Sunday, June 26News That Matters

Government passes Bill in Rajya Sabha despite last-ditch effort by Opposition to stall it

Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 30

The government was able to successfully pilot the Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021, in Rajya Sabha on Friday in the face of a last-ditch effort by the Opposition Members to stall its passage on technical ground.

Just after the protocol of discussion on the Bill was completed, and before being out to vote, the Opposition Members raised an objection to the Deputy Chairman, Harivansh Singh, that they were not called to speak on it.

Also, they demanded passage of the Bill through Division of votes.

Harivansh Singh, who was presiding over the proceedings, reasoned that they had not formally provided their names to speak.

With regard to demand for Division of votes, he said he was ready to allow it provided the Members must first go to their seats to restore Order in the House.

The presence of Members in their allotted seats during the Division is a well-laid norm in parliamentary procedure.

The Opposition Members had parked themselves in the Well of the House with placards. They raised non-stop chants and slogans during the entire course of the legislative proceeding.

The Members, however, did not budge after which the Bill was put to voice vote, and its subsequent sailing through.

The Bill proposes an amendment to the Coconut Development Board Act, 1979.

The proposals are to make the post of Chairman non-executive in nature and status, and to provide for a full-fledged post of Chief Executive Officer of the Coconut Development Board.

Earlier, an officer of the rank of Joint Secretary was made the Chairman, and the executive functions were also vested in the post.

The Bill’s statement of Objects and Reasons says the amendments to the Act were aimed to share the workload of administration between the Chairman and the CEO, to boost production and marketing of coconut and its products, and to propel such activities into the international market, and to provide help to coconut growers effectively.

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