66 bills pending in Parliament as Monsoon Session begins
Much of the political action in the country will shift to New Delhi for the next month, as the Parliament will be in session from 18 July to 12 August. A total of 20 sittings are scheduled. The legislative agenda before the government is heavy, as at least 66 Bills are pending before the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, foremost being the GST Bill. The political agenda before the Opposition is heavier, with the spiraling situation in Kashmir and the Supreme Court's verdict on Arunachal Pradesh giving it enough ammunition to attack the government.
The session will also be interesting to watch because the government has got new faces in the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry. They are expected to be playing a different role, than their predecessors, in handling floor coordination in both Houses. Senior BJP leader from Karnataka, Ananth Kumar, has replaced his senior party collage Venkaiah Naidu as the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. Joining him as his deputy will be another senior leader in the party, S S Ahluwalia. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi remains another junior minister in the ministry but he also has full-fledged charge of the minority affairs ministry.
According to PRS Legislative Research, a non-profit specialising in Parliamentary research, government has listed nine Bills for consideration and passing and six others for introduction.
However, there is a long list of pending legislations.
Take a look at what some of these bills are about:
- The Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016 - This bill is meant to bring some changes in debt recovery laws. The amendments will allow banks to take over companies with large numbers of bad loans by converting debt into equity. The huge debt burden of the banking sector provides the background for this bill.
- The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015 - The objective of this bill is to set up a Central Consumer Protection Authority that will have the power to take suo moto actions in consumer-related cases like unfair trade practices, defective products, and overcharging. It will also lead to the creation of Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions and Consumer Mediation Cell at the district, state and national levels.
- The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015 - This bill is an instrument against black money. It will amend the definition of benami and benami transaction to include transactions made in fictitious names.
- The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Second Bill, 2015 - This is the historic land acquisition bill that became the cornerstone of a landmark tussle between the government and the opposition in the winter of 2015.
- The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014 - This bill intends to throw the power sector open to multiple players, which will enable customers to choose their electricity provider.
- The Lokpal and Lokayuktas and Other Related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014 - This bill is a grim reminder to the fate that befell the widespread anti-corruption protests that took over the entire country towards the end of UPA - 2 government's tenure. The Lokpal Bill was already passed but the NDA government wanted to bring in some amendments. The Bill is still pending.