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Govt not showing disrespect to Prez on OoP Bill

By Super

New Delhi, Jul 23: The re-introduction of the Office of Profit bill in the original form meant no disrespect to the high office of the President who had sought some changes in it, the government contended today.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said that as per the Constitution, the government was within its right to send for re-consideration the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Bill, 2006, as returned by President A P J Abdul Kalam.

''We are not showing any disrespect to the President or rejecting his views. The President wanted its re-consideration by Parliament so we are doing it. Only he has asked for some clarifications, which we would give during the discussion on the bill in Parliament.'' However, the government is meeting main opposition party BJP to ascertain its views on the controversial bill. Mr Dasmunsi and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri would meet leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani to take the BJP's views and suggestions on it.

Mr Dasmunsi, however, felt there would be no hurdle in passing the bill which would be considered by the Business Advisory Committee of the Rajya Sabha tomorrow and subsequently presented in the upper house on Tuesday.

''It should be carried as such and re-passed by Parliament,'' he hoped.

The bill, passed by Parliament during its last session, exempted 56 offices from being deemed Offices of Profit but the President returned it, seeking reconsideration by the Parliament as he wanted all the office of the same rank from various states to be given same treatment under the law.

Mr Dasmunsi said that the government was ready to face any discussion on the Mukherjee Committee report on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The report of the Commission was presented before Parliament during last session.

Allaying any ''mis-apprehensions'' on the draft Broadcast Regulatory Bill, the minister said that the bill would not be brought in the present session. It has not yet been cleared by the cabinet, so there was no question of the bill being presented in Parliament, he pointed out.

He said that he would hold a conference of media industrial houses in the first week of August to dispel all their misapprehensions and speculation. Once a consensus is reached only then it would be brought in Parliament, he added.

Mr Dasmunsi said internal security, Mumbai blasts, Kandahar disclosures, price rise and agriculture were the issues on which parties wanted discussion in Parliament. He said the government was ready to dicussion and respond to any matter in a transparent manner depending on its merit. He hoped the parties would cooperate in the smooth functioning of Parliament especially during question hour and zero hour.

Among the bills to be introduced during the session are the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation of seats and Regulation of Admission and Fee) Bill, 2006. Stating that the government's commitment and Parliament's unanimous decision on the reservation issue remain unchanged, he however said that as per the assurance given by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to agitating students, the Oversight Committee headed by Veerappa Moily was reviewing the matter of OBC reservation.

He said the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, The Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2006 and the Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2006, the Information Technology (Amendmnet) Bill, 2006, the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill 2006 and a few other bills would be introduced in Parliament. Depending upon exigencies, some of these bills may also be taken up for considering and passing, he said.

He said that the Food Safety and Standards Bill, 2005, the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2005, the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2005, the Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill, 2005, the banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) and the Financial Institutions Law (Amendment) Bill, 2006 and the Government Securities Bill, 2004 would be considered and passed during the Monsoon session of Parliament.

Apart from these, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2005 and the Central Silk Board (Amendment) Bill, 2005 would also be discussed and passed by Parliament, he added. Supplementary Demands for Grants (General) for 2006-07 and for railways would also be passed during the session.

He said all the parties have assured cooperation in passing these bill and to make the session, which will conclude on August 30 successful. He said that the government was confident of its members and allies and should not face any problem in running the house and would not avoid any issue and proceed in a transparent manner.


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