Govt ready to sent Bills to panels, Oppn says too late

Sources said the government informed the Opposition leaders in Rajya Sabha that the government is not in a hurry to pass these bills and would not mind sending it to Parliamentary Standing Committee or a Rajya Sabha Select Committee.

Government has indicated that it is willing to send four bills to Parliamentary Committees, including Dam Safety Bill and Surrogacy Bill, but the Opposition feels the overture is too late.

Sources said the government informed the Opposition leaders in Rajya Sabha that the government is not in a hurry to pass these bills and would not mind sending it to Parliamentary Standing Committee or a Rajya Sabha Select Committee.

The bills identified by the government side are The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill and Dam Safety Bill.

The DNA Bill as well as Occupational Safety Health and Working Conditions Code to a Standing Committee are introduced in Lok Sabha and not taken up for passing while the two other bills have been passed by Lok Sabha.

The government proposal was that it would urge Lok Sabha Speaker to sent the DNA Bill and Occupational Safety Code to a Parliamentary Standing Committee whenever such a panel is formed. However, this will not happen this session as Lok Sabha adjourned sine die after passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill.

With the bills on surrogacy and dam safety now in Rajya Sabha after Lok Sabha clearance, sources said the government is likely to bring a motion in Rajya Sabha to sent these legislations to the scrutiny of Select Committees.

Rajya Sabha will adjourn sine die on Wednesday only and Rajya Sabha sources said the government is likely to bring motions to send “some bills” to Select Committees.

Opposition sources said the government overture just before the Parliament session is to end is an "eyewash".

Attacking government for its reluctance to sent Bills to Parliamentary committees, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha leader Derek O'Brien said the BJP has "mocked" Parliament when ministers earlier claimed that Bills could not be sent to Standing Committees because they were not formed.

In this session, 29 Bills were passed by Parliament but only five of them were scrutinised. All these five were scrutinised during earlier Lok Sabha but none of the new bills brought in the first session of 17th Lok Sabha underwent Parliamentary scrutiny, O'Brien said.

He said this was not the practice earlier and cited the examples of 13, 14th and 16th Lok Sabha where bills were sent to Parliamentary Standing Committees during the initial sessions of Parliament.

"They talk about quantity, I am asking about the quality. Only 18% of the Bills passed this time have been scrutinised. The way the BJP has passed the bills is cheating," O'Brien said.

During the 16th Lok Sabha (2014-19), he said, the first session was of six days and no bills were passed while the 27-day second session passed 13 bills while sending 10 to Parliamentary panels.

In 14th Lok Sabha, the 24-day second session when bills were passed for the first time, six bills were sent to scrutiny. In 13th Lok Sabha, 11 Bills in first two sessions were sent to Parliamentary committees.

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