The session is set to begin on July 18 and will go on for 18 days until August 10
The Monsoon Session of Parliament is set to begin on July 18 and will go on for 18 days until August 10. The session is expected to clear pending Bills and Ordinances and introduce new ones.
Thirteen Bills were passed in last year’s Monsoon Session, three out of which were Ordinary Bills. Over 34 hours and 29 minutes were spent by both the houses in discussing the Bills.
According to Vijay Goel, Minister of State (MoS) for Parliamentary Affairs, there are over 68 Bills pending in Lok Sabha while 40 are pending in Rajya Sabha. Official Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha websites, however, peg the numbers at 27 and 48 respectively.
Here are some of the important Bills scheduled to be tabled during the Monsoon Session:
123rd Constitutional Amendment Bill: Will allow the National Commission for Backward Classes a constitutional status.
It will pave the way for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bid to propose a quota for most backward classes within the existing OBC quota. The passing of the Bill is politically important, since it has the ability to influence the upcoming elections.
Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2016: Seeks to enable inclusion of excluded tribes in SC/ST list by amending the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950. It was introduced by Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram in December 2016, and seeks to include tribes from the states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Tripura. This Bill, too, could be important politically since one of the states, Chhattisgarh, goes to poll this year, and BJP has witnessed a surge in tribal votes in this year’s assembly elections.
Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill: Pending since November 2016. It allows couples who are unable to conceive a child to opt for surrogacy; the surrogate mother should be a ‘close relative’ of the couple is one of the conditions, although the Bill does not define the term ‘close relative'.
Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill: Also known as the triple talaq bill, this has been mired in controversies, but is politically important, and since the government has said it remains on top of its agenda, this could dominate during the Monsoon Session.
The Bill makes all declaration of talaq in written and/or electronic form void, and makes it a cognizable and non-bailable offence with an imprisonment of up to three years.
The Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha, but is pending in Rajya Sabha. Media reports suggest that considering the political ramifications of the Bill and keeping an eye on elections next year, the Opposition might try to stall it.
National Medical Commission Bill, 2017: Proposes to set up a National Medical Commission (NMC) to regulate medical education and practice. The NMC will also decide on 40% seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities.
Last year’s Monsoon Session had 19 sittings. According to PRS India, Lok Sabha spent 32% of its time last year discussing issues of public importance like floods, farmers’ distress and the agrarian situation of the country. The Rajya Sabha had spent 42% of its time discussing these issues.
Last year also saw discussions on lynching and mob violence. Lok Sabha spent over five hours discussing the topic, while Rajya Sabha spent nearly seven hours discussing the same. This year, lynchings can be expected to be top priority after the recent spate of mob killings across the country.Meanwhile, the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday that the Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson’s election, expected to come up during the Monsoon Session, could be delayed. According to the publication, the reason that parties across lines stated for the delay was limitation of time.