Opposition in Rajya Sabha seeks extension of tenure of two select committees

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| Monday, March 16, 2015 - 15:35
First Published |
Parliamentary

New Delhi: Opposition members Monday sought extension of tenure of the two select committees set up to examine two bills to replace ordinances on coal and mines, saying the issues would have "wide-ranging" impact and needed wider discussion, a demand rejected by the government.

Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha, Digvijay Singh (Congress) said the Select Committees would not be able complete their reports on the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015 and Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill "in just five days" as the issues required deeper understanding and discussion.

Rajya Sabha had set up two select committees on March 5 to look into the two Bills to replace Ordinances on the same issues, and submit their reports by March 18, two days before Parliament goes for a month-long recess in the Budget session.

Singh, who is a member of the panel on the Coal Mines Bill, said "the report cannot be completed in five days...It has a wide-ranging impact."

He also alleged that while drafting the ordinance, views of the States and various ministries, including Labour and Commerce, were not taken and "the Ordinance was drafted in a hurry."

His party colleagues like Pradip Bhattacharjee and other members like D Raja (CPI), Tiruchi Siva (DMK) and Tapan Sen (CPI-M) also demanded extension of tenure of the two panels.

However, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the tenure of the two Committees was decided upon when they were set up and nothing more could be done.

Stating that the matter should not be discussed during the Question Hour, Chairman Hamid Ansari urged members to carry on with the schedule.

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