Published: Sun, December 18, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

PM lauds passing of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill

PM lauds passing of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill

Gehlot also said that a scheme of "universal identity card for the disabled" was on the anvil and an agency has already been finalised for the goal.

Members from both sides supported the bill but suggested certain changes to improve the measure. Replying to the debate, Gehlot said that universal identity card will be provided for the disabled and it would be linked to the Aadhar card to help the disabled all over the country in a seamless fashion.

The amendment was, however, defeated by 121 to 43 votes. Two bills were also introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

"It is for the first time that the list of disabilities have been increased to 21 categories from seven", Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said piloting the Bill in the Lok Sabha. The Bill also mandates jailtime between six months to five years years for several offences, including assaulting, insulting, intimidating, and denying food to a disabled person, sexually assaulting a disabled woman, or for performing a medical procedure on a disabled woman without her consent which may lead to the termination of pregnancy.

- Benefits such as reservations in education and employment and preference in government schemes will be available to persons with at least 40 per cent disability.

"Passage of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill - 2016 is a landmark moment & will add tremendous strength to "Accessible India movement", he said. The Centre will have the power to add more types of disabilities to it. The reservation ceiling has been raised to 5 per cent, from the 3 per cent provided in the older version of the Act. The other bill, Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016, seeks to ensure efficient maintenance of Indian mercantile marine and that laws relating to merchant shipping comply with the country's obligations under worldwide conventions and maritime treaties to which India is party. Then, a Group of Ministers, headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, examined its provisions and sent their recommendations to the Prime Minister's Office.

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