A veteran freedom fighter, Shri Rai actively participated in the freedom struggle and suffered imprisonment in 1942.

An agriculturist by profession, Shri Rai took keen interest in focussing the attention of the House to agrarian problems and issues regarding rural development.

He served as a member of the Public Accounts Committee.

Shri Gauri Shankar Rai passed away at Ballia in U. P. on 2nd May, 1991 at the age of 67.

Shri Jageshwar Yadav was a member of the Fourth Lok Sabha during 1967-70 representing Banda constituency of Uttar Pradesh.

A veteran freedom fighter. he took active part in the 'Quit India Movement' in 1942 and suffered rigorous imprisonment for two years.

68 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References

An agriculturist and a well known social worker, Shri Yadav took keen interest in the welfare of farmers and working class. Besides being convenor of Kisan Mazdoor Sammelan held in Banda, he was associated with several educational institutions in various capacities.

Shri Jageshwar Yadav passed away on 14th May, 1991 at the age of 74.

Shri Ishwar Chaudhary was a member of Fifth, Sixth and Ninth Lok Sabha during 1971-79 and 1989-91 representing Gaya constituency of Bihar.

A well known social and political worker, he devoted his life for the upliftment of the weaker sections of the society. He took active part in the proceedings of the House, which bear a testimony of his concern for the toiling masses of the country. He served on the Committee on welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. He was also associated with the consultative Committee of the Ministry oś Labour and Welfare.

Shri Ishwar Chaudhary, who was a candidate for election to the Tenth Lok Sabha, fell to an assasin's bullet on 15th May, 1991. He was only 52 years old.

Shri Shripad Amrit Dange was a multi-faceted personality. His valuable contributions as a freedom fighter, trade unionist, writer, parliamentarian and least but not the last as leader of the working class stand testimony to his vision, determination and enormous courage in his pursuit for creating a socialistic pattern of society in the country.

Born in 1899, Shri Dange came into contact with the working class while doing relief work in the mill areas in Bombay. Shri Dange took his first baptism into politics in the ferment of national movement against the British rule in India.

69 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References

An intrepid freedom fighter, Shri Dange was greatly inspired by the leading lights of our freedom struggle like, Lok Manya Tilak and Father of the Nation. He joined the Non-Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920 while he was still a student and gave up his studies. Thereafter he never looked back. He spent about sixteen long years in jail for participating in the freedom struggle particularly Kanpur conspiracy case (1924-27), Meerut conspiracy case (1929-35), anti-war activities (1939-43) and so on.

Shri Dange remained a dominant figure in the Trade Union Movement in the country for about six decades. He was in fact the founder member of the All India Trade Union congress. He was elected as Vice- President of the Worth Federation of Trade Union several times.

ln recognition of his unique participation in the struggle for peace, democracy and social progress, Shri Dange was awarded the 'Order of Lenin', the highest decoration of Soviet Union.

Shri Dange was a man of letters. He authored a number of books on several subjects, best known among them are'Gandhi vs. Lenin', 'Literature and People' and 'From Primitive Communism to Slavery'.

Shri Dange took keen interest in journalism and started the country's first communist journal--'The Socialist' and also edited the Marathi weekly 'Kranti'.

Shri Dange was elected to the Second Lok Sabha in 1957 from Bombay City (Central) Constituency of the erstwhile State of Bombay and again to Fourth Lok Sabha in 1967 representing the same Constituency which then formed part of Maharashtra . Earlier he had been a Member of the then Bombay Legislative Assembly during 1946-5l.

He played a crucial role in the formation ol Maharashtra State.

70 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References

A noted parliamentarian, he lost no opportunity to focus the attention of the House to the problems faced by the working class. The debates of Lok Sabha bear witness to the valuable contributions made by Shri Dange during his tenure as a Member. Irrespcctive of idological differences all sections of the House respected and heard him in silence.

