Jairam Ramesh (ex-Environment Minister) and Congress Chief Whip in Rajya Sabha have written a letter to Om Birla, Lok Sabha Speaker, opposing the plan to send the Bill to amend Biological Diversity Act. 2002 to a selected committee of Parliament. Ramesh argued in his letter that the Bill should be sent the Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
Ramesh stated that Thursday’s Lok Sabha introduction of the Bill has raised legitimate and broad concerns. Ramesh, who is also the Chairman of Parliaments Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Climate Change, stated in the letter that he and the party have the strongest protests against the Government’s decision to refer the Biological Diversity Amendment Bill, 2021, to a Select Committee, and not to a Standing Committee.
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The Bill’s subject matter and the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, which is being amended, belong fairly and directly to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and, consequently, to the Standing Committee. I don’t want to go into detail about the motivations behind the government’s decision to ignore the Standing Committee and refer the controversial Bill to a Select Committee. These are clear motives. I want to point out that this is an insult to the Standing Committee. It doesn’t matter that I am its Chairman. He said in the letter that what is more important is how dignity is maintained by the Standing Committee.
He urged Speaker to stop this from happening and referred the Bill the concerned Standing Committee, which is fully aware of its responsibilities.