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RS likely to pass bill accord constitutional status to OBC panel

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha is likely to pass a bill that aims to accord constitutional status to the OBC Commission in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament, as the select committee has adopted the report without any amendment.

Once the bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha, the Commission will become as powerful as the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and National Commission for Schedule Tribes.

Till date, the OBC Commission is simply a legal body, whose job is to advise the government regarding the inclusion or removal of caste/community lists.

The bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha in April, was referred to the Rajya Sabha’s Select Committee after opposition parties blocked its passage in the Upper House.

The select committee headed by Rajya Sabha MP Bhupender Yadav has adopted the report to accord constitutional status to the commission without any amendment, a member in the panel said, on the condition of anonymity.

Consensus has been arrived at among the members of the committee with the MPs of all parties agreeing on according constitutional status to the commission, said one of them.

The commission is currently a statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

The member further said the panel will submit its report in the first week of the monsoon session of Parliament, which is likely to commence on July 17.

The 25-member Rajya Sabha Select Committee includes senior MPs like Sharad Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav, Satish Misra and Praful Patel.

Yadav has, in the past also, successfully convinced all the parties to agree on many controversial legislations, including the GST Bill, the Mines and Minerals Bill and the Enemy Property Bill.

The BJP general secretary was also the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2015.

–PTI