Continuous adjournments have resulted in resulting in the non-passage of bills in Parliament and currently, as many as 97 bills are pending in both the houses of Parliament. As both houses reconvene today, Lok Sabha has 49 pending bills and the Rajya Sabha has 47.
Among the pending bills include the Women’s reservation bill, Lokpal Bill, Judicial Accountability bill, Land Acquisition Bill, Direct Taxes Code, the Constitutional Amendment to bring in Goods and Services Tax and the UID bill and many bills on higher education.
Last year, 36 bills were passed by Parliament. According to the annual report of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Lok Sabha lost 37 per cent of its time and Rajya Sabha lost 38 per cent of its time to adjournments in 2011.
Much of the time of Budget and the Monsoon sessions saw the opposition UPA over numerous scams, Anna Hazare agitation and the appointment of the Gujarat Lokayukta by the governor.
“Of the 97 Bills currently pending in Parliament, the respective Standing committees have submitted their reports on 70. After the standing committee has submitted its report on a bill, there is no procedural impediment for the bill to be taken up in parliament for discussion and passing,” said Devika Malik of PRS Legislative Research.
Here are details of some of the important bills pending in the parliament:
Higher education and research bill, 2011
Objective: Passage of the bill will result in creation of National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) – a national body to facilitate higher education and research. Current educational bodies including the University Grants Commission, All India Council for Technical Education and National Council for Teacher Education Act will cease to exist after the creation of NCHER.
Introduced in the Rajya Sabha in December, 2011
Status: Standing committee to report by April 30, 2012
Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2011
Objective: The Bill expands the definition of offence under money laundering to include activities like concealment, acquisition, possession and use of proceeds of crime.
Introduced in Lok Sabha in December 2011
Status: Pending with the standing committee
Public interest disclosure and protection to persons making the disclosure bill, 2010
Objective: Protects the identity of whistleblower. A public servant can make disclosure before the state/ central vigilance commission.
Introduced in Lok Sabha in August 2010
Passed in Lok Sabha, pending in Rajya Sabha
Copyright amendment bill, 2010
Objective: Protect copyright work in digital environment
Introduced in Rajya Sabha in April 2010
Status: Standing committee submitted report in November 2010
Communal violence (prevention, control and rehabilitation of victims) bill 2005
Objective: Empowers state and central government to curb communal violence; provided for rehabilitation of victims and speedy trial of offences.
Introduced in Rajya Sabha in December 2005
Status: Standing committee submitted its report in December 2006
Women’s reservation bill
Objective: Gives 33 per cent reservation to women in parliament and state assemblies
Introduced in Rajya Sabha in May 2008
Status: Passed in Rajya Sabha in March 2010, pending in Lok Sabha