New Delhi, September 11
The central government has listed 23 new Bills, including 11 which seek to replace ordinances, for introduction in Parliament’s Monsoon session beginning Monday.
One of the ordinances the government plans to pass as a bill during the 18-day-long session relates to providing preventive measures against violence on heathcare personnel.
The ordinance makes acts of violence and harassment against healthcare personnel deployed in combating COVID-19 a non-bailable offence with maximum punishment of seven years imprisonment and Rs 5 lakh fine.
It also protects the healthcare fraternity, including doctors, nurses and ASHA workers.
Another ordinance to be replaced by a Bill relates to reduction in the salary of MPs by 30 per cent for a period of one year beginning April 1, 2020. The amount will be utilised in the fight against coronavirus.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, seeks to replace an ordinance issued recently.
The central government introduced three ordinances---the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, and an amendment in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955---in June.
The government claims that the ordinance, and now the Bill, aims at providing for the creation of an ecosystem where the farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of farmers’ produce which facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels.
The ordinances however have been controversial, drawing protests from farmers who fear it would go against their interest. Farmers see the Bill as an attempt to end the Minimum Support Price regime---a policy that aims at establishing a minimum return on their crops to farmers regardless of market fluctuations.
The BJP-ruled state of Haryana saw a massive protest being held at Kurushetra’s Pipli grain market against the ordinances on Friday. The protest led to police lathicharge---a development that opposition parties have condemned since. Similar protests were also held against the Bill in Punjab.
Among the Bills which the government has listed for introduction is the The Jammu and Kashmir Official Language Bill, 2020. As per the bill, Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi, apart from the existing Urdu and English, will be the official languages in the union territory. It provides for the languages to be used for the official purposes in the union territory.
According to a Lok Sabha bulletin, the lower house will also take up discussion and voting on the First Batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants for the year 2020-21.
It will also take up discussion and voting on the Excess Demands for Grants for the year 2016-17.
According to the document, The Multi State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 has also been listed for introduction. The proposed bill seeks to rationalise government role and increase the members’ participation in the working of the multi-state cooperative societies, to increase public faith in these societies and create a conducive environment for their growth and development.
The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 seeks to permit non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) other than NBFC Factors (whose principal business is factoring) to undertake factoring business as well. It also seeks to permit Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) entities to act as agents for financiers for filing of registration of charge with the central registry as this will lead to operational efficiency.
Another Bill listed for introduction is The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The proposed bill aims at complete mechanisation of sewer cleaning and to provide better protection in work, and compensation in case of accidents. Agencies
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