In his death, we have lost not only a former colleague but a true patriot and an invalualble link with our glorious struggle for freedom. Shri Dange expired on 22 May, l99l at Bombay at the age of about 92 after a prolonged illness.

Shri Uma Shankar Dixit, a former Union Minister and a Member of Rajya Sabha for about fifteen long years passed away at New Delhi on 30th May, 1991 after a prolonged illness at the age of 90 years.

A veteran freedom fighter, Shri Dixit discontinued his studies and plunged into freedom movement at the call of the Father of the Nation in 1920 at the young age of 19. He ably conducted the satyagraha and undcrground movements and actively participated in the 'Quit India' movement. He was awarded imprisonment for several years.

Shri Dixit started his parliamentary career in 1961 when he was first elected to Rajya Sabha. He was reelected to that House in l964 and again in 1970. He continued to be a Member of that House till l0 January. 1976.

A renowned parliamentarian and able administrator Shri Dixit served as the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha besides being Member of the Union Council of Ministers between l971 and 1975 when he held with distinction various important portfolios namely, Works and Housing, Health and Family Planning, Home Affairs and Shipping & Transport.

71 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References

Later he served as Governor of Karnataka and West Bengal for several years. He also served as the custodian of Evacuee property for about four years from 1948 and displayed his organising skill.

Shri Dixit took keen interest in the promotion of Hindi and was associated with several educational and cultural organisations.

Besides his poiitical activities, Shri Dixit was deeply interested in the development of healthy journalism. ln fact, he started his career as a journalist and was Managing Director of Associated Journals Limited-the pulblishers of 'National Herald', Navjivan' and 'Qaumi Awaz'. He was also associated with various institutions connected with the Press including PTI and the lndian and Eastern Newspapers Society in various capacities.

The invalualble services of Shri Dixit to the country will always be remembered and he will ever remain a source of inspiration to the future generations. '

Shri Dinesh Goswami was a Member of the Fifth and Eighth Lok Sabha during 1971-77 and again from December 1985 to July 1989.

representing Guwahati Constituency of Assam. He was a Member of the Rajya Sabha during 1978-84 and again from April 1990 till the fateful day of his tragic death in a road accident on 2-6-l991 at the young age of just 56 years:

A brilliant debator during his student days, Shri Goswami won many a debating championship. A man of varied interests, he chose the legal profession and started practice at the Guwahati High Court. His legal acumen and claritv of mind soon came to be highly acclaimed. As a member of the Executive Council of the Assam Bar Council and as the Joint Secretary of the National Forum of

72 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References

Lawyers and Legal Aid, Shri Goswami rendered yeoman's service to the legal profession.

Recognised as one of the finest parliamentarians in the country, Shri Goswami's contributions to the proceedings of the two Houses, partlcu larly those relating to judicial and electoral reforms, will be long remembered. Besides serving on the Panel of Chairmen and Vice- chairmen in both the Houses, Shri Goswami made a very useful contribution to the work of several parliamentary committees, particularly the Committee of Privileges and the committee on Public Undertakings. During 9th Lok Sabha. he Was inducted into the Union Council of Ministers and held the portfolios of Steel & Mines of Law & Justice during 1989-90. His short tenure as Minister of Law & Justicc was marked by the introduction of several important legislative measures, particularly those relating to electoral reforms.

Shri Goswami took keen interest in promoting cultural activities in his home state of Assam. A lover of sports and games, he was particularly fond of football and was a much sought-after . radio commentator of football and cricket matches both in English and Assamese.

A widely travelled person, Shri Goswami represented India in various international conferences. He was a member of the Indian Parliamentary DelegatiDn to the Commonwealth parliamentary Conference held in London in 1973 and the Inter-Parliamentary Union Meet at Venezuela (Caracus) in 1979.

A man of letters, Shri Goswami had many works to his credit like 'Kuhelika'-a collection of short stories and 'Chinaki Prithibi'-a travelogue in Assamese. He also took part in a number of radio dramas broadcast from AIR, Guwahati.

