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EOC Bill,women’s quota on House agenda

Replacement of four ordinances with Acts,enhancement of quota for women in local and Panchayati Raj bodies and the passage...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
November 17, 2009 3:50:36 am

Replacement of four ordinances with Acts,enhancement of quota for women in local and Panchayati Raj bodies and the passage of a bill providing for the establishment of an Equal Opportunities Commission for the welfare of minorities are high on the government priority list for the winter session of Parliament beginning November 19.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pawan Kumar Bansal underlined the government priorities at a meeting with secretaries of different ministries on Monday.

The Union Cabinet has already approved a proposal for amending the Constitution to hike the women’s quota in urban local bodies as well as Panchayati Raj institutions from one-third to 50 per cent. This proposal will apply to the total number of seats to be filled through direct elections,offices of chairpersons and the offices of chairpersons reserved for SCs and STs. The President had stated in her address to Parliament on June 4 that the government will take steps for a Constitutional amendment to facilitate this.

The government plans getting the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) Bill passed in the session. The legislation has been termed a “milestone” in minority welfare. The proposal for establishing the commission was mooted by the Sachchar Committee. The move is intended to ensure affirmative action for deprived groups and breaks the barrier for regulation between private and government sectors.

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The proposed commission would focus on employment and education and would intervene when the “aspirational diversity” is not reflected in any institution. The EOC may suo motu take note of any deficiency on this count and suggest corrective measures.

The four ordinances,which await their substitution by parliamentary legislations are Central Universities (Amendment) Ordinance,Essential Commodities (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance,Competition (Amendment) Ordinance and the Jharkhand Contingency Fund (Amendment) Ordinance. The other items include the Rubber Act (Amendment) Bill,which was rolled back by the government during the last session when the Opposition protested against the absence of the ministers concerned.

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First published on: 17-11-2009 at 03:50:36 am

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