not,” Mr. Gowda says.

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