Nadimul Haque speaks during a Calling Attention Motion on Special Category Status


Sir, West Bengal has inherited a huge debt burden after 34 years of CPI(M) misrule, before All India Trinamool Congress came to power. Sir, we have repeatedly requested the Centre to waive or restructure the loans.

When Shri Pranab Mukherjee, who was the Finance Minister in 2011, had understood the plight of the State and had allocated a package worth Rs 8,750 crore to develop 11 districts under BRGF. Under this scheme, the Centre still owes our State Rs 2,330 crore. The totally money that the Centre still owes to Bengal is Rs 10,469 crore. Even at the 11th Inter-State Council meeting, which happened in the National Capital last year, our Chief Minister had expressed that there ought to be <interruptions>

We feel, Sir, we are being discriminated against. Despite having 88 fast-track courts we are not getting any money but Gujarat, which has no such courts, has been given Rs 400 crore.

It is imperative that the concept of Special Category Status for States be continued. It is not only Bengal, other States like Punjab, Maharashtra and Jharkhand are also debt-stressed. The Centre must also release the funds at the earliest for the development of backward regions.

I would like to end with two lines, Sir:


Dusron par agar tapsara kijiye

Saamne aaina rakh liya kijiye.


Thank you, Sir.


Sudip Bandyopadhyay speaks during Calling Attention Motion on Encephalitis

Madam, I am aware of the gravity of the situation. The issue raised here today is serious; I know that because in the past I had the responsibility of the Health Ministry of the country. The situation is alarming and horrible, Madam.

The Government of India must rise to the occasion and make it a priority to deal with the issue.

Madam, in the recently-concluded Assembly elections, people have taught them a lesson; everyone is aware that Trinamool won 211 seats. People were happy with the work done by our government. I am confident the State Government will take appropriate measures in Bengal also.

Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien speaks during Calling Attention Motion on diversion of funds from EPFO to stock market

Sir, I’m very hopeful that this Calling Attention Motion today will actually get the response of the Labour Minister. I’m hopeful because I don’t think, in the first place, that the Labour Minister himself wants to go ahead with the proposed diversion of funds to stock market. This may have been concocted in two places, Sir. One is in a room very close by where a very senior parliamentarian sits. Or, as I notice today, Sir, in the third row of the treasury benches, where there is another gentleman who has flown away to another Department. He may also enlighten us.

Sir, I heard the speech of the Labour Minister on the Child Labour Bill – you have told us your beautiful life story, you are a practical person, you are a man of the grassroots. We are all behind you and you must do this for us together. Because we know internally, Sir, you may be under certain compulsions.Not only will we be happy, I think a lot of labourers in the country will also be very very happy.

Sir, my colleagues who have spoken before me have quite clearly explained what the problem is, so I’m not going to dwell on the problem. But the root of the problem is that I suspect that you’ve tried to use the American model. The American model has nothing wrong with it if you look at it. But the difference is, Sir, the American model has an independent retirement account which we don’t have. The American model has a social security account which we don’t have and the American model has retirement funds which we don’t have.

All we have is our provident fund. So, this is why I want to use this very serious Calling Attention Motion to alert you that some of the things that Americans do are good for their system but this doesn’t work for us. In the American model, they, invest their funds in low-risk bonds, they have municipal bonds; where do we have municipal bonds? Our stock market is a shallow stock market, our bonds are very, very shallow bonds. Someone was mentioning the casino – today it’s the casino, tomorrow it’s the stock market, next it’ll become something else.

Sir, these four or five banks who’ve been authorised to take this provident fund money (please also check out when it goes up from 5 to 15%. I am sure the Labour Minister will not allow this to happen because in his heart he does not want this to happen) – we’ll need to see where they are putting their funds. My question here is, are they putting their money into their own funds? This is another question.

And, Sir, I want to end. This is serious money, hard-earned money. After six months we don’t want to hear that they’ve come up with another new idea – now they want to go to Bombay Race Course and Chennai Race Course and Kolkata Race Course to invest this money.


Thank you, Sir.

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?