New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) The monsoon session of parliament Aug 5 to Sep 7 turned out to be productive, as landmark legislation relating to food security, land acquisition and eradicating manual scavenging were passed.
However, some key bills – including amendments to the Right to Information Act, designed to keep political parties out of the ambit of this law – could not be passed.
The bill was referred to a standing committee in the face of opposition from some members and civil society organisations.
The proposal to amend the Representation of People’s Act to allow convicted legislators to retain their membership pending an appeal was also not pursued due to the apparent realisation that it could go against the grain of public sentiment for cleaning politics of criminal elements.
The monsoon session of parliament began Aug 5, and was initially slated to end Aug 30, but was extended by a week as the government was keen to get its key social legislation passed, with only about eight months left for the general elections.
The passage of the laws was expedited in the Lok Sabha in the last two weeks after suspension of members from Andhra Pradesh who wanted the decision on the creation of Telangana to be kept in abeyance.
According to PRS Legislative, a think tank that tracks parliament’s work, the agenda for the monsoon session included 32 pending bills for consideration and passing.
The government had slated 25 bills for introduction, of which 11 were listed for consideration and passing.
Key bills passed by parliament:
1. National Food Security Bill, 2013 aims to provide subsidised foodgrains to two-third of India’s 1.2 billion people.
2. The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2013 seeks to provide fair compensation to those whose land is taken away and rehabilitation of those affected by land takeover.
3. Companies Bill, 2011 seeks to enhance transparency, make corporate social responsibility mandatory and protects the interest of employees and small investors.
4. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, 2013 paves the way for individuals to widen their post-retirement cover and allows foreign investors to acquire up to 26 percent stake in the sector.
5. The Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Bill, 2013 negates a Supreme Court order banning politicians in jail and under police custody from contesting polls.
6. Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012 aims at elimination of dry latrines and manual scavenging and the rehabilitation in alternate occupations of those engaged in this task.
Bills passed by Rajya Sabha:
1. Marriage Laws Amendment Bill, 2010 provides for irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for divorce, and makes divorce provisions women-friendly.
Bills passed by Lok Sabha:
Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 provides for protection of livelihoods rights, social security of street vendors and regulation of urban street vending in the country.
Other bills passed by both houses:
Other bills passed by the two houses include the National Highways Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and The Wakf (Amendment) Bill, 2011.