MR. SPEAKER: He wants to know the facts and figures about the general vacancies.

SHRI P.K. THUNGON: I would like to give the total number of vacancies identified. I have the list of vacancies which were existing since 1971-for almost two decades. I would like to mention about the latest figures of 1990. In 1990-91 we had 22,20,385 posts. Just now I do not have the figures of number of employees.

MR. SPEAKER: You please supply that information to the hon.

Member.

[Translation]

SHRI ARVIND NETAM: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Minister has

replied that the backlog of 1989 is 11000 and that of 1990 is 10,461.

It has also been said that the carry forward is 3000. It has been identified in two years. I would like to submit that it was identified in 1989 and after one year there was a special drive. It means that it was not done honestly. Why was there no special drive in 1989?

[English]

SHRI P.K. THUNGON : There was a special drive in 1989. Again in 1990 there was a special drive. So this is a continuous process.

[Translation]

SHRI ARVIND NETAM: There is a difference of 8-9 thousand in a year. It means that it has not been honestly identified in 1989.

14 Oral Answers

[English]

SHRI P.K. THUNGON: We do not face any recruitment problem in group C & D, but in groups A & B we are facing problems. I would like to mention to the hon. Member the problems which we faced in recruitment in 1989.

MR. SPEAKER : He wanted to know why you were not able to fill up the vacancies in 1989.

[Translation]

SHRI ARVIND NETAM: I wanted to know as to why there was a backlog of 7,000 vacancies in 1989,

SHRI P.K. THUNGON: The problems due to which the vacancies could not be filled up are...

MR. SPEAKER: That was the election year also.

SHRI P.K. THUNGON : Despite our relaxation in qualifications, age, fee, etc. we were not able to locate the targetted candidates.

SHRI ARVIND NETAM : I seek your protection. I am not getting reply from the hon. Minister.

[Translation]

SHRI SURYA NARAYAN YADAV: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Minister has repeated it twice that candidates for the posts of engineers, doctors and pilots were not available. As such these vacancies could not be filled up. I would like to know from the hon. Minister whether any advertisement for filling up of the vacancies was given during 1989-90 and 1990-91 and whether there was no response and consequently the vacancies could not be filled up.

[English]

SHRI P.K. THUNGON: We advertise in the newspapers. Mr. Speaker: Complete reply is that you advertised?

15 Oral Answers

[Translation]

SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: Mr. Speaker, Sir, everyday, we see in the Bulletin that a training programme is being organised for the newly elected Members of Parliament. My submission is that a training programme should also be or organised for the newly appointed Ministers so that the time of the House is not wasted in this manner.

If the Ministers are imparted proper training, a situation will not arise in which the bureaucrats will mislead the Ministers and the Ministers would be prepared to be misled like this. Mr. Speaker, sir, my question is connected with this basic question and the reply given by the hon. Minister just now. Is it not a fact that there is a ban on recruitment in Public undertakings. So far as the question of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is concerned, an hon. Member of the Congress party has said that he did not get a satisfactory reply to his question. Is it not a fact that in 1989, the Janata Dal and the National Front launched a campaign at the national level to fill up the reserved vacancies meant for scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and is action being taken now in that connection the outcome of that campaign? (Interruptions)

AN HON. MEMBER: Which party was in power in 1989? (Interruptions) SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES : That is the factual position.

[English]

SHRI P.K. THUNGON: The most vigorous drive was conducted in 1989 during the time of Congress regime while Shri Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. And I, should not deny that in 1990 also the drive was continued and the drive still continues in this regard. As about the other point which the hon. Member has raised, I think he is not prepared to listen to my reply. Then, how can I help him'

16 Oral Answers

[Translation]

SHRI MOHAMMAD YUNUS SALEEM: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon, Minister said in his reply that there are certain difficulties in filling up these vacancies, because these are technical posts viz. doctors, engineers, and pilots etc. Just now a Member asked a question whether any advertisement of these vacancies was given and the hon. Minister did not give any satisfactory reply. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am happy that hon. Prime Minister is present in the House and I would request him to pay attention to thousands of doctors, engineers, pilots and ground- engineers who are jobless. Scores of people come to us for employment and we are not able to provide them any job. This time I contested the elections from Bihar. In Bihar, clearance to open a Medical College and an Engineering College is not being given on the ground that there are hundreds of unemployed doctors and engineers in that State. May I know from the hon. Minister that if at all any advertisement was given after these posts fell vacant, how many applications were received in response to it and the reasons for not considering the applications of the persons fulfilling the prescribed qualifications and the reasons for not appointing them. Please let me know the time by which vacancies would be filled up.

MR. SPEAKER: It is concerned with different Ministries. Please furnish the information if you have any.

[English]

SRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: The Prime Minister can give a

comprehensive answer.

MR. SPEAKER: Do you have the information?

SHRI P.K. THUNGON: I need a separate notice for this.

SHRI MOHAMMAD YUNUS SALEEM:Notice for what? You do

17 Oral Answers

not give a complete reply and you want a notice. (Interruptions) Have you not said that qualified people are not available? You have just now said. I said they are available. Don't mislead the House.

