Oppn leader seeks minister's help to show holes in bill

Oppn leader seeks minister's help to show holes in bill

BJD leader Arjun Charan Sethi's attempt to involve HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, a noted lawyer, in support of his contention, however, fell flat with the latter holding that the provisions did not go against the federal structure.

Sethi, who was arguing against the amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, said the provision relating to Centre selecting the winning bidder for coal blocks to whom the states should mandatorily issue licences went against the federal structure.

"HRD Minister is a senior lawyer and he should help me by stating what the 'states shall issue licences' mean? Is it not mandatory, thereby infringing upon the rights of the states," Sethi said.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, who was replying to the debate on the Bill, said since the question was addressed to the HRD Minister, the latter would personally advice the BJD member on the provision.

Sibal also said he would not be able to comment unless he read the Bill first and took some time to read it. "This is one of the rarest of occasions when an Opposition member seeks the help of a Minister to advice him on a Bill. The provision will not infringe upon the states' rights. My answer to your question is 'no'," Sibal said.

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