Land Boundary Agreement India's strong message of friendship to Bangladesh: Pranab Mukherjee

DEHRADUN: President Pranab Mukherjee today said that passage in Parliament of a Bill to operationalise the Indo-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement will convey a "strong" message of friendship to the neighbouring country and also show the
land boundary agreement india s strong message of...
PTI May 18, 2015 22:23 IST

DEHRADUN: President Pranab Mukherjee today said that passage in Parliament of a Bill to operationalise the Indo-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement will convey a "strong" message of friendship to the neighbouring country and also show the world that the country stands united on matters of national interest.

Attending a special session of the Uttarakhand Assembly here, Mukherjee also told legislators that disruptions in either Parliament or state Assemblies were not desirable even as he hailed the just-concluded Budget Session of Parliament for being low on interruptions and forced adjournments.

"I am particularly happy that the Constitution Amendment Bill relating to the Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh was passed unanimously by both Houses of Parliament.

"The unanimous vote has conveyed a strong message of friendship to Bangladesh and established to the world that India stands united on matters of great national importance," he said.
Mukherjee said the move took 41 years to materialise after the then Bangladeshi premier Mujibur Rehman and his Indian counterpart Indira Gandhi signed the India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement in 1974.

Expressing concern over the fewer number of hours being devoted to legislative business, he urged the Uttarakhand MLAs that "for God's sake, don't indulge in disruptions... it is unwelcome".

He said more time should be devoted to House proceedings and business so that "we d do not fail to deliver on the desired results or meet objectives".

With the Presiding Officers' Conferences time and again having reiterated the need for holding a minimum of 100 days of sittings in Parliament and state legislatures, he said, "It is unfortunate that time devoted by legislators towards legislation has been gradually declining across the country."

Given the heightened complexity of administration, legislation must be preceded by debate and thorough scrutiny, he said, adding that "if not, it will fail to deliver the desired results or meet its objectives".

"These is need for utmost caution in matters of legislation, money and finance," stressed Mukherjee.

"It must be kept in mind that no expenditure can be incurred by the Executive, no tax levied and no money withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of the State without the approval of the Legislature... you have to properly scrutinise these things as there may be serious errors (in these proposals)," he said.

He also urged the lawmakers in the hill state to increase the number of sittings of their Assembly so that "issues can be thoroughly discussed and debated".

Talking about the Budget session of Parliament, Mukherjee expressed happiness that there were fewer interruptions and adjournments this time.
"It is a matter of satisfaction that the current 16th Lok Sabha has assumed its role and responsibilities in the right earnest. Until now, the 16th Lok Sabha has sat for 90 days and passed 55 Bills. Twenty-four bills were passed in the just- concluded fourth session.

"Further, the House sat late for 55 hours and 19 minutes in the fourth session to transact urgent government business. Seven hours and four minutes were sadly lost due to interruptions and forced adjournments. Thankfully, t this was lesser than in many previous sessions," he said.

He also hailed first-time MPs for taking part in House debates.

"Let me add that a noteworthy feature of this Lok Sabha is that there are 318 first timers and the time spent on quality debates and discussions has gone up considerably," he said.
He also hailed first-time MPs for taking part in House debates.

"Let me add that a noteworthy feature of this Lok Sabha is that there are 318 first timers and the time spent on quality debates and discussions has gone up considerably," he said.

Urging the legislators to maintain discipline and decorum, he said that the "cardinal principle for the effective functioning of the parliamentary system is that the majority will rule and minority will oppose, expose and, if possible, depose".

"However, minority must accept the decisions of the majority while the majority will have to keep their views with great respect.

"Discipline and decorum must be always maintained in the Assembly and rules, conventions and etiquette observed... Dissent should be expressed with decency and within the contours and parameters of parliamentary devices. Democracy should comprise three 'Ds'- 'Debate, Dissent and Decision' not 'D for Disruption'," he said.
Mukherjee reminded the legislators that they must remember that the "people are our masters".

"Each one of us is here because we solicited votes and received their endorsement... if we don't serve them (people), it will be a gross dereliction of duty," he said.
The President asked the legislators to ensure that the "content and quality of debates that take place in the chambers (of the House) are of the highest order".

"As members of different political parties, individual Legislators would be guided by the policies of their respective parties. However, issues of development and public welfare transcend political barriers. It should not be difficult to forge consensus on such issues," he said.
The President also said that lawmakers should ensure that the question hour during Assembly and parliamentary sessions are "fully utilised".

"The question hour provides a good opportunity to ask questions and hold the Executive accountable for its actions or inaction and to obtain assurances from the ministries concerned.

"This is one of the important privileges of legislators," he said.
Turning to Uttarakhand, he praised its government for the steps taken to rebuild the state and revive the Char Dham Yatra post the flash flood disaster of 2013.

He lauded the state for having some high seats of learning and urged the members of Uttarakhand Assembly to ensure that teaching and education received top priority.

The President also asked them to ensure that the NDA government's 'Namami Gange' and 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' are successfully implemented in Uttarakhand.
"Take upon yourself the goal of a clean Ganga and clean India," he said.

Talking about Indian democracy, Mukherjee said it evokes "awe and admiration" across the world.

"Governing a country of the size and diversity of India and managing challenges that arise on account of region, language, ethnicity, caste and religion is a stupendous task
"Yet, the parliamentary system has taken deep roots in our soil and we have successfully conducted 16 General Elections to the Lower House as well as innumerable elections to our state legislatures and local bodies," the President said.

Mukherjee, meanwhile, also expressed grief over the loss of lives in neighbouring Nepal as it was hit by a spate of earthquakes.

"I take this occasion to extend my deepest condolences to the families of our bothers and sisters in Nepal who have lost their lives in this tragedy," he said.

 
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