The Monsoon Session 2016 of Parliament will be held from July 18 to 12 August. (Source: PTI)

5 Things to Watch Out For in The Monsoon Session of Parliament

  • Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Second Amendment) Bill, 2014.
    Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill
    The Indian Trust (Amendment) Bill, 2015
    Amendments to the Enemy Property Act, 1968 and the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971
    The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012

The Modi government has 16 items on the legislative agenda for the monsoon session of parliament to be held from July 18 to August 20. Apart from the much awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, ministries target passing nine bills in the session. Here are the top five items on the legislative agenda:

1. Goods and Services Tax

The amendment for the Goods and Services Tax is pending in the Rajya Sabha and is listed as the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Second Amendment) Bill, 2014. In principle, the GST will simplify the tax system, boost tax revenues and ensure better compliance.

“It would be levied on the basis of the destination principle. Thus, exports would be zero-rated, and imports would attract the tax in the same manner as domestic goods and services. Inter-State supplies within India would attract an Integrated GST (aggregate of Central GST and the State GST of the destination State),” according to an EY note on GST.

The Lok Sabha had cleared the Bill in the budget session of parliament.

2. Security Interest and Debt Recovery Reforms

The government seeks a vote on the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha. A Joint Parliamentary Committee of both Houses is examining the suggestions to the draft Bill and will present a report on the amendment to the parliament.

The Bill seeks to amend the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002, the Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993, the Indian Stamps Act, 1899 and the Depositories Act, 1996.

The amendment aims, “to improve ease of doing business and facilitate investment leading to higher economic growth and development,” a government press release notes.

3. Reforms Regarding Investments by Private Trusts

The Indian Trust (Amendment) Bill, 2015 proposes changes in Sections 20 and 20A of the Indian Trusts Act of 1882. The existing Indian Trusts Act regulates the functioning of private trusts and trustees.

The existing Act, “lists seven categories of securities in which trust money can be invested. These include some pre-Independence references such as securities issued by the United Kingdom, by municipalities of Presidency towns, Rangoon, port trust of Karachi etc,” according to PRS Legislative, an independent policy research think tank. The proposed amendment revokes the right to invest in such institutions.

The government will be empowered to notify a class of securities for trustees to invest trust-money after this amendment.

4. Enemy Property Bill

The amendments to the Enemy Property Act, 1968 and the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 are listed in the Enemy Property (Amendment & Validation) Bill, 2016. The Bill is pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The Bill aims to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to enemy states.

According to PRS Legislative, “This may be arbitrary and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.” “The Bill prohibits civil courts from entertaining any disputes with regard to enemy property. It does not provide any alternative judicial remedy (eg. tribunals),” PRS adds.

5. Child Labour Prohibition and Protection Measures

The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012 will be considered by the Rajya Sabha in this session of parliament.

The Bill seeks to prohibit the employment of children (below 14 years of age) in all occupations. The Bill also prevents adolescents (between 14 and 18 years of age) from being employed in hazardous occupations and processes.

India wants to ratify the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO’s) conventions related to child labour. ILO chief, Guy Ryder had noted during his India visit that after the passage of these amendments, India will be able to ratify the ILO Convention No. 138 on the minimum age for admission to employment and work, and ILO Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour,

Following is the full legislative agenda proposed by the Modi government.

I. Bills for introduction, consideration and passing

1. The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 (To replace an ordinance) 2. The Dentists (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 (To replace an ordinance)

II. Bills for consideration and Passing

(A) Bills pending in the Lok Sabha

(i) The Indian Trust (Amendment) Bill, 205 (agreeing to amendments made by the Rajya Sabha)

(ii) The Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous

Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016 ( after report is presented by the joint committee)

(B) Bills pending in the Rajya Sabha

(i) The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015

(ii) The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2016

(iii) The Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016

(iv) The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty second Amendment) Bill, 2014

(v) The Enemy Property (Amendment & Validation) Bill, 2016

(all the above Bills already passed by Lok Sabha)

(vi) The Child labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012

(vii) The Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2015 III. Bills for Introduction

(i) The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016

(ii) The Institute of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2016

(iii) The National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill,2016; and

(iv) The Use and regulation of DNA based technology in Civil and Criminal Proceedings, Identification of Missing Persons and Human Remains Bill, 2016

IV. Financial Business

1. Discussion and Voting on Supplementary Demands for Grants (General) for 2015-16