The Narendra Modi government at the Centre is trying to push several new bills, including 3 to replace old ordinances, for passage in the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, which began on a stormy note on July 19. At least 23 bills have been listed by the Centre to be tabled in the Lok Sabha during the upcoming session. Of these, six bills have already been introduced and 17 of them will be new.
The ongoing session will run for 19 business. Once a session starts, an ordinance has to be passed as a bill within 42 days or six weeks, else it lapses.
The ongoing session will run for 19 business days. The government has listed 17 new bills for introduction during the session. Three of the bills seek to replace ordinances promulgated recently. One of the ordinances issued on June 30, prohibits any agitation and strike by anyone engaged in the essential defence services.
The Essential Defence Services Ordinance 2021 came in the backdrop of the announcement by major federations of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to go on an indefinite strike from the later part of July to protest the government’s decision to corporatise the OFB. The Essential Defence Service Bill, 2021 has been listed to replace the ordinance, according to a Lok Sabha bulletin issued on July 12.
The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021 is another measure that seeks to replace an ordinance.
According to the government, the ordinance was brought to provide a permanent solution and establish a self-regulated, democratically monitored mechanism for tackling air pollution in the NCR and adjoining areas, rather than limited impromptu measures.
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021 seeks to replace an ordinance promulgated to provide speedier, cost-effective, semi-formal and less disruptive framework for insolvency resolution of corporate debtors in distress.
The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021 aims at amending the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008, to decriminalise 12 compoundable offences, which deal with procedural and technical violations.
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021 – This bill aims at amending the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 2013. As announced in the Union Budget, 2021, the government will separate the National Pension System Trust (NPS) from PFRDA for ensuing universal pension coverage.
The Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Amendment Bill, 2021 aims at amending the law related to the acquisition of land containing coal deposits. It seeks to allow leasing of coal and mining rights to other companies, including ones in the private sector. Through this bill, the government aims to amend the law related to the land acquisition that contains coal deposits.
The government has also listed the Indian Antarctica Bill, 2021 for the introduction in this session. The proposed bill seeks to provide a harmonious policy and regulatory framework for India’s activities in Antarctica and to provide national measures for protecting Antarctica’s environment and dependent and associated ecosystem as per the Antarctic Treaty, according to the details available in the Lok Sabha bulletin.
The Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Amendment) Bill, 2021: This seeks to make the system of laying of pipelines for transportation of Petroleum and Minerals, robust.
The government has also listed the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for introduction in the session. The proposed amendments entail de licensing of the distribution business and bringing in competition.
The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021 listed for introduction seeks to prevent and combat trafficking of persons, especially women and children. It is aimed at providing care, protection, assistance and rehabilitation to the victims, while respecting their rights, and creating a supportive legal, economic and social environment for them, and also ensuring prosecution of offenders.
Other bills considered for tabling are the Indian Marine Fisheries Bill, 2021 and the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021, the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, the Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2021 etc.
According to the financial business listed in the bulletin, there would be a presentation, discussion and voting on Supplementary Demands for Grants for the year 2021-22. There would also be a presentation, discussion and voting on Excess Demands for Grants for the year 2017-18.
Six other bills are pending in various stages before the two Houses and parliamentary panels.