Ahamed Hassan asks a Supplementary Question on the unemployment rate in the country


Sir, through you, I want to know from the minister the unemployment rate in the country last year, and the details thereof. 

Secondly, I want to know from the minister the number of jobs lost, and the details thereof.

Thank you.

Ahamed Hassan speaks on the reduction of interest rates in small savings schemes


Sir, the government has reduced the interest rates for small savings schemes by 10 basic points for the second quarter of this financial year. The government intends to match the sustaining interest rate in the banking sector since the Reserve Bank of India cut its benchmark policy rate thrice during the year. 

However, the government has lowered the interest rates on small savings for the first time in 2019, which will fetch lower returns to the savers barring interest on savings deposit have been at four percent while the rates from term deposits, public provident funds, national saving certificates and even the girl child scheme, ‘Sukanya Samridhi’ have been cut. Also, the maturity period of the ‘Kisan Vikaspatra’ has been raised by a month. 

Sir, moreover, the government has been systematically reducing the interest rates in small saving schemes over the past five years which has hurt the common people, especially the elderly who depend on the interest rates for their sustenance. It has also lead to the depletion of savings of the people. 

Sir, we implore the government to look towards the welfare of the common man who are already burdened with high taxation and compliance issues who will now suffer further from their savings being drained. Sir, we ask the government to sustain interest rates on small saving schemes aimed at aiding financial equity among the people of the country.

Thank you.


Ahamed Hassan makes a Special Mention on reforms in the education sector


Sir, the education sector in India faces structural issues. The case of West Bengal may be studied to address these issues.

Between May 2011 and May 2017, 16 universities have been set up, out of which seven are State-aided. Thirty-one Government colleges and 16 Government-aided colleges have also been established.

The State mandated a 17 per cent reservation for OBC students as a result of which almost 60,000 OBC students were given admission at the State’s UG and PG level courses in 2014-15, and almost 1,00,000 in 2015-16.

The State has also established 732 smart classrooms in State-aided universities, Government colleges and Government-aided colleges at a total cost of Rs 22 crore. Every State-funded higher education institution has an e-learning space with free internet facilities for students and teachers during work hours. The budget of the Swami Vivekananda Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme has been enhanced to Rs 200 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 45 crore in 2015-16. During 2016-17, the number of student beneficiaries has been almost 74,000.

Issues concerning teachers and other staff have also been addressed. These include granting leave travel concession to university and college teachers, bringing them under the West Bengal Health Services Scheme, conferring child care leave and paternity leave on male and female university and college teachers respectively, conferring teaching status on librarians, deputy librarians and assistant librarians of Government-aided colleges and graduate laboratory Instructors, etc.

A study of these schemes may be instructive for the Central and State Governments.


Ahamed Hassan speaks on The Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2017


Sir, I rise to speak on The Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

The amendment in this Bill seeks to award Indian Institute of Technology, Design and Manufacturing, Kurnool in the State of Andhra Pradesh, the status of the national importance. We support the Bill in its spirit as a newly formed state, this status is vital for the institute.

I would like to highlight few issues faced by students as well the areas which should be considered for further scrutiny about our current system of education in the country.

I would like to raise five important problems

1. Do we have enough Premier Institutes in the country for the aspiring students?

In April 2017, nearly 12 lakh students have appeared for JEE Mains Examination just to fill 36,208 seats in IIT, NIT, IIIT and CFTI. That is, only 3% of the total students who aspired to enter the premier institutions are able to make it to them. The rest are settling for lower institutes in the country.

I would also like to raise one important point which has also been raised by my colleague Mr. Saugata Roy in Lok Sabha. I urge the Government to set up an Indian Institute of Technology in Kalyani in West Bengal.

2. Are we able to provide job opportunities to everyone who is graduating from these premier institutes?

According to the data sent by IITs to the human resource development (HRD) ministry revealed only 66 per cent of students who appeared for campus recruitment got a job offer in 2016-17, as against 79 per cent in 2015-16 and 78 per cent in 2014-15.

The percentage of placements in these institutes is declining year by year. Who is responsible? What is the reason for the decline?

According to survey, the decline in placements at India’s premier engineering colleges is seen as a possible outcome of various disruptions globally, including protectionist steps taken by countries like United States and Australia.

As a nation, are we able to control/reduce the global impact on our country in this issue? Did the ministry start assessing the necessary steps to overcome it?

3. IT Layoffs

IT professionals are losing their jobs every year, this can be attributed to various reasons. It is anticipated that, the actual job cuts will be between 1.75 lakh and 2 lakh per year in next three years, due to under-preparedness in adapting to newer technologies.

4. Brain Drain

Every year students from India migrate to western countries for education and better opportunities. Who is responsible for this Brain drain taking place in the country? Sir, a survey conducted by U.S. National Science Foundation of Earned Doctorates show that 80 per cent or more of students who complete their PhDs in the U.S. from India and some other Asian countries remain in the U.S.

