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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

From farm Bills to Banking Regulation amendment: All legislations passed in Parliament’s Monsoon Session

Here are the Bill passed by both Houses of Parliament in the Monsoon Session.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 23, 2020 9:00:47 pm
Many prominent MPs were missing from the Monsoon Session of Parliament this year. (PTI)

The Monsoon Session of the Parliament came to an end Wednesday, eight days ahead of schedule, with proceedings in both Houses adjourned sine die in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The session started on September 14 amid the pandemic. In a first, the two Houses met at different times in a day to ensure social distancing norms against the backdrop of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In the ten days of the curtailed Monsoon Session, the Parliament has passed several legislations amid protests by Opposition parties, including boycott of proceedings, and the suspension of eight Rajya Sabha MPs.

Here are the Bill passed by both the Houses of the Parliament:

Bills passed in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha

The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020

The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020 was passed by Rajya Sabha through voice vote on Wednesday, a day after being cleared by the Lok Sabha.

Parliament passed the bill for inclusion of Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi in the list of official languages in Jammu and Kashmir, in addition to the existing Urdu and English.

BJP president J P Nadda hailed the passage of the Bill as “historic”, and said this is an important step for developing the regional languages of the union territory.

The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020

The Bill was introduced in the Parliament on September 18 and was passed by Lok Sabha on September 19 and by Rajya Sabha on September 22. The Bill will replace the Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020, issued in March.

It seeks to provide various reliefs in terms of compliance requirements for taxpayers amid the coronavirus pandemic. The reliefs include extending deadlines for filing returns and for linking PAN and Aadhaar.

Among others, the Bill seeks to give tax exemption for contributions made to PM-CARES Fund, which was set up in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020

The Bill was introduced in the Parliament on September 15 and was passed by the Rajya Sabha on September 19 and Lok Sabha on September 21. The legislation seeks to temporarily suspend initiation of the corporate insolvency resolution process, CIRP under the Code. It replaces the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 initiated in June this year.

The Bill provides that for defaults arising during the six months from March 25 this year, CIRP can never be promulgated by either the company or its creditors. The central government may extend this period to one year through notification.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020

The Bill was introduced in the Parliament on September 14 and was passed by the Lok Sabha on September 17 and Rajya Sabha on September 20. It allows intra-state and inter-state trade of farmers’ produce beyond the physical premises of APMC markets. State governments are prohibited from levying any market fee, cess or levy outside APMC areas.

The Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020

The Bill was introduced in the Parliament on September 14 and was passed by the Lok Sabha on September 17 and Rajya Sabha on September 20. It provides a framework for farmers to enter into contract farming — that is signing a written contract with a company to produce what the company wants in return of a healthy remuneration.

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020

The Bill was introduced in the Parliament on September 14 and was passed by the Lok Sabha on September 15 and Rajya Sabha on September 20. It proposes to allow economic agents to stock food articles freely without the fear of being prosecuted for hoarding, and says the central government may regulate the supply of certain food items including cereals, pulses, potato, onions, edible oilseeds, and oils, only under extraordinary circumstances, such as war and famine. Stock limits may be imposed on agricultural produce only if there is a steep price rise.

The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020

The Bill was introduced in Parliament on September 14 and was passed by the Lok Sabha on September 16 and Rajya Sabha on September 22. It amends the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and seeks to bring cooperative banks under the supervision of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It replaces an ordinance the Union Cabinet had approved in June.

The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020

The Bill was introduced in the Parliament on September 14 and was passed by the Lok Sabha on September 20 and Rajya Sabha on September 18. The Bill proposes to reduce the salaries and allowances of ministers by 30 per cent for a year to augment financial resources required to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020

The Bill was introduced in the Parliament on September 14 and was passed by the Lok Sabha on September 21 and Rajya Sabha on September 19. The Bill seeks to punish those who attack health workers or doctors fighting the coronavirus or during any situation similar to the current pandemic. The legislation provides for up to five years in jail for those who attack doctors and health care personnel. It amends the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 in order to provide protection to health care service personnel.

The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020

The Bill was introduced in the Parliament on September 14 and was passed by the Lok Sabha on September 21 and Rajya Sabha on September 18. The Bill amends the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973.

It sets up the Central Council of Homoeopathy, which regulates homoeopathic education and practice. The bill replaces the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which was promulgated in April this year.

The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020

The Bill was introduced in Parliament on September 14 and was passed by the Lok Sabha on September 21 and Rajya Sabha on September 18. It amends the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970. The Act provides for the constitution of a Central Council which regulates the education and practice of the Indian medicine system including Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy.

The bill replaces the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which was promulgated in April this year. It provides that the Central Council will stand superseded from April this year and the council will be reconstituted within one year from the date of its supersession.

Three labour codes

On Wednesday, the Rajya Sabha passed three labour codes. The bills were passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday

The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, seeks to consolidate and amend the laws regulating the occupational safety, health and working conditions of persons employed in an establishment and related matters.

Explained: In labour codes, what changes for workers and hirers?

The Industrial Relations Code, 2020, seeks to consolidate and amend the laws relating to trade unions, conditions of employment in industrial establishments or undertaking, investigation and settlement of industrial disputes.

The Code on Social Security, 2020, will amend and consolidate laws relating to social security with the goal to extend social security to all employees and workers either in the organised sector or the unorganised sector.

Parliament passes FCRA Amendment Bill

On September 23, Rajya Sabha passed passed a bill to amend the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act to make furnishing of Aadhaar numbers by office bearers of NGOs mandatory for registration, with the government asserting that the proposed legislation is aimed at transparency and not against any NGO. The bill was passed in Lok Sabha earlier this week.

Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill

Parliament on September 23 passed a Bill that seeks to provide a legal framework for bilateral netting of qualified financial contracts. Lok Sabha had passed the bill on Sunday. The legislation allows for enforcement of netting for qualified financial contracts.

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