National

The long list of Bills pending in Parliament

A view of the Parliament building in New Delhi. File

A view of the Parliament building in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Six ordinances, over 60 pending Bills and 18 working days. The monsoon session of Parliament appears to have a packed schedule

The Monsoon Session of Parliament is set to begin on July 18 and will run for 18 days. The legislative business would include the passing of six Ordinances, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Ananth Kumar, told reporters on June 25.

In addition to ordinances, the government is planning to introduce some key bills and hopes to clear the backlog of pending bills too. This, however, seems to be a mammoth exercise. According to Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Vijay Goel, a total of 68 bills are pending in the Lok Sabha and 40 in the Rajya Sabha. Of this, 28 pending bills in Lok Sabha were introduced by the NDA government after it took charge in 2014.

Ordinances

The monsoon session will see the government push six ordinances to be replaced with Bills. Ordinances were necessitated because these bills were passed in the Lok Sabha during the Budget session but were not taken up in the Rajya Sabha. The validity of ordinances are only six months. So if the bills are not passed in the monsoon session, the government should bring up a fresh ordinance, else it would lapse.

The ordinances waiting for the Upper House's nod are:

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018, that could prevent economic offenders from fleeing the country.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, or the anti-rape bill that seeks to increase the punishment of those, including minors, convicted in rape cases.

The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 that enables courts to create a separate division to handle cases related to construction contracts and contracts for the provision of goods and services.

The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, to regulate homeopathic education and practice.

The National Sports University Ordinance, 2018, to set up a National Sports University in Manipur.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 that recognises homebuyers as financial creditors.

Fresh bills

Three key bills are likely to be introduced in the upcoming monsoon session.

The Dam Safety Bill, 2018, which would establish a National Committee on Dam Safety to lay out national-level policies and regulation for maintaining dams in the country. Even before the Bill is tabled, it has invited opposition. The Tamil Nadu Assembly has unanimously agreed to oppose the Bill. With the AIADMK being the third largest party in the Lok Sabha and the Tamil Nadu wing of Congress also opposing the Bill, it has to be seen if the bill will get a smooth passage. A similar bill was introduced by the UPA government in 2010, but it never saw the light of day, facing opposition from regional parties.

The Centre had informed the Supreme Court that a bill to regulate DNA profiling will be tabled in the Monsoon session of the parliament. Called the DNA Profiling Bill, 2018, the proposed bill is likely to take inputs from a 2007 draft. Primarily, the Bill provides for the setting up of a statutory DNA Profiling Board to spell out procedures and standards to establish DNA laboratories and grant of accreditation to these labs.

The government is also keen on setting the ball rolling for higher education reforms by repealing the University Grants Commission (UGC) with the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). The Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Bill, 2018, which is currently being circulated as a draft to seek inputs from industry experts may also be tabled in this session. The new body will be empowered with penalising powers such as imposing fines, withdrawal of power to grant degrees or directions to cease operations.

Pending bills

Recently, Mr. Goel met former Prime Minister and senior Rajya Sabha member Manmohan Singh in order to seek the Opposition's support in the smooth running of the House. Mr. Goel went on to say 12 "very important" bills are pending in Lok Sabha, while nine such bills are waiting for the Upper House's approval.

The key Bills include the Muslim Marriage (Protection of Marriage Rights) Bill, 2017, also known as the triple talaq bill; the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017; and the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 that accords constitutional status to the National Commission of Backward Commission. These bills were passed in the Lok Sabha but the government couldn't clear it in the Rajya Sabha since it lacked the majority in the Upper House. The numbers have significantly changed after recent Rajya Sabha elections, but the BJP is still dependent on its allies in the Upper House.

Among the bills pending in Lok Sabha include the one seeking to establish an international arbitration centre in New Delhi, a national Sports University in Manipur, a bill seeking to establish a medical commission, a bill to regulate surrogacy, and bill for the protection of transgenders.

Some key amendments pending in Lok Sabha are the amendment in Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 to allow non-resident Indians to vote using proxy, the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017, making the drawee to pay interim compensation in case of cheque bouncing, The Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2018 to allow video conferencing while opening bids, and the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 that allows the Central government to set up a Disputes Resolution Committee to resolve inter-state river disputes.

The long list of pending bills in Lok Sabha since 2014 are:

The Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2014

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas and Other Related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014

The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014

The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Amendment) Bill, 2015

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Second Bill, 2015

The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016

The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2016

The Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016

The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016

The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2017

The National Sports University Bill, 2017

The Code on Wages, 2017

The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017

The National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017

The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018

The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2018

The Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2018

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 1:02:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/list-of-bills-pending-in-parliament/article24320759.ece

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