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Which Bill?

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If you watched just news channels, you would have been thoroughly confused as to whether the Insurance Bill was cleared by the Cabinet or not. Several television channels flashed across their on-screen tickers the welcome words: “Insurance Bill cleared.” Flush with excitement, they handed out details about the Bill and summoned experts, who duly shared their views with the camera. Later, of course, they were forced to retract the news, when Finance Minister said the consideration of the Bill had been postponed.

Apparently, the cause of the confusion was the question from eager reporters to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, first out of the Cabinet meeting. They asked her whether “the Bill” had been cleared. Ms Soni replied in affirmative — but, apparently, as befits the information and broadcasting minister, for her “the Bill” meant the , which had in fact been cleared. Neither side bothered to cross-check which Bill she was referring to, even though the Cabinet was considering four Bills that day.

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