Under attack over supporting an amendment bill on the Lokpal issue in the Lok Sabha, Congress said it is “not binding” on it to back the government in the Rajya Sabha where it does not have numbers.
“We have to live with the reality of numbers in the Lok Sabha … Certainly it does not mean it is binding on us in the Rajya Sabha,” party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.
He said this when asked why the party supported the amendment aimed at “diluting” the transparency law in the Lok Sabha.
The Lower House passed an amendment bill to extend the deadline of July 31 for declaration of assets by NGOs receiving government funds and Central government employees.
Singhvi was asked why the Congress supported the amendment bill which is apparently aimed at not revealing the contribution of the corporates to such NGOs.
During the debate in the Lok Sabha, CPI(M) member Mohd Salim had raised objections to the hurried way in which the amendments to the bill were sought to be passed.
The amendment comes amidst criticism that the government was diluting the transparency law by classifying NGO officials as public servants.
In April, the government had extended the date of filing returns by public servants from April 15 to July 31. This is the fifth extension to the deadline since the Act came into force in January 2014.
As per rules, NGOs receiving more than Rs 1 crore in government grants and donations above Rs 10 lakh from abroad fall under the ambit of Lokpal.