With Oppn regrouping to take on govt, monsoon session to be tested for productivity


The monsoon session of Parliament will consider 21 new Bills including those proposing to establish a comprehensive legal framework governing digital personal data protection, giving exemption to certain forest land from legal protection, Bill to replace controversial Ordinance on Delhi services, repeal of 65 obsolete legislation and tighter regulation of multi-state cooperative societies. 

About seven bills already passed by either of the Houses or have been reviewed by Parliamentary committees will also be taken up for passage in the monsoon session starting Thursday.

According to a bulletin issued by Lok Sabha Secretariat, 21 new bills and 7 old bills are proposed to be taken up during the monsoon session that would begin on July 20 and run for 17 (working) days till August 11. The session will take place in the new Parliament building, signifying a momentous milestone. 

A bill that seeks to repeal the Indian Railway Board Act, 1905, by incorporating its provisions into the Railways Act, 1989 will also be taken during the upcoming session of Parliament. It will also consider a bill to amend the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, for introducing a new composite exploration license and to de-list some minerals from the list of atomic minerals. 

Apart from introduction and passage of the bills, monsoon session is expected to be stormy affair with opposition showdown with the government on Delhi ordinance that curtails the powers of elected state government. The proposal on uniform civil code may also come in for heated discussion while Opposition parties may also raise the issue of violence in Manipur. 

The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, aims to replace the existing Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules. The new bill is expected to introduce broad exemptions and potentially reduce the authority of the data protection board.

With regard to the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023, the legislation will exempt certain land from legal protection. The controversial bill was earlier sent to a Parliamentary committee for review and endorsement.

A Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which has already received clearance from a Joint Committee of Parliament is also expected to be tabled in the monsoon session. This bill amends the existing Biological Diversity Act of 2002, aiming to enhance biodiversity conservation and promote benefit-sharing with local communities.

The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2022, will also be tabled which aims to ease the legal provisions pertaining to fines and imprisonment existing under the Post Office Act of 1898. s under the as a punishment for certain offenses. Also, the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023 is also expected to be taken up to make the process of sanctioning of films for exhibitions more effective and in tune with the changing times. 

The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 will also be tabled during the session. The bill seeks to change the nomenclature of “weak and under-privileged classes (social castes)” provided in the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, and the Rules of 2005 to “Other Backward Classes” as recommended by the Jammu and Kashmir Socially Educationally Backward Classes Commission (SEBCC) set by the Union Territory administration, according to the bulletin.

While the government has outlined its tentative legislative agenda for the monsoon session, concerns remain about its ability to pass and consider all these bills within the 17-day session.

With the budget session this year recording the lowest productivity of similar session in last five years amidst Parliament productivity plummeted amid a slugfest between the Treasury Benches and the government over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks in London and the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Adani issue, the coming monsoon session with large list of legislative business and compressed sittings would be tested for showing productivity. The Opposition is already looking to take on the government on the issue of Manipur violence, Ordinance curtailing Delhi government’s power while seeking a full debate on uniform civil code.

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Updated: 19 Jul 2023, 01:06 AM IST

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