Nation
Trinamool fails to bring no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha

Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress moved the motion as soon as Parliament met for the Winter Session but Speaker Meira Kumar disallowed it as it could not muster the required support of 50 members

 
New Delhi: An attempt by United Progressive Alliance (UPA)'s former ally Trinamool Congress to bring a no-confidence motion against the government over foreign direct investment (FDI( in retail failed on Thursday in the Lok Sabha for want of requisite numbers, reports PTI.
 
Mamata Banerjee's party moved the motion as soon as Parliament met for the Winter Session but Speaker Meira Kumar disallowed it as it could not muster the required support of 50 members.
 
The motion, first in the current Lok Sabha, was moved by Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay and was supported by BJD.
 
However, it lacked the support of the required 50 members as only TMC's 18 members and BJD's three members supported.
 
Moving the motion, Bandopadhyay said, "This House expresses want of confidence in the Council of Ministers over its decision to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail as it is going to harm millions of small businesses."
 
The Speaker asked all those supporting the motion to stand up.
 
Amidst chants of "shame shame" from Congress benches, TMC members stood up and there was a verbal clash too.
 
The Lok Sabha witnessed two adjournments including one when Trinamool Congress members stormed the well.
 
After Trinamool's no confidence motion failed, the Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj pressed for a discussion on the FDI in retail issue under rule 184 which entails voting.
 
The senior BJP leader contended that discussion under a rule which entails voting was necessary as the government has committed "gross insult" of Parliament by not keeping its word on consulting all stakeholders including political parties before taking the decision on FDI.
 
She said the government has shown contempt for the assurances given by then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who is now the President of India.
 
Swaraj said a vote on the issue would show that people of the country were against the move which would affect small traders.
 
Earlier, the Speaker said that she has got a notice of adjournment motion on the FDI issue from SP member Shailendra Kumar and the same was under her consideration.
 

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'No new mobile towers without fulfilling mandatory provisions'

Considering gravity of allegations levelled and health hazard likely to be caused, the National Green Tribunal has said that no construction of cell phone communication towers shall be made without following mandatory provisions of law and necessary permission from competent authority

New Delhi: Concerned over the health hazards likely to be caused by cell phone towers, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has restrained several telecom companies from setting towers without following mandatory provisions of law and taking permission from the competent authority, reports PTI.

 

"Considering gravity of allegations levelled and health hazard likely to be caused, we direct that no construction of cell phone communication towers shall be made without following mandatory provisions of law and necessary permission from competent authority," a NGT bench of Acting Chairperson Justice AS Naidu and expert member PC Mishra has said.

 

Issuing notice to the Ministry of Communications and IT, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Health, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and telecom companies -- Bharti Infratel Ltd, Airtel, Idea, Vodaphone, Tata, Reliance and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the NGT has sought their response by the next date of hearing on 20th December.

 

The tribunal's order came on the plea of Delhi resident Arvind Gupta, who has sought directions to the Centre and the telecom firms for implementing guidelines and regulations issued by MoEF regarding installation of cell phone towers nationwide.

 

In his application, filed through advocate BP Tripathy, Gupta has alleged that MoEF guidelines have not been followed and implemented by Department of Telecommunications while allowing installation of towers throughout the country.

 

He has also alleged that "norms are flouted brazenly by all companies involved with installation of mobile towers, having complete disregard and concern for environmental protection".

 

He has alleged that radiations emitted by towers not only adversely affect flora and fauna, but can also cause cancer in human beings.

 

Gupta has alleged that the Centre and telecom firms have not devised rules and guidelines for implementing existing regulations pertaining to installation of telecom towers so that environmental exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted by them will be minimised.

 

In his application, he has sought constituting of a high powered committee of experts to lay guidelines for limiting cell phone tower radiation before installing any new towers.

 

He has further sought directions to market regulator SEBI to restrain it from granting permission to any company to invite investments from general public for installing cell phone towers for private profits, saying it will lead to "irreparable environmental damage and health hazards to human lives...".

 

The applicant has also sought transfer of all the cases related to mobile tower radiation from the high courts to NGT.

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