SHRI P.K. THUNGON : Sir, I would like to say that it is a

problem in which everyone of us is worried because we are not getting adequate number of candidates of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. I would certainly like the cooperation of hon. Members in this regard to see that there is no backlog. If the hon. Members are getting certain candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, I would certainly welcome their cooperation.

SHRI MUKUL BALKRISHNA WASNIK: Mr. Speaker, Sir, in 1974, a High- powered Cabinet Committee under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Indira Gandhi had issued instructions to the various Ministries, Departments, Public Undertakings and other Government organisations, that those officers who are responsible for the backlog in the various Ministries and Departments, as far as the recruitment of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is concerned, will have to face disciplinary action.

I do not agree to this view that just because there are no proper candidates from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, there is the backlog. I believe that one of the most important reasons is the prejudice in the officers who are responsible to fill in the vacancies. I would like to know from the hon. Minister that as per the instructions of the High-Powered Cabinet Committee in 1974, which gave instructions to take disciplinary action ... (Interruptions).

MR. SPEAKER: Are you talking about 1974?

SHRI MUKUL BALKRISHNA WASNIK: Sir, I am only asking whether in these seventeen years any one single officer was penalised for being responsible for the backlog in the vacancies.

18 Oral Answers

MR. SPEAKER: From 1974 up to this time, was anybody penalised for not recruiting?

SHRI P.K. THUNGON: Sir, so far as the policy part is concerned, it pertains to the Ministry of Personnel and Training, but so far as this particular question about public sector undertakings is concerned, I would like to assure the hon. Member that we are taking action against those who do not follow the directives of the Government properly. As regards the particular question whether anyone has been penalised, I would not be able to say now. The Department of Personnel may be able to say.

[Translation]

Prices of Pulses

*328. SHRI RABI RAY:

SHRI RAM BADAN:

Will the Minister of FOOD be pleased to state:

(a) whether the prices of pulses have increased during the last six months;

(b)if so, the percentage of increase in the prices and the reasons therefor;

(c)whether the Government have formulated any scheme to provide pulses at concessional rates to the consumers; and

(d) the quantity of pulses likely to be provided to Uttar Pradesh during the current year?

[English]

THE MINISTER OF STATE OF THE MINISTRY OF FOOD (SHRI TARUN GOGOI): (a) and (b) The Wholesale Price Index (W.P.I.) of Pulses as a sub- Group moved from 231.5 in December, 1990 to 239.6 in June, 1991 registering an increase of 3.5 per cent only against an increase of 4.7% in the W.P.I. of all commodities in the same period.

(c) No, Sir.

19 Oral Answers

(d) Does not arise in view of reply to part (c).

[Translation]

SHRI RABI RAY : Mr. Speaker, Sir, before putting any question to Shri Gogoi, I would like to say through you that it is a matter of food. Pulses are considered to be the source of protein for crores of poor people. Is the hon'ble Minister aware of the fact that during the last decade per capita consumption of pulses has gone down drastically? I would like to know whether keeping in view the substantial increase in the prices of pulses Government proposes to distribute pulses through Public Distribution System?

[English]

SHRI TARUN GOGOI: I am aware that the per capita availability has gone down from 69 grams in 1961 to 36.5 grams. The per capita consumption has gone down because production has not gone up. It is almost stagnant. Only this year it is going up to 14 million tons.

Earlier, for a long time it was 11 million tons approximately and only last year it was 12 million tons. You know the protein value of the pulses can be replaced by other items.

As regards the distribution through Public Distribution System, the Government of India has not taken any decision. We have taken decision for only six items-rise, wheat, sugar, edible oil, kerosene and soft coke. The Central Government has given liberty to the State Governments to include any of the items and many of the State Governments have included the pulses for distribution through fair price shops.

[Translation]

SHRI RABI RAY: Mr. Speaker, Sir, hon'ble Minister has said that Central Government has given liberty to the State Governments to include pulses for distribution through fair price shops. When the Central Gov-

20 Oral Answers

ernment has given liberty to the State Governments, why does not the Central Government make it mandatory for them to include pulses as seventh item for distribution through fair price shops so that the poor people could get protein?

[English]

MR. SPEAKER: The option is there.

[Translation]

SHRI RABI RAY: Why does not the Central Government take steps for distribution of pulses through Public Distribution System? In his reply the hon'ble Minister says that the government has not taken decision for distribution of pulses through Public Distribution System. But I would like to know as to why the Government does not take steps to include pulses as one of the items for distribution under Public Distribution System?

[English]

SHRI RABI RAY: Would you like to make it mandatory?

SHRI TARUN GOGOI: Uptill now we have not taken a decision to include any other item (Interruptions)

SHRI RABI RAY: When are you going to take the decision?

SHRI TARUN GOGOI: I have to do it in consultation with the Civil Supplies Minister who is the concerned Minister.

