Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Neena Vyas
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, today said she knew nothing about a bill for banning cow slaughter. "I am not aware of it, nor am I aware of any decision by the Government to bring forward this legislation,'' she told reporters here today.
When she was told that the Bharatiya Janata Party and even the Prime Minister had talked of bringing a Constitutional Amendment bill to move the subject from the States' list to that of the Centre or on to the Concurrent List Ms. Swaraj repeated that she had no idea of such a plan.
Even if the bill is ready before the end of this session in a couple of weeks, it would need to be passed with a two-thirds majority of those present and voting and a simple majority of the total strength of the House. In addition, it would need ratification through resolutions in legislatures of at least half of the total number of the States. Even if such a bill is passed by Parliament in the monsoon session, the States will not be able to ratify it before their winter sessions and, therefore, the bill cannot become effective law before the October-November Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and other States.
On the Fernandes-Tehelka issue, she said the Congress MP, Jaipal Reddy, had given notice for a discussion on the subject under Rule 184, but ``the wording'' of the notice for discussion was ``not acceptable (to the Government) in its present form''. Ever since Mr. Fernandes was re-inducted into the Cabinet after his resignation following the Tehelka scandal, the Opposition has refused to accept answers from him. Whenever he spoke in Parliament most of the Opposition party members have been walking out in protest. Ms. Swaraj said the issue was likely to spill over to the next session. Apart from the heavy agenda related to the passing of the Finance Bill, Ms. Swaraj said that among the important bills expected to be passed this session were the Delimitation Amendment Bill to change the reference date for work of delimitation of Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies to the 2001 census (instead of the 1991 census). The Union Cabinet is expected to approve this tomorrow after which it will come before Parliament.
The immediate effect of this legislation would be that the 2004 Lok Sabha elections would have to be fought on the basis of the existing parliamentary constituencies as the change in the reference date would come too late for the Delimitation Commission to complete its work before the 2004 polls are due.
A Constitutional Amendment bill to allow States to impose service tax is also expected to be placed before Parliament this session, Ms. Swaraj indicated.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of