Dehradun(PTI): President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that passage in Parliament of a Bill to operationalise the Indo-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement will convey a "strong" message of friendship to the neighbouring country and also show the world that the country stands united on matters of national interest.
Attending a special session of the Uttarakhand Assembly here, Mukherjee also told legislators that disruptions in either Parliament or state Assemblies were not desirable even as he hailed the just-concluded Budget Session of Parliament for being low on interruptions and forced adjournments. "I am particularly happy that the Constitution Amendment Bill relating to the Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh was passed unanimously by both Houses of Parliament.
"The unanimous vote has conveyed a strong message of friendship to Bangladesh and established to the world that India stands united on matters of great national importance," he said. Mukherjee said the move took 41 years to materialise after the then Bangladeshi premier Mujibur Rehman and his Indian counterpart Indira Gandhi signed the India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement in 1974. Expressing concern over the fewer number of hours being devoted to legislative business, he urged the Uttarakhand MLAs that "for God's sake, don't indulge in disruptions... it is unwelcome".
He said more time should be devoted to House proceedings and business so that "we do not fail to deliver on the desired results or meet objectives". With the Presiding Officers' Conferences time and again having reiterated the need for holding a minimum of 100 days of sittings in Parliament and state legislatures, he said, "It is unfortunate that time devoted by legislators towards legislation has been gradually declining across the country." Given the heightened complexity of administration, legislation must be preceded by debate and thorough scrutiny, he said, adding that "if not, it will fail to deliver the desired results or meet its objectives".
"These is need for utmost caution in matters of legislation, money and finance," stressed Mukherjee. "It must be kept in mind that no expenditure can be incurred by the Executive, no tax levied and no money withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of the State without the approval of the Legislature... you have to properly scrutinise these things as there may be serious errors (in these proposals)," he said.
He also urged the lawmakers in the hill state to increase the number of sittings of their Assembly so that "issues can be thoroughly discussed and debated".