Coal Mines Bill ready to be tabled

Shyam Sunder

RajyaSabha_PTIThe Select Committee on Coal Mines (special provision) Bill, set up by the Rajya Sabha had adopted the report on Tuesday, March 17. Now the members would be free to give their decent notes, if any, by 3 PM today. The report with decent notes would be tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, the Select Committee chairman Anil Madhav Dave told Rajya Sabha TV. The Select Committee was asked to submit its report by March 18.

Mr Dave said,” I must thank my committee members who really worked hard; on Sunday we sat from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm. Now report is ready we would table it in the house on Wednesday.”

It is likely that after report is tabled in the house, government would put the Bill for consideration and passing it on March 19.

Two key Bills aimed at reforming Coal and Mines Sectors were referred to separate committees of Parliament after the government buckled under pressure from a united opposition to do so.

The Select Committees, set up by the Rajya Sabha, were asked to submit their reports by March 18, two days before Parliament goes for a month-long recess in the Budget Session.

The government bowed to opposition pressure and agreed to refer these bills to the Select Committees after it faced the prospect of yet another embarrassment in Rajya Sabha when opposition amendments to the Mines Bill appeared set to be passed.

Rajya Sabha referred the Bills to the two Select Committees, each having 19 members.

The Committee to look into the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015, is headed by Anil Madhav Dave of BJP and has 18 other members from various parties.

The Coal Mines (special provision) Bill seeks to replace the Ordinance issued by the government in this regard.

The other members of the Committee looking into the Coal Mines Bill includes V P Singh Badnore and Baswaraj Patil (both BJP), Digvijay Singh, P Bhattacharya and Rajeev Shukla (all Congress), Naresh Agarwal (SP), K C Tyagi (JD-U), Narendra Kumar Kashyap (BSP), Anubhav Mohanty (BJD), K N Balagopal (CPI-M), Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC), Vandana Chavan (NCP), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Devender Goud T (TDS), A W Rabi Bernard (AIADMK), Naresh Gujral (SAD), and Anil Desai (SS).

In the Upper House, where BJP and its allies are short of numbers, government agreed to refer the Bill to Select Committee. After referring the Bill to the Select Committee, the statutory resolution moved by many members of Rajya Sabha, to disapprove the Bill was withdrawn.

The government then agreed to refer the Bill to a Select Committee, warding off an embarrassment after having faced such a situation in the House only last week when an opposition amendment to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address was adopted.