New progressive Bill for empowerment of disabled people

Last Updated: Wed, Jun 13, 2012 10:28 hrs

New Delhi: Government is pursuing a new bill to provide "progressive and forward looking dimensions" to the rights of disabled people by expanding its scope on the lines of the United Nation Convention, said Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry on Wednesday.

"The disability rights regime is all set to acquire newer, more progressive and forward looking dimensions, particularly in the aftermath of India ratifying the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)," Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik said here.

Observing that the present legislation of Persons with Disabilities Act (PwD Act) 1995 is nearly 16 years old, he said, "The Ministry is working to draft a new legislation for empowerment of persons with disabilities in line with the UN Convention".

Wasnik was addressing a meeting of the State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities to review the implementation of the PwD Act.

Interacting with reporters on the sidelines of the program, he declined to give any timeline on implementation of the new law.

"It will not be possible to tell you the time by when it will be introduced in Parliament. But a lot of work has already been done in this regard and we are actively moving in that direction", he said when asked whether the new Bill will be tabled in Parliament in the coming Monsoon session.

Noting that implementation of the existing PwD Act is skewed and uneven, Wasnik said, "This is attributable to a variety of reasons such as absence of full time Commissioners, non-compliance of certain provisions of existing act in letter and spirit and non-functioning of state level coordination committees".

He also exhorted the state representatives to strengthen their mechanism for proper implementation of the existing Act.

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