Ordinances should be promulgated only in event of immediate need: Mukherjee

Kolkata, Dec 6: Expressing concern over the growing tendency of some states to enact controversial legislations through the ordinance route, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said ordinances should be normally promulgated only in the event of immediate need.

Addressing the valedictory ceremony of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of West Bengal Legislative Assembly here, Mukherjee said: ” A matter of concern I would like to flag on this occasion is the tendency in some states to enact legislation through ordinance. Ordinances should be normally promulgated only in the event of immediate need.”

“Some states, however appear to be pushing through certain controversial legislations through ordinances. Such ordinances do not have the approval of the House and are not debated or discussed properly by the legislators. Such ordinances should normally die a natural death if the assembly fails to ratify them,” he added.

Asserting that there is need for collective thinking by political parties and leaders of our country on how to ensure smooth running of our parliament and legislative assemblies, and whether some of the existing rules need to be amended for the purpose, Mukherjee said: “We should also examine whether our Committees can consider post-approval scrutiny of budgetary allocations made to various ministries.”

Every legislator should ensure that the content and the quality of debates that take place in the chambers are of the highest order. As members of different political parties, individual legislators would be guided by the policies of their respective parties,” he said.

“Competitive politics should not however result in slowing down the progress of the state or enhancing the suffering of its people. Most issues of development and public welfare transcend political barriers. It should not be difficult to forge consensus on such issues,” he added.

Lauding the initiatives taken by West Bengal Assembly in the past, Mukherjee said it has advanced the cause of freedom and promoted prosperity among people of the state, but there is no room for complacency.

“The West Bengal Legislative Assembly has in the past served as an important instrument of strengthening political democracy and bringing about social change through legislation. Legislations adopted by this assembly in the fields of land reforms, education, social welfare, panchayat raj, democratic decentralization, anti-corruption etc. have been models for the rest of the country. It is because of these laws that West Bengal has been able to make significant advances in the fields of literacy, population control, labour welfare and promotion of equity,” he said.

“Through numerous progressive enactments, the West Bengal Legislative Assembly has over the years advanced the cause of freedom and promoted prosperity among the people of West Bengal. But there is no room for complacency. You must at all times be attentive to the rising expectations of the people. It must be always kept in mind that people are our masters and each one of us is here because we solicited their votes and received their endorsement,” he added. (ANI)