Jaitley dares opposition to begin debate over demonetisation

Author

10 December, 2016

While maintaining attack on the government over demonetisation, the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha on Friday created disruptions by raising the issue of slashing of import duty on wheat from 10 per cent to nil.

In the Lok Sabha, miffed at unrelenting sloganeering by some members, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan warned of "harsh steps".

Many opposition members raised the point demanding the presence of the Prime Minister in the House. In the din, Mahajan carried out the Question Hour for around half hour, repeatedly warning the protesting members.

Chairman Hamid Ansari tried to bring order in the House but with both sides refusing to budge, he adjourned the proceedings till noon. He said besides, the members will have the opportunity to seek clarifications after the reply. Among those raising the issue included Congress leader Anand Sharma, Tiruchi Siva (DMK), K Keshava Rao (TRS) and Yechury, but their demand did not find favour with the Chair. The President also appealed to members to do their job by allowing the House to function. The resolution moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and seconded by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, was unanimously passed by all the party MPs.

Thus, as much as Rs 24,805.34 crore of the planned expenditure will be met from savings of the ministries and departments or by enhanced receipts and recoveries. He had expressed his anguish loudly in the House on Wednesday, just after it was adjourned for 15 minutes.

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When the Lok Sabha reassembled at noon after first adjournment, opposition members from Congress, TMC and Left continued their protest in the well, asking for a discussion on demonetisation with the provision of voting.

"For 16 days they have disrupted the House and held the House hostage. November 8 (when the demonetisation was announced) is a historic day".

Meanwhile, tolerating the ire of the opposition Union Min of Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan clarified in the Rajya Sabha that the nation has surplus food grain."We have enough food grain", said Paswan. "Besharmi ki bhi hadd hoti hai (There is a limit even to shamelessness)", Azad said. Ananth Kumar was then seen gesturing towards the media gallery, after which Advani said: "I will say it publicly".

The house was adjourned till noon after Ansari's plea went unheeded. "If all money was to come back, why was this high-handed decision taken", the Leader of Opposition asked.


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