In his untimely death, the country has lost a dedicated political worker and an ardent nationalist.

73 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References

Shri Prabhu Dayal Himatsingka started his parliamentary career as earlv as in 1926 when he was elected to the Bengal Legislative Council. Thereafter, he was a Member of Bengal Legislative Assembly from l937-39, Assam Legislative Assembly. December 1946---February, 1948, West Bengal Legislative Assembly. February. 1948--June. 1948, Constituent Assembly (Legislative), 1948-50, Provisional Parliament, 1950-52, Rajya Sabha, 1956-62 and of Third and Fourth Lok Sabha during 1962 to 1970. He was also a Councillor and Alderman of Calcutta Corpora tion for several years.

Shri Himatsingka was not only an eminent parilamentarian but also a leading solicitor and advocate of the Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court of India.

A well known political worker, Shri Himatsingka was imprisoned several times for his political activities during the freedom struggle and also externed from Bengal in 1916.

An ardent champion of the deprived and neg]ected sections of the society, he worked ceaselessly for eradication of leprosy and spread of education among the women. He was also connected with the scouting activities and functioned as the State Chief Commissioner--Bharat Scouts and Guides during 1952-53. Shri Himatsingka was also associated with several charitable, social and educational organisations in various capacities.

Shri Himatsingka passed away on 2 June, 1991 at the ripe age of 102. He was awarded title of 'Grand Old Man' during the tercentenary celebration of Calcutta City.

Bhai Shaminder Singh was a Member of the Eighth Lok Sabha from September 1985 to August 1989 representing Faridkot constituency of Punjab.

74 Res. re. Demise of Rajiv Gandhi and Obituary References

An agriculturist by profession, he was associated with various organisation connected with the development of agriculture in the State of Punjab.

He was an active social and political worker. He worked relentlessly for the welfare of the down-trodden sections of the society and spread of education amongst women. He was Vice-Chairman of Guru Nanak College for Women. Muktsar.

He was a vigilant parliamentarian and availed of every apportunity to highlight the problems faced by the people in Punjab in the proceedings of the House.

Bhai Shaminder Singh. who was a candidate for election to the Tenth Lok Sabha lost his life in the midst of the election campaign in a bomb blast at Muktsar on l8 June. 1991 at the young age of 45 years.

His assassination is a setback to the endeavours being made to bring normalcy in Punjab.

We deeply mourn the loss of these friends and I am sure the House will join me in conveying our condolences to the bereaved families, The House may now stand in silence for a short while as a mark of respect to the deceased.

(The Members then stood in silence for a short while.)

15.17 hrs.

MR. SPEAKER: The House stands adjourned to meet again at 11 AM on Friday. the 12 July. 1991.

The Lok Sabha then adjourned till Eleven of the CIock on Friday, July 12, l991/Asadha 21. 1913 (Saka).

-----

503 Central Excises & Customs Laws (Amend.) Bill

[Prof. Prem Dhumal]

simplify the procedure of central excise duty.

I would like to cite an example. Once excise duty rates were revised by 15 per cent. Many small manufactures could not understand for days the implications of revision of excise duty by 15 per cent and continued to know at the doors of chartered accountants for full knowledge of the revision of excise duty by 15 per cent.

Sir, if the old slabs of excise duty are examined afresh, then it will be found that the basic policy of excise duty is wrong. I urge the Government to conduct a study before the presentation of next Budget. If the procedure is simplified then the question of refund will not, at all, arise and the consumers will directly get the benefits. I do not know the criteria the Government would like to follow while constituting a Consumer Welfare Fund. Committee headed by Shri Santosh Mohan Dev did a good job by detecting scandals, but the solution sorted out to benefit the consumers will not be fully successful. It will get entangled in red-tapsim. Till the money remains in the coffers of the Government, it won't unjustly enrich anyone, but the Central Government. Therefore, I urge the hon.