SHRI RABI RAY: Are you going to call a conference of the Civil Supplies Ministers to discuss the issue? (Interruptions)

SHRI TARUN GOGOI: Whatever is possible we will do it. I shall take a note of it and will discuss with the concerned Ministers.

21 Oral Answers

[Translation]

SHRI SURYA NARAYAN YADAV: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon'ble Minister has just now stated in his reply that the prices of pulses have gone up. The pulses like Arhar etc. which were available at a price of Rs.

20-25 per kilogram ten to fifteen days ago are now available at a price of Rs. 48-49 per kilogram. I would like to know from the hon'ble Minister whether Government is formulating any scheme to make available pulses at fair prices and whether the Government is issuing any directions to the state governments in this regard?

(Interruptions)

[English]

MR. SPEAKER: Order please.

SHRI TARUN GOGOI: As per our records, the prices have gone up.

But they have gone up marginally. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: He is asking whether you are taking any steps to see that the prices come down as regards pulses.

SHRI TARUN GOGOI: It is for the Civil Supplies Department which is concerned with the prices of pulses. We have no control over it.

(Interruptions)

SHRI DIGVIJAYA SINGH: The period chosen to indicate the price rise in dal is a period when the agricultural produce comes to the market in the month of January. Then it is the general downward trend in the prices. The prices of all commodities, and dal included, start increasing from July to December. There has been a specific rise in the price of dal. My question is that to stabilise the price of dal in the open market, would the Government consider importing dal from other countries?

SHRI TARUN GOGOI: We have not taken any decision about the

import. Anybody can import it under

22 Oral Answers

O.G.L. But the Government has not taken any decision for importing.

[Translation]

SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the prices of pulses referred to by the hon'ble Minister are wholesale prices, but the public is concerned with the retail prices. There is a great difference between the prices quoted by the Minister here and the prices at which the consumers purchase in the market, I request the Government that policy should be based on retail prices, because the consumers are concerned with the retail prices. Along with it I would like to say that a scheme was formulated by Civil Supply Department in 1979 and instead of six, eleven items were included for distribution through Public Distribution System. Soap, oils, match boxes and vegetable oils were also there. At that time I was Executive Councillor. I would like to know whether government proposes to revive the scheme formulated in 1979 during Janata Party regime? ...

(Interruptions)

[English]

SHRI TARUN GOGOI: Sir, it is up to the State Governments to include all such items. We have given the option to them.

(Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Option is given to the State Governments. They can include them if they like.

[Translation]

THE PRIME MINISTER (SHRI P.V. NARASIMHA RAO): I have already told the House that we are preparing a scheme to run the Public Distribution System smoothly and make it more useful. If possible, I would like to put it before you shortly. While formulating that scheme, they will also consider your short term scheme (Interruptions] 23 Oral Answers

SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA: That Government was also a short term Government.

[English]

SHRI MANORANJAN BHAKTA: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the pulses are known to be the poor man's food. But today, particularly in Andaman and Nicobar Island's we find the prices of pulses have gone up so much that it is beyond the reach of the poor man.

Just now the hon. Minister replied that he has written to the State Governments that if they like, they can include them in the P.D.

system. I would like to know particularly from him, since the Union Territories are the domain of the Central Government, whether he would initiate the action by introducing the P.D. system in the Union Territories, particularly in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep so that the poor people can be benefited by this.

SHRI TARUN GOGOI: We have not yet taken any decision. I would like to convey this point to Civil Supplies Minister for consideration.

As for the prise rise in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, I can advise the NAFED, and NAFED can supply this item to you.

SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: The question that I want to ask is this: Is it true that despite the fact that pulses are considered to be the poor man's protein, there has not been adequate emphasis to add to the production of pulses, as has been done in the case of other items like cereals and even grapes?

My second Part of the question is, if it is under the OGL, like the Food Corporation of India, why is it not possible for the Government of India to procure pulses and make it available to the States so that if and when the States so desire, they can

24 Oral Answers

distribute it through the Public Distribution System? The loss that has to be incurred need not be borne by the States, but it has to be borne by the Centre. Why is it not being done?

SHRI TARUN GOGOI: Sir, special emphasis has been given taking into consideration the protein value and the shortage. That is why it has been included as a Technical Mission also. This year also, we will make a provision of Rs. 20 crores. There are two centrally sponsored Central schemes; one is, National Pulses Development Programme and the other is, special Foodgrains Production Programme. We have taken note of it and a lot of emphasis has been given. As far as procurement is concerned, uptill now, we have not procured, but NAFED has procured it.

[Translation]

SHRI M. BAGA REDDY: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the prices of commodities depend on supply and demand. If the supply of pulses is increased, their prices will ultimately come down. I would like to know from the hon. Minister as to what schemes are being launched to increase the production of pulses.

MR. SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister has just now explained it.

[English]

SHRI TARUN GOGOI: I have explained that just now.

Industrial Projects of A.P.

*330. SHRI DATTATRAYA BANDARU: Will the PRIME MINISTER be pleased to state:

(a) the details of the various projects/schemes of Andhra Pradesh pending for clearance by the Union Government and since, when each scheme is pending;


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