Budget Session 2016: relevancy of bills passed


The budget session of Parliament saw many Bills getting passed despite frequent disruptions over a range of issues, including the Uttarakhand crisis, the AgustaWestland scam and the prevailing drought condition across the country. The session started on February 23. The first half of it concluded on March 16 and Parliament met for the second half of budget session from April 25 to May 13.

The following Bills were passed:

» Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2015

The Act lists seven categories of securities in which trust money can be invested. It also outlines the manner in which surplus funds of the trust may be invested for future use of the trust.

» The Rajendra Central Agricultural University Bill, 2015

The Act declares the existing Rajendra Agricultural University in Pusa, Bihar which was incorporated under the Bihar Agricultural University Act, 1987 as an institute of national importance. The university will impart education in different branches of agriculture.

» The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2015

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2015, which will replaced the existing bankruptcy laws, will enact a comprehensive law to deal with insolvency of corporates and simplify investors’ exit. The proposed law will cover individuals, companies, limited liability partnerships, partnership firms and proposes a time-bound framework — 180 days, extendable by another 90 days. Currently, it takes, on an average, more than four years to resolve insolvency in India.

» Finance Bill, 2016

The amendment made to the RBI Act through the Finance Bill removed the governor’s powers to singularly set monetary policy, vesting them in a six-member Monetary Policy Committee.

» The Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2014

It gives the government more teeth in dealing with hijacking incidents involving an Indian aircraft.

» The Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015

It amended the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 which provided the regulations for certain industries, including metallurgical, telecommunications, transportation, fermentation (which includes production of alcohol) among others.

» The Repealing and Amending (Fourth) Bill, 2015

The Act seeks to repeal 295 Acts and make minor amendments to two laws. It included over 20 Acts that were passed prior to 1947. Between 1950 and 2001, over 100 Acts were repealed. The measures seek to repeal enactments which have ceased to be in force or have become obsolete or their retention as separate Acts has become unnecessary. Such bills are also used to correct defects or flaws detected in laws.

» The Appropriation Acts (Repeal) Act, 2015

It will repeal 758 Appropriation Acts, including Appropriation Acts for the railways, passed during the period of 1950-2012. Appropriation Acts are intended to operate for a limited period of time — authorizing expenditures for the duration of one financial year.

» The Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016

The Act has established a Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) for administration and management of Gurudwaras in Chandigarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

» The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016

It paves the way for merger and acquisition activity involving firms holding captive mining leases that were allotted in the past without adopting the auction route. Though the mining law was amended in 2015, it didn’t allow transfer of such mining leases, stalling proposed merger transactions in the sector

» The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013

As a house buyer, these are the seven things you need to know about real estate bill

» The Bill provides for mandatory registration of all projects with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority in each State. Real estate agents who intend to sell any plot, apartment or building should also register themselves with this authority.
» It makes mandatory the disclosure of all information for registered projects like details of promoters, layout plan, land status, schedule of execution and status of various approvals.
» It seeks to enforce the contract between the developer and buyer and act as a fast track mechanism to settle disputes.
» Fifty per cent of the buyers’ investment has to be deposited into an escrow account that would be used only for the construction of that project.
» The Bill prohibits a developer from changing the plan in a project unless two-thirds of the allottees have agreed for such a change.
» Builders would be responsible for fixing structural defects for five years after transferring the property to a buyer.
» In case builders still cause delays in transferring properties to buyers, the appellate tribunals would intervene and slap fines on them within 60 days.

» The National Waterways Bill, 2015

It identifies an additional 101 waterways as national waterways. It will also replace the five existing national waterways laws.

» The Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015

It replaces the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 and seeks to establish BIS as the national standards body and mandatory standardisation of products. The Bill includes goods, services and systems.

» The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016

It provides statutory backing to Aadhaar, the unique identity number through which the government plans to target delivery of subsidy benefits and services. The expenditure for the nationwide Aadhaar exercise is incurred from the Consolidated Fund of India.

It paves the way for establishing the Unified Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the operation and the maintenance of a Central Identity Data Repository. The Authority shall ensure the security, confidentiality and protection of identity information and authentication records of individuals in its possession or control, including the information stored in the repository. These include biometric information collected, created and stored in electronic form.

» The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016

It revises the list of Scheduled Castes in some States and remove area-specific restrictions for certain communities. Here is a State-wise list of the inclusions and removals:

Haryana: i) Aheria, ii) Aheri, iii) Hari, iv) Heri, v) Thori, vi) Turi and vii) Rai Sikh communities have been included

Kerala: i) Malayan (in Kannur, Kasaragode, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts), ii) Mannan, iii) Pathiyan, iv) Perumannan, v) Peruvannan, vi) Vannan, and vii) Velan communities have been included

Chhattisgarh: i) Sais, ii) Sahis, iii) Sarathi, iv) Soot-Sarathi, and v) Thanwar have been added

West Bengal: It recognises the community ‘Chain’ as SC only in certain districts (Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia and Dakshin Dinajpur)

Odisha: i) Bariki and (ii) Kummari communities have been removed

» The High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2015

The Bill amends the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954 and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958. The Bill revisits the pension payable for HC judges; and casual leaves for SC and HC judges.

The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016

The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to amend Section 11 of the Delimitation Act, 2002 and Section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950. It will enable the Election Commission to carry out delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal following the exchange of 51 Bangladeshi and 111 Indian enclaves in July last year.

Source: The Hindu

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