The Home Minister Shri P. Chidambaram made the following opening statement at a Press conference in New Delhi today along with the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal:
Two weeks after both the Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die, it is a good time to reflect on the work done in Parliament and on the unfinished business.
On December 30, 2011, Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs spoke to the media and gave a detailed account of the Bills that were passed in one or both the Houses and the Bills that are pending for consideration.
As we take stock today, we find that there are three broad areas where Government’s proposals for legislative measures have remained either partly fulfilled or stalled:
|1.||The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011|
|2.||The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill (Whistle Blowers Protection Bill), 2011|
|3.||The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011|
|4.||The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010|
|5.||The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organizations Bill, 2011*|
|6.||The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill, 2011*|
Of these, only the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill and the Whistle Blowers were passed by the Lok Sabha and are now before the Rajya Sabha. One Bill has been reported by the Standing Committee and other Bills are with the Standing Committee.
|1.||The Educational Tribunals Bill, 2010|
|2.||The Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2010|
|3.||The National Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2011|
|4.||The Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing, Kancheepuram Bill, 2011|
|5.||The Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical Educational Institutions, Medical Educational Institutions and University Bill, 2010^|
|6.||The National Academic Depository (Amendment) Bill, 2011*|
|7.||The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010^|
|8.||The Higher Education and Research Bill, 2011*|
|9.||The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) (Amendment) Bill, 2010^|
Of the above, only the first four Bills have been passed by the Lok Sabha and are pending before the Rajya Sabha. All other Bills are at different stages either before the Standing Committee or after the Standing Committee has reported on the Bill.
| Finance and Business
|1.||The Direct Taxes Code Bill, 2010*|
|2.||The Companies Bill, 2011*|
|3.||The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011*|
|4.||The Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2009^|
|5.||The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Amendment)Bill, 2009^|
|6.||The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, 2011^|
|7.||The Forward Contracts (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2010^|
|8.||The Coal Mines (Nationalization) (Amendment) Bill, 2000^|
|9.||The Mines (Amendment) Bill, 2011^|
|10.||The Insurances Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008^|
|11.||The Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2011*|
Of the above measures, none was passed either in Lok Sabha or in the Rajya Sabha. All the Bills are pending at different stages of consideration, some before the Standing Committee and some after the reports of the Standing Committee.
It would be obvious to anyone that the Government has proposed far reaching and seminal legislative measures in different areas, especially in the crucial areas of finance and business, education and anti-corruption. The argument that there is a ‘paralysis’ that has gripped the Government is an argument that is patently incorrect, untenable and absurd. The lists of legislative proposals given above will conclusively establish that the Government has been proactive, business-like and keen to get the necessary laws on the statue book.
In our system of Parliamentary democracy, all Executive action has to be supported by law. Government can make plans, Government can draw up schemes. However, plans and schemes have to be supported by laws that contain provisions for funding, administration and enforcement. Hence, in most cases, Executive action will remain incomplete unless it is supported by legislation. The unfortunate story of the last few sessions of Parliament is that Parliament has not been able to pass the laws that were brought by the Government for Parliament’s consideration. We think that it is time for reflection by all political parties that are presented in Parliament and that believe in the Parliamentary forum of democracy.
^ Reported by Standing Committee
* Under consideration of Standing Committee