The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha yesterday, as a Money Bill [Clarification: This is as per news reports.* The text of the Bill does not indicate that it is a Money Bill]. In this context, we briefly outline the various types of Bills in Parliament, and highlight the key differences between Money Bills and Financial Bills. What are the different types of Bills? There are four types of Bills, namely (i) Constitution Amendment Bills; (ii) Money Bills; (iii) Financial Bills; and (iv) Ordinary Bills. What are the features of each of these Bills?
How are these bills passed?
How is a Money Bill different from a financial bill? While all Money Bills are Financial Bills, all Financial Bills are not Money Bills. For example, the Finance Bill which only contains provisions related to tax proposals would be a Money Bill. However, a Bill that contains some provisions related to taxation or expenditure, but also covers other matters would be considered as a Financial Bill. The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015, which establishes funds under the Public Account of India and states, was introduced as a Financial Bill.[vii] Secondly, as highlighted above, the procedure for the passage of the two bills varies significantly. The Rajya Sabha has no power to reject or amend a Money Bill. However, a Financial Bill must be passed by both Houses of Parliament. Who decides if a Bill is a Money Bill? The Speaker certifies a Bill as a Money Bill, and the Speaker’s decision is final.[viii] Also, the Constitution states that parliamentary proceedings as well as officers responsible for the conduct of business (such as the Speaker) may not be questioned by any Court.[ix]
[i]. Article 368, Constitution of India. [ii]. Article 110, Constitution of India. [iii]. Article 110 (1), Constitution of India. [iv]. Article 117, Constitution of India. [v]. Article 107, Constitution of India. [vi]. Article 109, Constitution of India. [vii]. The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015, introduced in Lok Sabha on May 8, 2015, http://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/the-compensatory-afforestations-fund-bill-2015-3782/. [viii]. Article 110 (3), Constitution of India. [ix]. Article 122, Constitution of India. [*Note: See Economic Times, Financial Express, The Hindu Business Line, NDTV ,etc.]