Over one third of the “assurances” remain pending in the parliament
Application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has thrown open interesting figures regarding the functioning of the parliament. During the UPA II regime, different ministers gave 7,456 assurances on the floor of the House out of which 2,812 (37.7 %) assurances are still pending. Further, the reply has revealed that 299 assurances have been dropped. With the last session of the parliament coming to an end, all the pending assurances would now be taken up by the new government to be formed in May.
Whenever the concerned minister informs the parliament that the government would consider a matter, take action or furnish information later, it is considered as an assurance. There is a committee of the Lok Sabha committee which monitors the time-bound implementation of such promises made by the ministers on the floor of the house. The chairperson of the committee on government assurances in the Lok Sabha, Maneka Gandhi, is entrusted with the job of pushing the ministries to fulfil their promises.
Some of the assurances include:
· strengthening laws to curb generation of black money,
· extradition of Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson,
· releasing a white paper on disinvestment,
· funds for implementation of right to education,
· establishing eight hospitals on the line of All India Institute of Medical Sciences,
· compensating the farmers for the damaged crops,
· compensating the families of the victims of the Mangalore air crash, and
· issuing guidelines for pharmaceutical companies on clinical trial injuries and deaths.
The moral of the story is that even in the parliament, nearly one third of the assurances remain unfulfilled.