Parliament is set to meet for the Monsoon Session from Monday and the government has a slew of Bills listed for consideration in both the Houses, with the all important Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill top on the agenda.
According to reports, the Opposition is likely to take aim at the government on several issues, including the recent Supreme Court verdict on Arunachal Pradesh, the recent developments regarding the Uniform Civil Code and India’s unsuccessful bid to gain membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Here are the bills listed by the government:
1) The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016: The Bill replaces an ordinance. It introduces a uniform entrance examination for all medical educational institutions for undergraduate and the postgraduate courses.
2) The Dentists (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016: The Bill will replace an ordinance promulgated on May 24 to amend the Dentists Act, 1948. It seeks to introduce a uniform entrance examination for all dental colleges for the undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Bills pending in the Lok Sabha:
1) The Indian Trust (Amendment) Bill, 2015: The Lok Sabha has to pass this Bill again with amendments made by the Rajya Sabha. The Bill amends certain archaic provisions in the Act of 1882, which allows trusts to invest surplus income in certain categories or areas, including certain specified securities in the UK, Karachi and Rangoon.
2) The Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016: The Bill is presently lying with a joint committee of parliament. It seeks to amend four laws — Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI), Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 (RDDBFI), Indian Stamp Act of 1899 and Depositories Act of 1996.
Bills pending in the Rajya Sabha:
1) The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015: The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in May 2015 even as Opposition parties sought sending it to a parliamentary panel. The Bill seeks to amend the Act to incorporate necessary provisions to strengthen safeguards against disclosures which may prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of the country and security of the state, among other things.
2) The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2016: The Bill establishes the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of India, and a State Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of each state. It has been passed by the Lok Sabha.
3) The Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016: The Bill seeks to provide legislative backing to the regional centre after India entered into an agreement in 2006 with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) regarding establishment of the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Training and Education in India to serve the member-countries of UNESCO. It has been already passed by the Lok Sabha.
4) The Goods and Services Tax Bill (The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-second Amendment) Bill, 2014): Being pitched as the most important legislation for the session, this Bill seeks to introduce GST in India. The government has been talking to the Opposition parties to get it through, after failing to take it through the Upper House in the previous sessions. It was passed by the Lok Sabha in May 2015. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu met Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma on Friday in a bid to settle differences regarding GST, according to reports.
5) The Enemy Property (Amendment & Validation) Bill, 2016: The Bill seeks to amend the Enemy Property Act, 1968, to vest all rights, titles and interests over enemy property in the Custodian. The Bill has been already passed by the Lok Sabha.