<b>XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, <i> Session I </i> </b>
XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, Session I Thursday, October 28, 1999/Kartika 6, 1921 (Saka)


Type of Debate: GOVERNMENT BILLS
Title: Introduction of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, 1999.

TEXT :
11.14 hrs

MR. SPEAKER: Item No. 13, Shri Yashwant Sinha.

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE (BOLPUR): This is a very controversial measure. We have given notices on this, and we have also given a notice on a very important matter. ... (Interruptions)

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (SHRI YASHWANT SINHA): Sir, I beg to move for leave to introduce a Bill to provide for the establishment of an Authority to protect the interests of holders of insurance policies, to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance industry and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto and further to amend the Insurance Act, 1938, the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956 and the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972. ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Motion moved :

"That leave be granted to introduce a Bill to provide for the establishment of an Authority to protect the interests of holders of insurance policies, to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance industry and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto and further to amend the Insurance Act, 1938, the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956 and the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972."

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : Why should a new procedure be followed today? We have given notices on a very important matter. We are not being allowed to speak. We are strongly objecting to it. This is not the procedure.

MR. SPEAKER: I am allowing Shri Rupchand Pal to present his petition.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : Why is a new procedure being evolved today? We have given notices for `Zero Hour' matters. This is not the procedure.

MR. SPEAKER: I am allowing Shri Rupchand Pal now because unless the Minister introduces the Bill, how can a Member speak?

____________________________________________________________________________

*Piblished in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part-II, Section ,

dated 8.10.99

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : I want to raise an important matter today. The House is not there to only accommodate the Government.

MR. SPEAKER: I called Shri Rupchand Pal.

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : This is not the way. It looks as if this House is only for the Government.

MR. SPEAKER: I called Shri Rupchand Pal.

SHRI RUPCHAND PAL (HOOGLY): Sir, I am on a point of order.

SHRI VARKALA RADHAKRISHNAN (CHIRAYINKIL): Sir, I have given a notice.

SHRI RAJESH PILOT (DAUSA): Mr. Speaker, Sir, why do you not call us one by one so that we will sit down?

MR. SPEAKER: I will give my ruling.

SHRI RUPCHAND PAL : Sir, my point of order is that in today's revised List of Business, in item no. 9 it was listed that I am to present a petition signed by Shri R.P.Manchanda and others representing the All India Insurance Employees Association, All India LIC Employees Federation, the General Insurance Employees All India Association against the move to privatise the Indian Insurance Industry and opening up of the Insurance Sector to foreign companies through the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, 1999.

It has been put like that in today's Revised List of Business. In the petition itself I have mentioned that there is a strong opposition to this move. I want to present the protest signed by more than 1.5 crore people of this country covering all sections of the society and covering all the States which would be brought in trucks and unloaded for the consideration of the petition Committee in the Parliament House Annexe today.

Sir, I had met you and appealed to you that before the hon. Minister proceeds with the introduction of the Bill I should be allowed to present the petition. It is because as per the petition rule it is said that any matter pending before the House -- the matter is pending before the House -- and also according to annexure -- you could find that in the format, I had submitted that the Minister of the Government should not proceed with the introduction. But my plea, which I had made according to the rules of procedure, has been ignored. The hon. Minister cannot introduce the Bill before I submit the petition. Now I want to present the petition and only after that the Bill can be introduced, which again we shall oppose ... (Interruptions)

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: Sir, the rule clearly says that a petition can only be presented after the Bill has been introduced ... (Interruptions)

SHRI RUPCHAND PAL; No ... (Interruptions)

SHRI ANIL BASU (ARAMBAGH): Sir, it seems that the hon. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs has some hearing problem ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER; I have allowed Shri Rupchand Pal only. You please take your seat.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI RUPCHAND PAL : Sir, should I read it from the rule book?... (Interruptions)

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: The petition has to be against a Bill which is not there. How somebody can present a petition when there is no Bill? ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER; I have a list of names who also have given notices.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI RUPCHAND PAL : Sir, I am reading from the rule book ... (Interruptions)

