The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 was passed by Rajya Sabha today. This Bill was passed by Lok Sabha earlier this week.  

  • The Bill repeals the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.  
  • It sets up the National Medical Commission (NMC). 

Functions of the NMC include: 

(i) framing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals (ii) assessing the requirements of healthcare-related human resources and infrastructure

(iii) framing guidelines for determination of fees for up to 50% of the seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities which are regulated as per the Bill.    

During the voting on clauses of the Bill, an amendment to a clause in the Bill was moved. There was a call for recording voting on this amendment. 61 members voted for the amendment, 106 members voted against the amendment, and 4 members abstained from voting. The amendment was negated. 

To understand how the National Medical Commission will regulate medical education and practice and address issues of medical misconduct, please read our blog on the Bill here.

The Unlawful Activities ( Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 was discussed in Rajya Sabha. This Bill was passed by Lok Sabha last week. The Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 which provides special procedures to deal with terrorist activities, among other things. One of the amendments being brought about by this Bill is that the government  may designate individuals as terrorists if: 

(i) commits or participates in acts of terrorism 

(ii) prepares for terrorism 

(iii) promotes terrorism

(iv) is otherwise involved in terrorism.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was discussed and passed by Lok Sabha. This Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha earlier this week. The Bill amends the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.  The Code provides a time-bound process for resolving insolvency in companies and among individuals.  Insolvency is a situation where individuals or companies are unable to repay their outstanding debt.

The Bill addresses 3 issues: 

(i) it strengthens provisions related to time-limits. The Code states that the insolvency resolution process must be completed within 180 days, extendable by a period of up to 90 days.  The Bill adds that the resolution process must be completed within 330 days.
(ii) it specifies the minimum payouts to operational creditors in any resolution plan. The Bill states that the amounts to be paid to the operational creditor should be the higher of: (a) amounts receivable under liquidation, and (b) the amount receivable under a resolution plan if such amounts were distributed under the same order of priority (as for liquidation).
(iii) it specifies the manner in which the representative of a group of financial creditors (such as home-buyers) should vote. 
 

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Amendment Bill, 2019 was passed in Lok Sabha. The Bill amends the POCSO Act, 2012 by adding to the definition of aggravated penetrative sexual assault, increasing punishment for penetrative sexual assault, and defines and enhances punishment for offences for using children for pornographic purposes.   

The Lower House took up discussion on the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 today. The Bill seeks to establish an independent body called the Arbitration Council of India (ACI) for the promotion of arbitration, mediation, conciliation and other alternative dispute redressal mechanisms. 

The July Monthly Policy Review can be read here

Some key highlights: 

  • Union Budget 2019-20 passed by Parliament
  • Finance Act makes several amendments unrelated to taxation
  • Cabinet amends terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission
  • Two labour Codes were introduced in Parliament (You can read our blog on the Code on Occupation Safety, Health and Working Conditions here) 
  • Committee of CMs set up to discuss measures for transforming agriculture
  • Draft National Resource Efficiency Policy released for public comments.

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