New Delhi: Members cutting across party lines in Lok Sabha on Friday supported a bill to amend the Chemical Weapons Convention Act which prohibits transfer of specified toxic chemicals from and to a country which is not party to the instrument.
The Chemical Weapons Convention (Amendment) Bill, 2012, is part of an international obligation, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizes Srikant Jena said.
The measure has already received Rajya Sabha`s nod.
He said as part of its commitment, India destroyed 1,000 tonne of chemicals in 2007 which could be used in weapons.
"No person shall transfer to, or receive from, a State which is not a party to the Convention, any toxic chemical," the Bill reads.
The amendment seeks to widen its scope and confer upon the Central government the power also to appoint "any of its officers" as enforcement officer.
Supporting the bill, Jaswant Singh (BJP) said though he was questioning Jena`s abilities, he wondered why the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers was piloting the measure. He said either the Ministry of External Affairs or Defence Ministry should have moved it.
"It is not a comment on your (Jena`s) ability but on the dysfunctional style of this government," he said.
He said while the measure should have been passed long back, it was "orphaned and abandoned" as it was listed on several occasions in the list of legislative business but postponed.
He said Bhopal gas tragedy was the best example of what chemicals could do.