DoPT delaying process to put in place pre-legislative system: Roy

Highlighting Justice (retd) J S Verma Committee's report on strengthening legal framework to tackle crimes against women as an example of effective pre-legislative consultation, National Advisory Council (NAC) member Aruna Roy on Monday lamented that recommendations to institutionalise the process had reached a "dead-end" because of the obduracy of the government.

"Unfortunately, even a set of preliminary recommendations on the pre-legislative process taken up by the NAC have reached a dead-end because of the resolve of the DoPT that it will 'consult 85 departments' to elicit their opinion," Roy has said in a letter to NAC chairperson Sonia Gandhi which was delivered to her personally after the meeting of the council on Monday.

Roy, in fact, has suggested that "if the NAC is not considered the right platform for such a (pre-legislative) discussion, it should be taken up by some other agency immediately".

The NAC, meanwhile, discussed mechanisms suggested by one of its working groups on grievance redressal and monitoring and discrimination-free schooling under the Right to Education law. The recommendations, which were agreed "in principle", include defining discrimination and preparation of "equality declaration" and "code of conduct" for schools to foster "non-discriminatory behaviour" within the students.

The NAC also agreed "in-principle" with the recommendations of one of its working groups that has suggested the government to create "policy environment that enables small and marginal farmers (SMF) to build their collectives and grow as vibrant institutions" that can "address many of the output issues (markets, value addition, post-harvest activities, etc.) and input issues (extension, credit, plant protection, insurance, nutrients)". This, in a way, will contribute to enhance the agricultural productivity in the country at a time when land holdings are gradually getting more fragmented.

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