Refer Biodiversity Bill to Environment, Forests, S&T Committee-Jairam Ramesh
The Congress Chief Smt. Sonia Gandhi Whip in Rajya Sabha and the former Environment Minister, Mr. Jairam Ramesh, penned a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla opposing the proposal to refer the Bill to a select committee of Parliament to amend the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
In his letter, Ramesh argued that the Bill should be referred to the Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests, and Climate Change.
According to Ramesh, the Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, has caused widespread and genuine concern.
Ramesh, who is also the Chairman of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, stated in the letter that he and his party are protesting the Government’s decision to refer the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to a Select Committee rather than the Standing Committee.
Standing Committee Dignity
‘The Bill’s subject matter, as well as the Biological Diversity Act of 2002, which is being revised, belong to the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, and thus to the Standing Committee concerned. I don’t want to go into detail about the government’s motivations for bypassing the relevant Standing Committee and referring the contentious Bill to a Select Committee. The motivations are self-evident. All I want to say is that the move is a deliberate slap in the face to the Standing Committee. It makes no difference that I am its Chairman. What is more important is the Standing Committee’s dignity,’ he wrote in the letter.
He urged the Speaker not to let this happen and referred the Bill to the relevant Standing Committee, which is fully aware of its responsibilities.