Govt escapes by a whisker ‘job or dole to all’ bill
The Government had a very narrow escape from the embarrassment it would have faced to provide employment or unemployment allowance to all citizens above 18 as sought in a private member’s Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Most of the members had already left by the time voting took place on the Bill brought by Vishambhar Prasad Nishad of the Samajwadi Party because of no House for the next three days and the government had tough time to run for the ruling members. It, however, relaxed as the Bill was rejected by 21 votes in favour and 18 against in the division sought by Nishad.
He insisted on voting and refused to withdraw his Bill as it normally happens with the private members’ Bills when Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar spelled out the government initiatives to create jobs and urged the member not to press for his Bill which has good intentions but difficult to be implemented.
When Nishad persisted, Gangwar said: “Government is committed to create new avenues of employment, but the fact remains that the right to employment sought by the member is not a fundamental right that ought to be fulfilled by the government.” Where are two crore jobs every year that the BJP promised in its manifesto, he asked.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien knew a thin attendance in the House can create a problem to the government and hence he wanted to reject the Bill by taking a voice vote, but Nishad insisted on division to let the heads be counted in support and opposed to his Bill. He finally lost when the Bill was defeated by three votes.
He said he had brought the bill so that “any citizen of the country who has attained the age of 18 years should have a right to employment and if he does not get it, there should be a provision of unemployment allowance which should be decided by Parliament.”