Opposition parties have given dissent notes in a report of the Rajya Sabha Select Committee on the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, possibly making it difficult for the government to get it passed smoothly in the Upper House. The Bill seeks to completely recast traffic regulations and the road safety ecosystem through stricter penalties.
The Opposition parties, sources said, have communicated that they have problems with certain provisions which, they feel, infringe upon the rights of states and, therefore, are not in consonance with the country’s federal structure. Opposition parties have said that proposed new provision of getting vehicles registered by dealers, instead of the present practice of dealers going to the local Regional Transport Office for this, was an interference in a state’s domain of powers.
The Centre has said power would remain with the states. This is just a more hassle-free process. Sources said while the Bill has been adopted as it is by the committee, B K Hariprasad of the Congress, Manish Gupta of the Trinamool Congress and M K Kanimozhi of the DMK, have given individual dissent notes, which means they are still not convinced about the critical aspects of the Bill the government proposes. The committee may table its final report, along with the dissent notes, by the end of this week, sources said.
Union Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has been trying to get the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha on board since the last session, especially because the government does not have the required numbers in the House to get the Bill passed on its own. The Lok Sabha had unanimously passed the Bill earlier this year.
The Bill was sent to the Select Committee headed by the BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe in the Monsoon Session after Opposition parties gave the transport ministry in writing the various objections they have on the proposed provisions. Gadkari has tried to convince the Opposition. In a departure from custom, he appeared in meetings of the Select Committee to answer various queries, instead of leaving the job to ministry officials.