The Parliament session is long over and done with.
In this Monsoon session, 20 legislative Bills were introduced and 25 were passed. This excludes the two Appropriation Bills to approve expenditure out of the Consolidated Fund of India. Lok Sabha worked for 145% and Rajya Sabha worked for 99% of their scheduled time. Probably, the most efficient session of all times as all Bills were passed with very little debate and well, just like a clearing house.
The Question Hour was suspended but yet, there were so many questions asked by various ministers, specifically on the impact of Covid and yet, many had no answers simply because there was no data. In this era, where Data is the new Oil, to say that there is no data is really like being an ostrich – living with your head buried in the sand.
Here, we have compiled a list of some questions asked by various ministers; some have been answered in detail while many not.
Q: Impact of the Pandemic on the agriculture sector?
A: The Govt answered this with data on growth rate of real Gross Value Added (GVA ) of Agriculture & Allied, saying it was at 3.4% in Q1FY21.
Q: Details of impact of COVID-19 on the incomes of small and marginal farmers due to nation wide lockdown?
A: No answer.
Q: Details of increase in the incidence of agriculture/ farm debt as a consequence of COVID-19 and lockdown in the first quarter of the current fiscal:
A: No answer.
Q: Details of monetary value of the relief provided by the Government to farmers especially small and marginal farmers to combat the economic downturn of the continuing COVID -19 pandemic and the economic downturn and its impact on the ground?
A: Gave details of money spent under PM KISAN during the pandemic - 10.46 crore farmer families have been benefitted and an amount of Rs. 20926.64 crore. It gave data on claims under PM Fasal Bima Yojana - total claims of Rs 5,326.7 crores were paid during lockdown period.
Q: Whether the Government is aware of losses suffered by the farmers and agriculture sector of the country due to Covid-19 and lockdown and if so, the details thereof?
A: There is no such income assessment report available that can estimate the impact of corona virus on farmers’ income.
Q: Data on farmer suicides in 2020?
A: Once again, no data.
Q: Financial impact on Airports Authority of India due to the lockdowns?
A: Fall in revenue from Rs.2973 crore to Rs.239 crore in Q1FY21 (YoY). AAI reported a footfall of over 4.46 crore passengers between Jan-Aug 2020. It has also given a break-up of month and airport-wise passenger footfall at AAI airports. (http://220.127.116.11/loksabhaquestions/annex/174/AU2066.pdf)
Q: Asked about the details on exports - estimate on exports from India during the lockdown period, y assessment of the loss on the economy due to fall in major exports of crops and details of the estimated loss of overall exports including agri-exports in the country?
A: The Minister of Commerce and Indusry, Piyush Goyal presented some data - http://18.104.22.168/loksabhaquestions/annex/174/AU555.pdf
Q: Shipping Ministry was asked - details of the cargo traffic handled at major ports in lndia; (b) whether the number has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels; (c) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor; (d) the steps taken/being taken by the Government to ensure the growth of traffic for individual segments like POLs, containers and coal in the near future?
A: Provided data on traffic handled at major ports from December 2019 to August 2020, with a YoY comparison. http://22.214.171.124/loksabhaquestions/annex/174/AU1941.pdf
Q: Ministry of Culture - whether the Ministry has assessed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the entertainment industry and artists across India and if so, the details thereof; (b) whether the Ministry has provided any financial assistance to musicians, theatre artists, dancers, craftsmen, etc. who have faced a loss of livelihood due to the Covid-19 pandemic; (c) if so, the details thereof including the total financial assistance granted; and (d) the other steps taken by the Government to provide relief to artists across India?
A: (a) The Ministry has not assessed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the entertainment industry and artists across India. And for the rest, went on to merely list down the schemes and grants provided.
Q: Ministry of Tourism - whether the Government has undertaken any study to estimate the losses including revenue and jobs in the tourism sector as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and if so, the details thereof?
A: No formal study has been instituted for assessment of the impact on the Tourism sector and job losses
Q: Ministry of Finance – amount released to various States since 24th March?
A: First instalment under SDRF amounting to Rs.11,092 crore given to state Govt on 3rd April. The Ministry has also given state-wise break-up of the money disbursed. It has also given details of cash provided to the poor. http://126.96.36.199/loksabhaquestions/annex/174/AU3.pdf
Q: Ministry of Labour & Employment was asked whether the Govt is aware of number of migrant labourers/families who returned to the origin during COVID-19; (b)if so, the details thereof, State-wise; (c)the steps taken by the Government to provide education to the children of migrant family during COVID-19; (d)whether the Government is planning to provide cash assistance to the migrant family?
A: It first gave features and beneficiaries of Rs. 1.70 lakh crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) and data on migrant workers who had returned to their home state.
Q: Ministry of Labour & Employment was asked an estimation of the unemployment rate between March to August 2020. And whether the Govt has conducted a survey on the number of people who have dropped out of the workforce?
A: No such survey has been conducted by the Government – that’s all… this one sentenced answer.
Q: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways - the number of persons died on the National Highways (NHs) in the country between 23 March, 2020 to 1 May, 2020 while walking to their villages/home towns due to national lockdown imposed on 23 March, 2020; b) the number of pedestrians injured on NHs in the country while coming back home during the said period?
A: (a) & (b) - A total of 81385 accidents occurred on the roads including National Highways during the period March-June 2020 with 29415 fatalities. This Ministry does not maintain data in respect of persons injured or died in road accidents on NHs between 23 March, 2020 to 1 May, 2020 while walking to their villages/home towns due to national lockdown.