Minister of Finance, who takes interest in such matters, to conduct a comprehensive study on the subject. As per existing rates of excise duty small manufacturers are not in a position to maintain records of excise duty and when the time to levy excise duty cames, the small entrepreneurs bifurcate their units. Units are multiplied but the production does not increase. The Government is no way benefited by this.

Sir, the Government must take note of the high rise in the rates of raw materials. The Government will definitely admit that there has been a steep rise in the rates of raw matarials after the presentation of this Budget, but there has been no revision in the limits of excise duty by the Government. Evasion of excise duty will again start.

Because of the complicated and confused rates, the benefits will not really pass on to the consumers.

504 Central Excises & Customs Laws (Amend.) Bill

In the name of benefits the consumers' unjust enrichment' is being withdrawn from the manufactures, but is not being passed on to the consumers and is being pocketed by the Government. Till the rules are simplified and reframed how will the benefits trickle down to the consumers?

Suppose that today I buy a commodity in the market at the enhanced excise duty rates and after that the manufacturer is not refunded the enhanced excise duty.

[English]

How do that amount reach me as a consumer?

It will never. Therefore, I suggest that there is a need basically for changing the rates and the slabs of central excise duty so that they become simple and directly the consumer gets the things at cheaper rate at the time of buying. It cannot be given to him after you create a fund for that and then find out who was the man, who has paid much more than what he should have and then start refunding. This is not going to help.

[Translation]

I again appeal that till the basic central excise duty rates are revised, the consumers are not going to be benefited. The Government must revise the slabs of units for increasing revenue from excise duty from the industry. The Government may revise these for one year on an experimental basis. Exemption from excise duty can be given for 5 per cent or 10 per cent production and after that excise duty at the rate 15 per cent may be levied on total output if it exceeds the exemption limit. Earlier the raw materials were available at Rs. 30 per kilogram. Cost of raw materials has since increased. As such the entrepreneur will be constrained to multiply his units. On the one hand the Government wants to check 'unjust enrichment' on the other hand, it would suffer losses due to multiplication of units.

Therefore, I suggest that if central ex-

505 Central Excises & Customs Laws (Amend.) Bill

cise duty rates are reduced and excise procedure is simplified by the Government, then there will be no need to bring forward any further legislations on the subject.

With these words I appreciate the intentions of the Government with which it has brought forward this Bill for the benefit of the consumers. Once again I request the Government to reduce the central excise duty rates.

THE MINISTER OF STATE OF THE MINISTRY OF STEEL (SHRI SONTOSH MOHAN DEV): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not want to make a speech. I would just convey my thanks to the Finance Ministry and to the Law Ministry...(Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: You are as well responsible for it.

SHRI SONTOSH MOHAN DEV: When the report was submitted, there was a doubt whether it will come into existence. Our guidance and request was that within six months, this should be done. Sir, now this has been done within six months.

I congratulate the Finance Ministry and the Law Ministry for the action they have taken in this regard.

MR. SPEAKER: You are congratulating yourselves.

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE (SHRI RAMESHWAR THAKUR): Honourable Speaker, Sir, we are really grateful to the hon.

Members who have participated in the debate and have made a number of valuable and constructive suggestions.

Sir, almost all participants have appreclated the contents of this Bill broadly and also the stand of the Finance Minister for having brought this Bill in fulfillment of the commitment made by the Finance Minister in his speech as well as our comitment to the suggestion made by the Public Accounts

506 Central Excises & Customs Laws (Amend.) Bill

Committee in their report to bring this Bill within six months.

Shrimati Geeta Mukherjee appreciated the contents of the Bill and she enquired about the machinery to implement this Bill. We assure the hon. Member that, in the existing organisation, in the Department of Customs and Excise, we will take a special care by framing the rules particularly for the Consumer Welfare Fund and shall ensure that there will be no difficulty in regard to the implementation of the provisions of this Bill. We will try our best to implement the contents of the Bill in letter and spirit. We will also see that no harassment is there to any consumer or any producer or anybody who will be effected by the provisions of this Bill.


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