Rajya Sabha

February 9, 2018

Derek O’Brien asks questions during the Minister’s reply on the Union Budget

Derek O’Brien asks questions during the Minister’s reply on the Union Budget


Sir, I didn’t want to disturb the Finance Minister in the middle of his speech because it may disturb the flow. I have some pointed questions.

Firstly on Health:

There are states which are running their own health schemes. My State West Bengal is running a successful health scheme. We are giving Rs 1,200 per family for a large number – 1 lakh.

Now you took this decision for this health scheme. Now you are saying 40% or 35% the states have to give. Did you consult with any of these states? You just chapowed (imposed) it on us, like we have to take it. You did not have any consultation. What happens in my State West Bengal, which is already running a very successful scheme?

Second: Railways

On GST, I have asked the question but he did not answer on GST. Because the compensation we had asked for was Rs 55,000 they had budgeted for, but now it’s going to reach Rs 80,000. Where will we get the other 25000 from?

My main question is, Sir, we are having a 12 hours discussion today. The Budget and the Railway Budget merged together. Did Trinamool Congress ask such difficult questions today? When a young girl – since we are talking about doctors – goes to write the joint entrance exam for doctors, she can’t be told “I will answer after three weeks”. We asked twelve questions to the railways. Not one question has been answered. You need one month to answer the questions?

Sir, I am asking only one question. Sir, I am optimistic. Sir, my specific question is, is it that you need 25 more days to answer these questions and do your spin. I did not get a single answer on the railways but I am happy with the quality of the questions. Parliamentarians will give you one month, the people will not. I have not received a single answer on the twelve questions on railways. Not one.