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After gaffe, ‘special’ sitting

Calcutta, Dec. 19: The Assembly would have sat today for the last time this winter had it not been for the government’s bungle on the unorganised sector bill.

A two-hour “special session” will now be held on December 27 to get the bill passed.

The House was today adjourned till December 26.

The West Bengal Unorganised Sector Workers Welfare Bill, 2007, had to be withdrawn yesterday as it did not have the governor’s consent, mandatory for any bill with financial implications. This bill involved provident fund and insurance for unorganised workers.

The labour secretary said he “did not know” the procedure.

The government was keen to get the bill passed because the Left Front had been pressuring the UPA government for a similar national law.

The bill received the governor’s nod around 4pm yesterday but the House had been adjourned by then.

The decision to hold the special session was taken at an Assembly business advisory committee meeting today.

On December 27, members will not be allowed to raise any question for oral answers. There would be no mention hour, too. “The day will be dedicated to the consideration and passage of the bill,” said Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim.

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