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Note ban stalls Parliament: These are the Bills stuck in the queue

Suhas Munshi | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:38 IST

There are two usual ways of seeing the ongoing disruption in Parliament.

One is to understand the blockade of all work in Parliament being part of a usual cycle. The principal opposition - the Congress - is doing what was done to it, when it was in power, by the principal opposition party - the BJP.

It is to moan about how these unending cycles of giving-and-receiving only set the common Indian back, not political parties.

The other way is to look at, instead of the past, the present and the future and how it is affected by the current impasse.

Also read - Note ban: Why is PM Modi afraid of facing Parliament?

Almost half of the winter session is over while some very important legislations are at stake.

Bills categorised as "high priority" in the legislative business agenda - The Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill and Goods and Services Tax (Compensation for Loss of Revenue) Bill have not even come up for discussion yet. And there are already differing views between various parties on these bills.

But there are some other very important bills which are unlikely to come up even for discussion.

Some of them are:

1. Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) (Amendment) Bill

The bill gives an extension of the legal limit for abortion from the present 20 weeks to 24 weeks. This bill is a result of a debate in the country over teen rape and the restricted right to pregnancy and of giving women greater rights on the issue of abortion.

2. Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016

The Bill, if passed, will ban commercial surrogacy with the aim of protecting women from exploitation and ensure the rights of the child born through surrogacy. There will be a complete ban on commercial surrogacy if this bill is passed, but 'altruistic surrogacy' will be permitted for needy infertile couples.

3. Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Another controversial bill, it proposes that illegal immigrants in India belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian faiths from neighbouring countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan be granted citizenship even if they do not provide the required documents. The bill leaves does not give these provisions to Muslims.

4. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016

The bill was aimed to protect transgenders from violence, give them an equal gender status as male and female. But several transgender activists have called this bill 'draconian and regressive'. The bill does not give transgenders any reservations, which was a key demand of this section.

The charge against this bill is that it dilutes key provisions of an earlier version of the bill. Activists also claim that provisions in the bill undermine protections for transgender people and 'open them to torture and abuse.'

5. The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016

This bill mandates that establishments employing 10 or more persons to grant 26 weeks of paid maternity leave as against 12 weeks at present.

Some other key bills that are pending are Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, Minimum Wages (Amendment) Bill, Employees Provident Fund (Amendment) Bill, Small Factories Bill, Labour Code on Wages Bill, Labour Code on Industrial Relations Bill, Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, Admiralty Bill, Constitution Scheduled Tribes Amendment Bill and The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill.

Edited by Aleesha Matharu

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First published: 1 December 2016, 9:49 IST
Suhas Munshi @suhasmunshi

He hasn't been to journalism school, as evident by his refusal to end articles with 'ENDS' or 'EOM'. Principal correspondent at Catch, Suhas studied engineering and wrote code for a living before moving to writing mystery-shrouded-pall-of-gloom crime stories. On being accepted as an intern at Livemint in 2010, he etched PRESS onto his scooter. Some more bylines followed in Hindustan Times, Times of India and Mail Today.