Jairam urges MPs to stop lobbying with him for cos

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 30 2010, 06:41am hrs
In an unprecedented step, environment minister Jairam Ramesh has written to the presiding officers of the two Houses of Parliament asking them to dissuade MPs with serious conflict of interest issues from meeting him or his ministrys officials to lobby for or against a project.

Jairam has said that his own attempts to discourage MPs from approaching him on behalf of companies with which they are closely associated have not been successful.

I am writing to bring to your notice serious conflict of interest issues as far as MPs are concerned, vis-a-vis the ministry of environment and forests.

The first category of MPs approach me on behalf of the companies they run or with which they are closely associated. This is a blatant violation of norms. I have tried to discourage this, Jairam has written.

A second category of MPs approach me pleading for projects or arguing against projects that are neither in their state nor in their constituency.

I find this also objectionable, especially when the same letter is signed by MPs from different states. A third category of MPs approach me for projects that are either in their state or constituency. I can understand this and I have no problem with such representations, he has said.

I would request you to please take note of the first two categories of MPs. Serious ethics issues are involved here.