House chooses priority, sleeps on pro-people bills
Bills on creating a Lokpal, protecting whistleblowers and providing time-bound public services to citizens, remain on paper years after introduction in Parliament with much fanfare. Nagendar Sharma reports.delhi Updated: Sep 09, 2013 09:10 IST
The monsoon session of Parliament is being touted as a success by the government with the passage of populist legislation like the food bill, land acquisition bill and pension bill. But many other pro-citizen bills failed to find any mention.
Bills on creating a Lokpal, protecting whistleblowers and providing time-bound public services to citizens, remain on paper years after introduction in Parliament with much fanfare.
In August 2011, UPA came under intense pressure from social activist Anna Hazare and both Houses held a special meeting on a Saturday to assure that all points raised by him for an effective anti-graft mechanism would be addressed and the Lokpal bill would be passed at the earliest. In the just-concluded session, the bill barely got a mention.
In the same year, a bill to provide protection to whistleblowers was also introduced but has suffered a similar fate.
Two years on, both bills have only travelled from the Lok Sabha to Rajya Sabha.
Reeling under 2G and the 2010 CWG scam, UPA had introduced a bill to make public procurement and bidding more transparent. Three years later the bill lies in a list of pending legislations.
Similarly, a bill to provide time-bound public services to citizens and to allow them to complain against erring babus, also remains on paper.
Though a majority of political parties even at the height of Hazare’s movement were against passing any bill under public pressure, they desisted from directly opposing these legislations and have hit back only after the popular sentiment subsided.