People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 18

May 05, 2013







CPI(M) Parliamentary Office


THE second part of the budget session started on April 22, with an uproar in both the houses of parliament. The proceedings got repeatedly disrupted on various issues --- e.g. on the BJP’s demand of home minister’s resignation, on death penalty to the persons guilty of raping a five-year old girl child in Delhi, statehood for Telangana, and the fraudulent activities of chit fund companies in West Bengal creating havoc in the state. Left MPs shouted slogans against the West Bengal government and displayed placards which read: “Stop Human Rights Violation in West Bengal.” Rajya Sabha too witnessed repeated adjournments on various issues, like the government’s alleged interference in preparation of the CBI report on the allotment of coal blocks. Left MPs also moved a motion for discussion on the on leak of the JPC’s draft report on 2G spectrum.  


In between the interruptions in Lok Sabha and despite the opposition inside the parliament and outside, Jaipal Reddy, minister for science and technology, introduced on April 22the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill 2013. While opposing the introduction of the bill, Basudeb Acharia, CPI(M) leader in Lok Sabha, queried how the biotechnology department, which is the promoter department, could be the regulator. Recently, the standing committee on agriculture in its report on genetically modified foods and crops, had recommended that there should be a non-incumbency regulatory authority. By not implementing this recommendation, and in order to help the multinational companies to penetrate our agriculture sector, the government has now brought a bill to regulate biotechnology, mainly in the field of agriculture. Acharia demanded that instead of being pro-industry, the bill must be a comprehensive bio-safety regulation to ensure bio-safety, biodiversity, human and livestock health safety, environment protection etc. Also, it must ideally be brought by the ministry of environment and forests or, as an alternative, jointly by the ministry of health and family welfare and the ministry of agriculture.


This week, both the houses passed the crucial Bill Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2013 that provides for capital punishment in cases of brutal rape and also deals with several other crimes against women. The CPI(M) had moved a number of amendments in both the houses, in accordance with its well known views.


This week the upper house had had a short duration discussion on the growing atrocities against and exploitation of women and girls child in the country, resulting in growing sense of insecurity in the society. Sitaram Yechury, leader of the CPI(M) group in parliament, pointed intervened in the discussion on behalf of the party. Excerpts from his speech are published elsewhere in this issue.