Five Bills Tabled Yesterday At Parliament Winter Session; Know About Them
The winter session in the Parliament had begun on Friday, December 15 and several bills are to be tabled at the Lok Sabha. As many as 25 pending bills and 14 new ones, including Goods and Services (GST) and Muslim women rights, are scheduled to be tabled.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said, “Main issues in the session will be supplementary demand for grants. Constitutional amendment Article 123 (Constitutional status to backward classes), Muslim women Right on Marriage 2017 bill. We will also discuss three ordinances including GST compensation to states.”
Among the 25 bills, few important bills expected to be taken up are: The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Ordinance, 2017, Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016.
A few of the other bills are: The National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017, The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017, The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017, The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017. Underneath has been enlisted the bills that are being tabled and the amendments which are being sought now:
The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 was promulgated on 23 November 2017. It amends the Indian Forest Act, 1927. Under the Act, the definition of “tree” includes palms, bamboos, stumps, brush-wood, and canes. The Ordinance amends this definition to remove the word “bamboos”. Following this, bamboo growing in on-forest areas will be waived off the requirement of permission for its felling or transportation for economic use. This Bill was introduced by environment minister Harsh Vardhan even as BJD leader B Mahtab raised concerns and opposed the legislation.
The National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi had given its approval for introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) Act 1993, to grant retrospective recognition to the Central/State/Union Territory funded Institutions/Universities who are found to be conducting teacher education courses without NCTE recognition till the academic year 2017-18.
The retrospective recognition is being given as a one time measure as to ensure that the future of the students passed out/enrolled in these institutions is not jeopardized. With a view to achieving the above-mentioned benefits, Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Department has brought about this amendment.
The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The government on Monday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha that will allow it to notify the period of maternity leave and gratuity that can be availed by employees under a central law. The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced by Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar in the lower house of the Parliament, amid continued sloganeering by opposition members and counter-slogans by those of the BJP.
The Payment of Gratuity Act 1972 was enacted to provide for gratuity payment to employees engaged in factories, mines, oilfields, plantations, ports, railway companies, shops or other establishments. It is applicable to employees who have completed at least five years of continuous service in an establishment that has ten or more persons.
This proposal comes against the background of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 enhancing the maximum maternity leave period to 26 weeks. Under the Statements of Object and Reasons of the bill, the amendment would allow the central government to notify the maternity leave period for “female employees as deemed to be in continuous service in place of existing twelve weeks.” After implementation of the 7th Central Pay Commission, the ceiling of gratuity amount for central government employees had been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
The Dentists Amendment Bill
The bill seeks to amend the Dentist’s Act, 1948. The Act provides for the constitution of the Dental Council of India (DCI). The DCI regulates: (i) Permission to start colleges, courses or increase the number of seats, (ii) registration of dentists and (iii) Standards of professional conduct of dentists. The amendment will reduce redundancy.
The clauses being amended include those pertaining to certain modifications in the provisions of the Dentists Act 1948 with regard to membership of the Dental Councils under clause F of section 3.
The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017
On November 11, the Centre informed the Supreme Court that it is most likely to table the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill to allow proxy voting rights to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). On July 14, the court asked the Centre to decide whether electoral laws be amended or NRIs would be allowed to vote by postal or e-ballots in the polls.
The Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the second day yesterday, December 18, amid Congress protests over insinuations by PM Narendra Modi against his predecessor Manmohan Singh even as the government managed to introduce 5 Bills in the ruckus.