China’s attempts at transgression along LAC, economy issues dominate Parliamentary proceedings


China’s attempts at transgression at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh, the government’s strong desire to have a say in the appointments to the higher judiciary and heated debates on economy were some of the issues that dominated the Parliament proceedings this week.

The Lok Sabha approved the Supplementary Demands for Grants to the tune of ₹3.26 lakh crore, primarily to fund the higher subsidy bill on items such as fertilisers, food and cooking gas, besides ramping up capital expenditure in sectors such as railways and roads.

The Lower House also passed two bills to amend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order to add the Narikoravan and Kurivikkaran communities to the list of Scheduled Tribes (ST) of Tamil Nadu and include the Hattee community of the Trans Giri area of Sirmour district in Himachal Pradesh to the ST list of the hill state.

On Tawang troops clash

On Tuesday, as opposition members raised the issue of clashes between Indian and Chinese troops near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament that India had thwarted Chinese attempts to “unilaterally” change the status quo along the LAC in Tawang sector’s Yangste area.

“On December 9, PLA troops tried to transgress the LAC in the Yangtse area of the Tawang sector and unilaterally change the status quo. The Chinese attempt was contested by our troops in a firm and resolute manner,” Singh said in suo motu statements in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

He said there were no fatalities or serious injuries on the Indian side and the Chinese troops went back to their locations due to the timely intervention of Indian Army commanders.

Singh added that the Chinese side was asked to refrain from such actions and maintain peace and tranquillity along the border.

In the Rajya Sabha, opposition members slammed the government for not allowing them to seek a clarification on the defence minister’s statement and staged a walkout.

On appointments to the higher judiciary

During the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju renewed the pitch for the government having a greater say in appointments to the higher judiciary.

Rijiju said the issue of pendency of cases in courts cannot be resolved until a new system for the appointment of judges is evolved.

“We are extending full support to end the pendency of cases in various courts. But on appointments, the issue will continue to be raised till a new system is put in place. The question of vacancies in the judiciary and appointments will continue to be raised,” he said.

“I do not like to mention this time and again, but the system (of appointment of judges) is not according to the views expressed by this House,” the minister added.

Rijiju said the government has the right to make appointments to the higher judiciary.

“There was a constitutional provision to this effect and this was done in consultation with the courts. But everything changed after 1993,” he said.

On economy

The Lok Sabha witnessed a spirited debate on the Supplementary Demands for Grants where the opposition questioned the government’s handling of the economy.

Participating in the debate, firebrand Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mahua Moitra accused the Narendra Modi government of spreading “falsehood” about the country’s growth and appealed to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to take control of the economy, which, according to the TMC leader, is going downhill.

Sitharaman assured the Lok Sabha that the government will take measures to further ease inflation, which has dipped below the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) upper tolerance level of 6 per cent.

The finance minister said there is no fear of stagflation as India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world with low inflation levels.

The Lok Sabha also saw a discussion on a private members’ resolution on anganwadi workers.

Taking part in the discussion, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said the government has increased the monthly honorarium of anganwadi workers to Rs 4,500 from the Rs 1,400 given during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) tenure.

She said the budget allocation towards the anganwadi system was increased by the government to Rs 18,208 crore in 2021-22. PTI SKU RC

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