I would like to give you a comparison. The number of students from china who used to migrate to Western countries for post-graduation are now getting flat. A likely explanation, with relevance for India, is that China has invested heavily in its top-tier universities and now has significant quality and capacity in most academic fields for post-graduate study. Chinese students are no longer obliged to go abroad for high-quality programmes, there is a growing trend among them to stay and pursue higher education in their own country.

What I wanted to convey is that we have very less number of universities in comparison to the student population we contain right now in the country.

5. Suicides

According to NCRB data released in 2016, 34% of the total suicides happening in the country are attributed to students, unemployed victims and self-employed people (6.7%, 8.2% and 19.1%).

We are living in a society where there is cut-throat competition. From the time a child is born, the parents start deciding on kindergartens, schools, colleges and eventually their careers. We don’t spare a moment to think about what kind of pressure we are creating for our children. At a time when they should be going out and playing, we are forcing them to cram books which weigh more than them.

Once they pass out from higher education institutes, a majority of students who have studied a particular subject are not getting jobs in the relevant sector. Therefore, they have to take up jobs in industries which are completely beyond their comfort zone. This leads to zero job satisfaction, eventually turning to depression.

We need to look into these aspects and ensure that we provide a healthy and nourishing environment for them, and provide psychological support at every step of their lives.

On this occasion of discussing such an important bill in the parliament, I urge the minister to consider these points and address them in the near future.

Thank you.


Ahamed Hassan seeks the Centre’s help in combating wheat blast disease in Bengal


Sir, I am raising an issue which is very important for the country’s agriculture. Sir, a deadly fungus for wheat crops is severely affecting wheat cultivation in two districts of West Bengal, namely, Nadia and Murshidabad. At least 1,000 hectares of cultivated wheat have already been burnt to stop an infectious and dangerous disease called wheat blast. Burning of the affected crop is the only way open for the Agriculture Department to prevent this fungus-related disease of wheat crops from spreading to the other areas of the State and the country. 

Sir, once infected by wheat blast disease, there is no way to cure the affected crops. Agriculture experts say that this disease was first identified in 1985 in Brazil and thereafter in Bolivia and Paraguay. Here it has come from Bangladesh.

Sir, the West Bengal Government under the inspiring leadership of the Hon. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is giving compensation to the farmers as far as possible.I would request the Agriculture and other concern ministries of the Central Government to take up the issue seriously as it is an issue for the entire country. Measures should be taken by the Central Government so that wheat blast disease does not spread to the other parts of the country. The Centre should also create an adequate fund for the affected farmers of West Bengal, those whose crops had to be burnt for the national interest, Sir.


Ahamed Hassan makes a Special Mention on the World Bank’s appreciation of the panchayat system of Bengal


Gram panchayats are the cornerstones of the Panchayati Raj system. From the time of our country’s independence, Gandhi ji and Nehru ji had envisioned gram swaraj along with purna swaraj. The hallmark of an efficient and transparent gram panchayat is when it attains decentralised and participatory local self-governance. The gram panchayat system of Bengal has been able to deliver the highest standard of services in terms of e-governance, general working and financial management, even in areas outside the purview of the regular work. This has been acknowledged by the World Bank which said, in a letter from its South Asia vice-president that in terms of transparency, the State panchayat system can be easily compared to the best governed institutions in the world, and that this has been maintained for the last six years. to bring transparency to the working of gram panchayats, the Panchayat Department of the State brought an app. The details of all panchayat work carried out by the gram panchayats including the costs incurred as well as photographic evidence are logged in the app which are then verified by the department. In the interest of transparency too, it has been made mandatory by the Bengal Government that all tenders published by the zilla parishads have to be published online in the form of e-tenders. Under the leadership of the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Hon. Mamata Banerjee, the gram panchayats of the State are most transparent and efficient, bringing prosperity to all corners of rural Bengal. I therefore urge the Government to follow the Bengal model to bring transparency and efficiency in the working of all gram panchayats.

Ahamed Hassan Imran’s speech during Calling Attention Motion on floods

Last year, according to international estimates, India lost $3 billion due to floods. Sir, I have a few specific questions for the Honourable Minister.

My first question is regarding Flood Management Programmes.

The former Planning Commission laid down Flood Management Programmes in consecutive Five-Year Plans. Now that the Planning Commission has been disbanded, what is the status of this programme and has the Government introduced any new protocols to improve it?

My second question to the Minister is regarding compensation criteria.


When Cyclone Komen hit Bengal, the State Government had the foresight and initiative to set up 3000 relief camps across the 12 affected districts, giving shelter to 2.14 lakh people.

However, in the allocation of funds to the State government to mitigate damages caused by a natural disaster, pre-emptive measures and the costs thereof is not taken into account by the Centre. The amount of compensation is only based on the number of lives lost.

