Cheap cloth for poor

Mr. Nityanand Kanungo, Minister of Industry, told the Lok Sabha on March 28 that the Union Government was considering the question of making available coarser varieties of cloth to people of poor means at cheap rates. The Minister made this statement in reply to Mrs. Renu Chakravarty, who had asked whether Government proposed to supply at cheap rates coarser types of cloth to poor people and people in lower income groups through ration shops.

Shastri’s work

At a meeting of the Press Club in New Delhi on March 28, Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri was asked about the nature of his work as Minister without Portfolio. Mr. Shastri asked the journalists to wait for an answer from the Prime Minister in Parliament on Monday. (A question has been tabled on the subject in the Lok Sabha and Mr. Nehru is answering it on Monday). Later, Mr. Shastri explained that on matters concerning External Affairs, papers which have to go to the Prime Minister passed through him. He made his own comments or proposals. If it was an important policy matter, the Prime Minister himself took the decision.

Age limit for M.L.As & M.Ps

There was stout opposition in the Loki Sabha on March 28 to a move to prescribe minimum qualifications and an upper age-limit for candidates to the Lower Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures. Before the House was a Bill moved by Mr. H.V. Kamath (P.S.P.) seeking to amend the relevant provisions of the Constitution. A candidate, the amending Bill said, should not be above 75 years of age and should have, in the case of the Lok Sabha, passed at least a secondary educational test, and in the case of State Assemblies, a primary education test. Most of the participants in the debate ranged themselves against Mr. Kamath’s Bill. But party lines were blurred and the P.S.P. member’s only supporters were a Congress member, Mr. Rajeshlar Prasad and Mr. Kapoor Singh of the Swatantra Group. Mr. Kamath, however, refused to withdraw his Bill, but voting had to be adjourned to the next non-official day for want of quorum.