New Delhi: Days after protest by political parties and environmentalists, the government on Monday December 20 agreed to refer the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 Bill to a Joint Committee comprising 21 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha.
Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister, Bhupender Yadav moved that the Bill be referred to the Joint Committee of the two Houses.
Earlier, Yadav had introduced the Bill in the Lok Sabha on December 16 amid din by the opposition members. There was no debate and the House was soon adjourned. The government then sent the Bill to a Select Committee.
A day after that, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had expressed “strongest possible protest” that the government referred the Bill to a Select Committee and not to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
The Lok Sabha members of the Committee are Dr Sanjay Jaiswal, Diya Kumari, Dr Heena Vijaykumar Gavit, Aparajita Sarangi, Raju Bista, Pallab Lochan Das, Prathap Simha, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Brijendra Singh, Ajay Tamta, Jagdambika Pal, Ritesh Pandey (all BJP), Santosh Pandey (SP), Gaurav Gogoi, S. Jothimani (both Congress), A. Raja (DMK), Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar (Trinamool Congress), Sridhar Kotagiri (YSR Congress), Prataprao Jadhav (Shiv Sena), Sunil Kumar Pintu (JD-U), and Achyutananda Samanta (BJD).
The 10 members from the Rajya Sabha include Shiv Pratap Shukla, Dr Anil Agrawal, Neeraj Shekhar, Ramilaben Becharbhai Bara (all BJP), Jairam Ramesh (Congress), Jawahar Sircar (Trinamool), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Dr Amar Patnaik (BJD), Prof Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) and Ram Nath Thakur (JD-U).
In order to constitute a sitting of the Joint Committee, the quorum shall be one-third of the total number of its members.
The Committee is expected to submit a report by the last day of the first week of next Session.