We had raised this in the previous sessions of Parliament as well. I would like to ask the Minister whether the Government will consider this while deciding on relief packages, especially since it will incentivise and greatly support States in taking proactive and necessary steps to control damage caused by such disasters.

My third question is regarding the steps being taken to strengthen existing institutions that handle disasters in the country.

In the Winter Session, we had raised the issue of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) being “ill-prepared” to handle disasters. This was clearly mentioned in a report of the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General of India). Similarly, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been reported to be ill-equipped and the funds allocated to it have remained grossly underutilised.

The NDMA was set up in 2005 and the NDRF in 2006. After nearly 10 years, why is the Government complacent in dealing with disasters, considering that our country is often plagued by natural calamities?

My fourth question is regarding a coordinated approach in dealing with disasters.

Flood disaster and its impact on the lives of people, infrastructure and the economy of the State is a multi-pronged issue. It would, therefore, require the combined effort of Finance Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry, Water Resources Ministry and even the Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Ministry.

Has the Government taken any steps to devise an integrated inter-ministerial approach, not only through meetings but for actual groundwork? Or, would the Government considering building an inter-ministerial mechanism which will work along with the concerned State Government, and be activated on receiving reports of floods?


Ahamed Hassan speaks on National Waterways Bill, 2015

Sir, I thank you for allowing me to speak on the National Waterways Bill, 2015. As we all know, waterways in India have immense potential. Our civilization itself is connected with rivers.

World mein hamere Hindustan ki pahchan nadi se juri huyi hai. Viswa mein Bharat ke ek pehchan yeh hai is desh mein Ganga bahti hai.

Sir, the hon. Chief Minister of my State, West Bengal, Sushree Mamta Banerjiee, has always encouraged the development and the proper use of waterways in our country as well as in our State. It is evident from the statistics that China uses its waterways for 47 per cent of its total transportation, European Union-44 per cent, and even in our neighbouring country Bangladesh, 35 per cent of transportation is done through waterways, while in India, only 3 per cent of total transportation is carried out through waterways. So, we in Trinamool Congress, agree that we have to develop our national waterways to reap the benefits of the modern trade and transportation. But, at the same time, I must say that in the process, we have to address some serious concerns of the States. The Bill has not addressed the roles and the rights of the States or prepared any mechanism to solve or defuse the probable differences between the States and the Union. In the Bill, there are only three lines on this important matter. It stated without elaborating any guidelines or giving any plan for required structure or how to sort out differences, if any, between the Union and the States. There is no modality in the Bill for addressing the problem, if it crops up. In the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill, it is merely said; “The enactment of the proposed legislation will in no way impinge on the rights of the State Governments for usage of water, ownership of appurtenant land, minerals, metals, sand etc., rather will usher in development of transportation and tourism in the States. In our view, there should be adequate representation of the concerned States in the nodal agency of waterways which is called ‘Inland Waterways Authority of India’. It is having its headquarters in Delhi. It is the opinion of many experts that the agency should have revamped as it is not running in a professional or proper way.

Our party, Trinamool Congress, feels that care and caution should be followed while implementing the projects after the enactment of the proposed legislation. It should, in no way, impinge the rights of State Governments for usages of water, taking up of additional irrigation projects, ownership of land, mineral, sand etc.

Another recommendation which our Party, Trinamool Congress, endorses is that a State level Water Management Committee, with representation from the State, should be formed to oversee the development of national waterways and resolve the issues at the State level itself. We in West Bengal are really concerned with these issues because as many as 12 rivers and waterways which have been identified for national waterways are from our State. I would like to mention a few, Allahabad-Haldia Stretch of the Ganga Bhagirathi-Hooghly river, Ajoy river, Damodar river, Jalangi river and Sunderbans Waterways.

Sunderbans Waterways, if it is taken up for development on a priority basis, will not only boost the eco-tourism in this magnificent area, but will usher in multi-pronged development of the area also. Tourists will see here famous Royal Bengal Tigers in the forest, Mangroves and crocodiles in the river.

But I will mention here that there are concerns of pollution in the rivers when large vessels and barges, etc., will pass through its water. The Government have to take care of that problem. Some fishermen forums also expressed their anxiety that their traditional occupation may face danger because eco-system of the river may suffer in the process. The Government will also have to look into their concerns, that is, fishermen.

Finally, I will say a few words on the financial implication. The hon. Minister, Shri Nitin Gadkari has said in the Press that the development of the proposed waterways will require Rs. 5 lakh crores. So, how the hon. Minister will procure these large sums of money, he should give us some hints or some indications. A few newspapers quoted the Minister saying that 26 per cent of the financial stakes would have to be borne by the States. I don’t know whether this proposal or the idea has been discussed with the concerned States.

In the end, I will say, we support the National Waterways Bill, 2015 for the bright future and the larger interest of the country.