Government’s Agenda for the Winter Session (See the PRS Session Alert here)
The government’s legislative agenda for the Winter Session consists of a total 37 Bills. 15 of these are pending bills which are listed for consideration and passing. There are also 17 new Bills listed for introduction, of which 3 will also be taken up for consideration and passage. Another 5 Bills which are currently pending in Parliament are listed for withdrawal.
Important Bills for consideration and passage include The Insurance (Laws) Amendment Bill, The Real Estate Regulation and Development Bill and the Anti-Hijacking (Amendment) Bill.
In terms of Bills listed for introduction, consideration and passing, two are Bills which replace the coal ordinance and the textile ordinance promulgated by the govt in recent months. The third is a Bill which amends the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
In terms of the Bills listed for introduction, we have 3 Bills related to health- these are the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, the Biomedical and Health Research Regulation Bill, and the Recognition of New Systems of Medicine Bill.
Also listed for introduction is a Constitutional Amendment Bill, which could be the Bill providing for the introduction of the goods and services tax, but that will only be clear once the text of the Bill is made available.
Finally, five bills are also listed for withdrawal. These include the Higher Education and Research Bill, and three bills addressing Indian systems of medicine.
It now remains to be seen which of these Bills get introduced and passed in this Session, and whether the government tweaks this list as the session continues.
Winter Session Day 2
Lok Sabha saw the Question Hour disrupted over demands by opposition parties to hold a discussion under an adjournment motion on the issue of black money.
A motion to move for passage The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2014 met with opposition by various parties. This Bill makes two amendments- the first permits for the Leader of the single largest party in Lok Sabha, in the absence of a Leader of Opposition, to be in the selection committee for the appointment of the CBI Director. The second amendment states that the appointment of the CBI Director cannot be invalidated on the ground of absence or vacancy of any Member of the Selection Committee.
Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, stated that the government had not given adequate notice to other Members before moving the Bill. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Venkaiah Naidu agreed to moving the Bill for passing tomorrow.
Lok Sabha discussed in detail The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Bill, 2014, which declares four Indian Institutes of Information Technology as institutes of national importance.
Rajya Sabha passed The Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by Certain Establishments) Amendment Bill, 2011, which amends various labour laws to exempt certain establishments from the requirement of furnishing returns and maintain registers.
In Rajya Sabha, a motion made by the Chairman of the Select Committee on the Insurance (Laws) Amendment Bill, 2008 lead to an extensive discussion on the rules of procedures and practices guiding Committees in the Rajya Sabha today.
Mr. Chandan Mitra, the Chairman of the Select Committee, made a motion, to extend the date for the presentation of the report by one week to the House. This motion was contested by Mr. P. Rajeev, a Member of the Select Committee. He raised the issue that other Members of the Committee had not been consulted by the Chairman before he made the motion for extension in the Upper House.
After hearing arguments from various MPs, the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha decided to permit a vote on the motion for extension of time for presentation of the Select Committee report on the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2014. The motion was passed by the House by a voice vote. The Select Committee is now expected to present its report by the second week of December.