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : How does that asterisk mark come in stating that the petition is to be presented after the introduction of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Bill 1999 listed at Sl. No. 13 ... (Interruptions) Under what procedure has it been done? ... (Interruptions)Under what rule has it been done? ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Somnath babu, I have a list with me.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : Sir, there is no question of any list. The Bill is to be introduced after the presentation of the petition ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: I have a list of 11 names who have also given notices. I am calling those names.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI BASUDEB ACHARIA (BANKURA): Sir, it was listed at item no. 9 at today's List of Business ...(Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: I am now calling those names who have given notices.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI RUPCHAND PAL : Sir, I should be allowed to read the rule ... (Interruptions)

SHRI BASUDEB ACHARIA : How can this happen ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Please take your seats. Now, I am calling the names of those who have given notices.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: Sir, if somebody has to oppose the Bill at the introduction level ... (Interruptions)

SHRI N.N. KRISHNADAS (PALAKKAD): No. That is different ... (Interruptions)

The Bill can be introduced only after the petition has been presented ... (Interruptions)

SHRI RUPCHAND PAL : Sir, I am reading the rule ... (Interruptions)

SHRI BASUDEB ACHARIA : Sir, it was listed at item 9 at today's List of Business ... (Interruptions)

SHRI RUPCHAND PAL : Sir, I would like to read the rule ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Let the hon. Minister complete his submission first.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: Sir, as per Rule 160, `petitions may be presented or submitted to the House with the consent of the Speaker on ...(Interruptions)

SHRI AMAR ROY PRADHAN (COOCH BEHAR): Hon. Speaker has already given the consent. ...(Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Let the Minister complete.

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: Sir, Rule 160(i) applies to the present situation. It says, `a Bill which has been published under Rule 64 or which has been introduced in the House'. When you go to Rule 64, Rule 64 says, `The Speaker may, on request being made to him, order the publication of any Bill in the Gazette'. ...(Interruptions)

SHRI VARKALA RADHAKRISHNAN : That does not pertain to this. The Minister is misleading the House.

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Radhakrishnan, please take your seat. Let the Minister complete his submission. You can speak when your name is called.

SHRI VARKALA RADHAKRISHNAN: It is not a question of consent. Our question is entirely different.

MR. SPEAKER: Let the Minister speak please.

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: Sir, there are three conditions laid down here. One is the consent of the Speaker. That you have given and I have no objection on that count. The second condition is that the Bill has to be published under Rule 64. This Bill is not published under Rule 64. And the third condition says, `which has been introduced in the House'. This Bill is not introduced in the House. So, this Bill is neither published under Rule 64 nor introduced in the House. So, no petition against this Bill can be submitted to the House unless this condition is fulfilled. ...(Interruptions)

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : Sir, it is a matter of grave public importance.

SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: Sir, Shri Rupchand Pal has raised an objection. Let him quote the Rule under which he did so.

SHRI RUPCHAND PAL : Under Rule 160, of which only a part is read out by the Minister, petitions may be presented or submitted to the House with the consent of the Speaker on (i) a Bill which has been published under Rule 64, etc., etc., (ii) any matter connected with the business pending before the House ...(Interruptions)

SHRI VAIKO (SIVAKASI): Sir, the hon. Member has ommitted that part of the sentence which says, `which has been introduced in the House'. A petition can be submitted only after the Bill is introduced in the House.

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: If they had wanted to make use of Rule 160(ii) or 160(iii), they should not have mentioned in their petition that they were submitting it against a Bill. If the petition talks about being submitted against a Bill, that Bill has to come before the House first. They are not submitting the petition under any item of business in the House. They are submitting it against a particular Bill. So, that Bill has to come to the House before the petition.

SHRI RUPCHAND PAL : Sir, in the First Schedule on page 151, wherein the Form of Petition is given, it is mentioned, `... and accordingly your petitioners pray that the Bill be not proceeded with'. This is the point which I am trying to emphasise on. Accordingly, I have said that the Government should not proceed with this Bill.

