Thursday, August 10, 2006

There’s a bill, where’s the way?

One can only imagine how these 55 will be passed. One reason for this mass of non-work is ‘bickering’. As always, the Treasury benches and the Opposition are readying to bait the other. Ruckus is already growing on the weak-kneed release of terrorists in exchange for Indian hostages at Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 1999. The then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh’s conduct in Kandahar, promises to be a topic of raucous name-calling, especially with his belated assertion that there was a “mole” in the Narasimha Rao government (a statement challenged by the current PM Manmohan Singh). There will be many more of such niggles, which will keep some important legislation on hold – like the Seed Bill, the Pension Bill, the Prevention of Child Marriages Bill and the Women’s Reservation Bill.

“Often, people say MPs are wasting money. It is only the middle-class and the political class that is concerned about money being spent on Parliament and no work being done,” snaps D. Raja, Secretary, Communist Party of India. What Raja is alluding to could be the second reason for piling bills: Lobbying. Interested parties push for legislation to suit their interests. Some MPs, therefore, see no harm in taking time to pass bills. One bill is on hold since 1987, the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill. Then there’s the Food Safety and Standards Bill that proposes to establish a Food Safety & Standards Authority for setting and monitoring nutritional & chemical- content standards in local & imported food items. In the West, for instance, these would be issues to deal with haste.

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Source :- IIPM Editorial, 2006, Editor - Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri

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