The government on Tuesday said it was prepared for a debate on the Indo-US civil nuclear energy co-operation but refused to commit whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would make a suo motu statement on the accord during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, starting here on August 10.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister P R Dasmunsi told reporters that if given notice, the government would be ready to consider it but added that whether to hold any discussion or not would depend on the decision taken by the presiding officers of the two Houses of Parliament.
“The Prime Minister has given a commitment to Parliament that he would come before the House if there was any change in the bilateral agreement. No such thing has happened. However, if a notice is given, we are prepared for a discussion”, he added.
Regarding the statement, he quipped: “I cannot say anything. The government will take up the issue if a notice is given”. Asked if the government was open for the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee and a discussion under Rule 184, followed by voting as demanded by the BJP, the minister said it depended on notice given by the MPs.
On the proposed Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill to regulate the content of TV channels and the setting up of Broadcast Regulatory Authority in India, the minister said it would be introduced towards the end of the session.
“I will hold discussion with the stake holders during the first week of the session after which the ministry will fine-tune the bill. It will go to the cabinet following which it will be introduced in Parliament towards the end of the session,” he said.
Dasmunsi said the session would have a duration of 36 days which includes 23 sittings. As customary, Lok Speaker Somnath Chatterjee will hold discussions with floor leaders of parties on August 9, 11 and 12 seeking their co-operation for a smooth running of Parliament.
According to him, the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Bill, 2007, and Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Bill, to be introduction during the session, would be sent to the standing committee for in depth discussion. Some of the bills likely to be introduced include: the Trademarks (amendment) Bill, the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Bill, the Wildlife Protection (amendment) Bill, the AIIMS and post-graduate institute of medical education and research (amendment) Bill.