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Parliament: What new, and old, bills will be taken up in Winter Session?

Repeal of the farm laws is going to attract attention both inside, outside the house

parliament rep pti Representational image | PTI

The NDA government has listed 26 new bills to be introduced in the Winter Session of Parliament. The repeal of the politically sensitive farm laws is going to attract enough attention both inside and outside the house. However, other moves of the government that will be debated include the decision to bring a new bill on cryptocurrency, privatisation of two public sector banks and granting of tenure extension to CBI and ED directors.

The Winter Session coincides with the Narendra Modi government reaching midway of its second five-year tenure. If the government will face flak for repealing three laws, it wants to show initiative with other reform bills. The session is set to be a stormy one as the opposition parties have decided to boycott the Constitution Day celebrations.

While the government will assert that it is ready for discussion on all issues, the opposition will push for debate on issues of price rise, BSF jurisdiction and Chinese aggression. The opposition is also expected to demand action against Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra for the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

The Winter Session starts on November 29 and is expected to go on till December 23. There will be a total of 19 sittings.

According think tank PRS Legislative Research, there are 29 bills pending in Parliament. Of these, five bills are listed for consideration and passage during the session and five are listed for withdrawal. On the other hand, 26 new bills will be introduced.

Four bills that were earlier referred to the standing committees, and for which reports have been tabled, are also expected to be taken up. These are The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019; The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020; The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019, and The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The Dam Safety Bill, 2019, passed by Lok Sabha, is listed to be taken up in Rajya Sabha.

The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2021, provides for declaring six new institutes as institutions of national importance, and setting up of a council to coordinate the activities of the national institutes of pharmaceutical education and research.

One bill that has generated enough curiosity among the investors and traders is the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill. The bill seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India while allowing for certain exceptions that promote the technology of cryptocurrency. It also creates a framework for digital currency that will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.

The other new bills are the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Acts of 1970 and 1980, and the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, to privatise two public sector banks. The government had made an announcement to privatise two banks in the last budget.

Two other bills that are likely to draw keen debate are increasing the tenure of CBI and ED directors. The bills will replace the ordinances brought out by the government.

The Inter-Services Organizations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2021, seeks to empower the commander in chief or the officer in command of inter-services organisations to maintain discipline and ensure proper discharge of duties by persons (subject to the Army Act, 1950; the Navy Act, 1957, and the Air Force Act, 1950) serving under or attached to their command.

The Antarctica bill seeks to “provide harmonious policy and regulatory framework for India’s Antarctic activities and to provide national measures for protecting the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystem as per the Antarctic Treaty, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and Protocol on the Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty”.

Other bills that will be introduced include:

·        The Emigration Bill, 2021

·        The Mediation Bill, 2021

·        The Cantonment Bill, 2021

·        The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021

·        The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021

·        The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021

·        The Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

·        The National Dental Commission Bill, 2021

·        The National Nursing Midwifery Commission Bill, 2021

·        The National Anti-Doping Bill, 2021

·        The Indian Marine Fisheries Bill, 2021

·        The Metro Rail (Construction, Operation and Maintenance) Bill, 2021

·        The National Transport University Bill, 2021


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