The House is likely to simmer as the Winter Session of Parliament begins on Monday with a slew of Bills, including one to repeal the controversial farm laws, awaiting to be tabled.
The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, a Bill to ban private cryptocurrencies, and a Bill to replace ordinances extending the tenures of the directors of CBI and Enforcement Directorate are among the 26 Bills in the agenda for the Winter Session that will run till December 23.
Three Bills out of the 26 lined up – The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021, The Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021 – will replace ordinances.
Let’s take a look at some of the key Bills that have been listed for introduction during the session:
The Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 24 approved the Bill to withdraw three controversial farm laws that triggered year-long protests by thousands of farmers.
The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 is all set for introduction by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and passage through the Lok Sabha on November 29, according to the ‘List of Business’ published on the Lok Sabha website.
The Repeal Bill seeks to repeal the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmer’s (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Prime Minister Modi on November 19 announced that the Centre has decided to repeal the three farm laws.
The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021
The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies and its uses, according to the Legislative Business for the session.
“To create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India,” reads the document on Lok Sabha website.
The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021
The Bill proposes amendment in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Uttar Pradesh. It assumes significance as it comes just ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in February. A similar Bill – The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021 – that seeks to amend the list of Scheduled Tribes of Tripura is also listed in the bulletin.
The Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021
The Bill proposes to effect amendments in Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Acts, 1970 and 1980 and incidental amendments to Banking Regulation Act, 1949 in the context of the Union Budget announcement 2021 regarding privatisation of two Public Sector Banks (PSBs). Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had in her 2021-22 Budget speech announced the privatisation of the state-run lenders as part of a disinvestment drive to garner Rs 1.75 lakh crore.
The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021
The proposed amendments in the Bill seek to de-license power distribution, allowing private sector players to enter the sector and compete with state-owned power distribution companies (discoms). Once the Bill is passed, it would let consumers choose a distributor of their choice.
The Bill also provides for the constitution of the Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority (ECEA) that will have the sole authority to adjudicate upon contract-related disputes in the power sector.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021
This Bill will replace the ordinance amending the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 to correct a drafting error. It seeks to regulate certain operations such as manufacture, transport and consumption related to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, according to PRS Legislative Research.
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021
This Bill proposes to amend Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Act to fulfill the Budget Announcement 2019 regarding the separation of the National Pension System Trust from Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority and to fulfill the Budget announcement 2020 for ensuring universal pension coverage as well as strengthening the PFRDA.
At least three Bills which were earlier referred to the Standing Committees are also expected to be taken up during the Winter Session. These include 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.
There is also the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021, to amend the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954, and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958.Also, the Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants, and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which aims at reforming and speeding up a disciplinary mechanism, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to strengthen and streamline the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and the Cantonment Bill, 2021, which seeks to provide for “greater democratisation, modernisation and overall improvement” in the governance structure of Cantonment Boards are also listed to be taken up in the Winter Session of Parliament.