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Explained | What is a Private Member’s Bill? How does it differ from government Bills?

No Private Member’s Bill has been passed by the Parliament since 1970.

July 23, 2021 / 02:43 PM IST
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The revised list of business in Lok Sabha has listed over 240 Private Members’ Bills for introduction between 3:30 pm and 6 pm in Private Members’ Legislative Business on July 23 during the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

The Bills listed in Lok Sabha include the Population Control Bill, 2019 by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ravi Kishan that seeks to control the growth of population in the country. Shiv Sena MP Krupal Tumane wants to move Uniform Civil Code Bill, 2019 to provide for the constitution of the National Inspection and Investigation Committee for preparation of Uniform Civil Code and its implementation throughout India.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wants to introduce the Special Financial Assistance to the State of West Bengal Bill, 2019 to provide for special financial assistance to West Bengal. Another member Sunil Kumar Singh wants to move the Prevention of Begging Bill, 2019 to provide for prevention of begging.

In Rajya Sabha, Private Members' Bills that were listed for introduction included The Intelligence Service (Powers and Regulation) Bill, 2019, The Uniform Civil Code Bill, 2019, among others.

READ: BJP MPs to introduce private members' bills on population control, uniform civil code in upcoming Parliament session

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MoneyControl explains what a Private Member’s Bill is and how it differs from normal government Bills introduced in the Parliament.

What is a Private Member’s Bill and how is it different from government Bills?

A member of parliament (MP) who is not a minister is a private member. The Bills introduced by private members are referred to as Private Member’s Bills. The Bills introduced by ministers are called government Bills. The government bills have the backing of the government and reflect its legislative agenda. Whether the Private Bill has to be admitted or not is decided by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha or Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.

Also, read: Parliament Monsoon Session: Protests by Opposition over Pegasus Project, farm laws likely to disrupt proceedings today

What is the procedure?

The Private Member’s Bills are either drafted by the member of parliament (MP) or his staff. The MP who wants to move a Private Member’s Bill has to give at least a month’s notice, for the House Secretariat to examine it for compliance with constitutional provisions and rules on legislation. While a government Bill can be introduced and discussed on any day, a private member’s bill is only introduced and discussed on Fridays.

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In case of multiple Bills, a ballot system is used to decide the sequence of bills for introduction.The Parliamentary Committee on Private Member's Bills and Resolutions goes through all such Bills and classifies them based on their urgency and importance.

Has any Private Member’s Bill ever become a law?

No Private Member’s Bill has been passed by the Parliament since 1970, according to PRS Legislative Research. So far, the Parliament has passed 14 such Bills, six of them in 1956. The 16th Lok Sabha (2014-19) witnessed the highest number of Private Member Bills introduced (999) since 2000. As many as 142 members have introduced Bills in the 16th Lok Sabha, of which 34 members have introduced 10 or more Bills.

Also, read: Explained: What is Privilege Motion in Parliament?

In comparison, 84 members introduced Bills in the 15th Lok Sabha, of which 11 members introduced 10 or more Bills. Though nearly 1,000 Bills were introduced in the 16th Lok Sabha, less than 10 were taken up for discussion, for a total of 50 hours.
Gulam Jeelani is a journalist with over 11 years of reporting experience. Based in New Delhi, he covers politics and governance for Moneycontrol.

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