Cabinet to take up OoP bill in the next two days
PM also hinted at the possibility of having a full-fledged External Affairs Minister in the Cabinet.india Updated: Jul 18, 2006 20:31 IST
The Union Cabinet will take take up the controversial office of profit bill in the next two days to decide whether it should be taken to Parliament as it is or modified, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday.
He also hinted at the possibility of having a full-fledged External Affairs Minister in the Cabinet.
"We haven't had a meeting of the Cabinet on this (office of bill) issue. In a day or two we will hopefuly settle that issue also," he told accompanying journalists on board his special aircraft on way home from a three-day visit to St Petersburg.
He was asked whether the bill, which was passed earlier this year and returned by the President, would be brought to Parliament in the same form.
The Prime Minister said "in due course of time, we will go to Parliament. First of all, the President has sent a message. We will discuss it....The bill will be debated in Parliament.
Earlier in May at the height of disqualification controversy, the President had returned the Bill to Parliament for reconsideration for a "comprehensive and generic" criteria which should be "fair and reasonable" and applicable in a "clear and transparent" manner.
He had raised the questions over the implication of including the names of offices over which disqualification petitions were pending before the Election Commission and the applicability of the law with retrospective effect.
Asked whether he will soon have a full-fledged foreign minister, Singh said "hopefull" and went on to add "it can be at anytime".
The Prime Minister has retained the External Affairs portfolio after incumbent K Natwar Singh was relieved of the portfolio in the wake of the Volcker controvesy.
He also effectively ruled out any changes in his ministry. "I am not not thinking in terms of a reshuffle right now now."