Lok Sabha passed the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill amends four laws including the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 (DRT Act) and Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act). The Bill addresses issues related to debt recovery, including expeditious adjudication of cases.
Participating in the debate members raised larger concerns related to bringing about reforms in the financial sector. Members highlighted the need for capacity building in banks for better recovery of debts, securitisation of assets etc. The need to increase man power and address pendency in debt recovery tribunals was also highlighted by members. Members also brought up the challenge of Non-Performing Assets during their speeches.
A table comparing the provisions of the Acts with the 2016 Bill and the modified Bill based on the Joint Committee recommendations can be found here.
Rajya Sabha passed the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill and the Dentists (Amendment) Bill. These Bills are related to the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET). They introduce a uniform entrance examination for all dental and medical colleges at the undergraduate and the post-graduate level. States have been given an option to opt out of the uniform entrance examination for 2016-17. For states opting out, the Bills specify that the exam will not be applicable to state seats in both public and private institutions at the undergraduate level.
The Upper House passed the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill. The Bill seeks to establish the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Andhra Pradesh as an institute of national importance under the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (NITSER) Act, 2007.
State Assembly Update:
The Bihar Prohibition and Excise Bill, 2016 was introduced and passed in the Bihar Legislative Assembly. The Bill seeks to create a framework for the levy of excise duty and prohibition on alcohol in Bihar. It replaces the Bihar Excise Act, 1915 and Bihar Prohibition Act, 1938.
The Bill seeks to impose a prohibition on manufacture, bottling, distribution, transportation, collection, storage, possession, sale and consumption of alcohol or any other intoxicant notified by the state government. Further, the Bill also provides penalties for various offences committed under its provisions. These offences include consuming alcohol, possession or having knowledge about possession of alcohol and mixing noxious substances with alcohol. The Bill provides that if any person is being prosecuted under its provisions, he shall be presumed to be guilty until his innocence is proven.
Our blog highlighting key features and analysis on the bill can be read here.
You can also read our Monthly Policy Review to track all important legislative and policy developments in the past month here.