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : Sir, you have permitted the petition to be presented and that is why it is on the List of Business today. The question is, `At what point of time will it be presented?' So far as your consent is concerned, it has already been given. Otherwise, it would not have come on the List of Business.

Sir, kindly see Rule 160 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. It says:

"Petitions may be presented or submitted to the House with the consent of the Speaker..."

Now that consent has been given. Otherwise, it would not come on the List of Business.

As per Rule 160, the petitions may be presented or submitted to the House with the consent of the Speaker with three options.

So, Rule 160 says:

"`Petitions may be presented or submitted to the House with the consent of the Speaker on--

(i) A Bill which has been published under rule 64 or which has been introduced in the House;

(ii) any matter connected with the business pending before the House.' That is not exhaustive. It is the first sub-clause.

`(iii) any matter of general public interest provided that it is not one:-...'"

Sir, there are three provisos.

Now, Sir, it is a matter of greatest general public interest, and you have already permitted it. Under what sub-rule or rule of the procedure, you have permitted it. We are raising the question of the time of the presentation of it in the House. Prior consent has been given by you.

Now, suddenly, we find that there is an asterisk in the List of Business of today... (Interruptions)... That is why, we are raising it before the hon. Speaker... (Interruptions)... I am not raising it before you, Mr. Finance Minister... (Interruptions)

SHRI YASHWANT SINHA: I am as much a part of this House as you are. You are not the only Member of this House... (Interruptions)...I am also a Member of this House... (Interruptions)

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : Yes, you are the part of the House but ... (Interruptions)... Now, I am addressing the Chair. I am not addressing you... (Interruptions)...It is the misfortune of the country that you are there... (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, Sir, therefore, my submission before you is that if anybody says that this is a matter which is not not agitating the public mind, it is not him or her to consider that. Hundreds and thousands of people are agitated over this matter because it is a matter of greatest public interest. About this petition, we have taken leave. You have granted leave to file this petition. About 1.5 crore of persons have signed it. And now, suddenly the introduction of the Bill becomes more important than the presentation of the petition!

Our very respectful submission before you, Sir, is that do not evolve a procedure which is generally not known or followed. Otherwise, the impression will be that this House is more concerned somehow to allow the introduction of this Bill than the people's view in this matter for the expression, of which there is a procedure laid done in the Rules. Then that becomes a redundant procedure. That becomes totally otiose. Here, the primacy is being given to the Government business of the introduction of the Bill than the expression of the people's objections to this.

Therefore, Sir, I am earnestly submitting before you that Heavens will not fall if our objection is recorded, according to the rules, before the introduction of the Bill. Therefore, let the petition be filed the House, before you first. And then, let the Government try to introduce the Bill.

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: Sir, the petition itself talks about a Bill which the petitioner is opposing. If there is no Bill, there is no petition. So, the Bill has to be introduced and then there is a petition... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, Mr. Home Minister, please.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Sir, I am on a point of order... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: I have called Shri Advaniji.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Sir, I am on a point of order.

MR. SPEAKER: What is your point of order? Quote the Rule.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Sir, it is under Rule 160 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business.

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs has said that `as there is no Bill before the House, therefore, there is no question of opposing it.' But if you go through the text of the Motion... (Interruptions)

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: No petition against the Bill can come. That is the only point I am making... (Interruptions)

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : Sir, after you have given your consent, all these questions need not be raised... (Interruptions)

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA :Sir, the text of the Petition says:

"...to present a petition signed by Shri K.P. Manchanda and others representing the All India Insurance Employees Association, All India LIC Employees Federation and General Insurance Employees All India Association against the move to privatise... (Interruptions)...the Indian Insurance Industry and opening up of the Insurance Sector to foreign companies through the... (Interruptions)...Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, 1999."

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Basu Deb Acharia, what is this?

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : This is against the move of the Government. So, where is the question of the Bill?

MR. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

SHRI BAS DEB ACHARIA : Shri Rupchand Pal should be allowed to submit his petition first. Then the hon. Minister may introduce the Bill.

MR. SPEAKER: Shri L. K. Advani to speak now.

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