June 9, 1980, Forty Years Ago: New Ministers
Former Information and broadcasting minister V C Shukla and former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, N D Tiwari and Kedar Pande, joined Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s cabinet as Union ministers. Shukla has been given the civil supplies portfolio, Tiwari, planning and Pande has irrigation. Six ministers of state and six deputy ministers also joined the Council of Ministers as Mrs Gandhi expanded her cabinet on the eve of the budget session of Parliament.
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said that a solution to the Assam issue could be found if the agitation in the state is called off. “We will start identification as soon as normalcy is restored. When we start identification (of foreign nationals) without mentioning a cut-off year, it does not mean that other things will not follow. But as long as there is feeling among some sections in Assam that they are not Indians and as long as a violent agitation continues, it will be difficult to find a solution,” said the prime minister, while addressing the Congress-I parliamentary party. More than half of her hour-long speech was devoted to the Assam issue. She said that there was a tendency to simplify the issue. “There are much deeper issues at stake than just the cut-off year,” she said.
Payment of bonus at the rate of 8.33 per cent by the private sector units to their workers is expected to be made compulsory. The law in this regard will come into force before the ensuing “festival season”, according to J B Patnaik, who relinquished office as Union labour minister on June 9. He was speaking to journalists at Calcutta airport on his way to Bhubaneswar. Patnaik said the government had rejected the proposal of a profit-based bonus and was to favour of the compulsory minimum bonus system on the basis of a consensus among the employers, employees and trade unions.