RTE, black money assurances still pending

The UPA government whose second term draws to a close has reneged on more than 40% of its promises made in Parliament.

Different ministers in UPA II gave 7,456 assurances on the floor of the House, HT has found under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Out of these, 2,812 assurances are still pending and 299 have been dropped, the RTI revealed.

As per ministry of parliamentary affairs, some of the important assurances pending include — strengthening laws to curb generation of black money, extradition of Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson, a white paper on disinvestment and funds for implementation of right to education.

If assurances had been met, eight hospitals on the line of All India Institute of Medical Sciences would have been established. Farmers would have been compensated for damaged crops, the Mangalore air crash victims’ families would have been compensated and the country would have had guidelines for pharmaceutical companies on clinical trial injuries and deaths.

Whenever concerned ministers say they would consider a matter, take action or furnish information later, it is counted as an assurance. A Lok Sabha committee monitors time-bound implementation of such promises by ministers. Maneka Gandhi, chairperson of the committee on government assurances in the Lok Sabha, said, “We have been pushing ministries to fulfil their promises, but they are just not bothered.”

Congress MP and member of assurance committee Sukhdev Singh said, “The government is not taking its assurances seriously, they just make excuses.”

All pending assurances will now have to wait for the new government to be formed in May.

 

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