The all-party meet held on Sunday ahead of the Winter Session witnessed Opposition parties demanding discussions on issues including price rise, Pegasus snooping row and BSF jurisdiction
The Winter Session of Parliament is set to begin on Monday. Besides the farm laws repeal bill, the government has listed 25 draft legislations for the parliamentary session, including one to ban all but a few private cryptocurrencies while allowing an official digital currency by the RBI.
Ahead of the Winter Session, the all-party meet held on Sunday acted as a trailer to what to come. Opposition parties have demanded discussions on issues ranging from the Pegasus snooping row to the increased jurisdiction of the BSF. Forty two leaders from 31 political parties attended the all-party meeting.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not attend the all-party meeting, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh urged party leaders to ensure the smooth functioning of the House so that members can have healthy debates in both the Houses.
What is in store
The session is set to begin with the government bringing in a bill to repeal the three contentious farm laws. The Farm Laws Repeal Bill is slated to be introduced in the Lok Sabha.
The ruling BJP and main opposition party Congress have issued whips to their MPs to be present on the day. The Opposition will seek to target the government on the issue of farmers’ plight as well as their demand for a legal backing for minimum support price. The Congress has also demanded a condolence resolution for the farmers who died during the year-long protests against the three laws.
A report of the Joint Committee of Parliament on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 will also be tabled in the two Houses during the session.
The bill, seeking to provide for the protection of personal data of individuals and establish a Data Protection Authority for the same, was brought in Parliament in 2019 and was referred to the joint committee for further scrutiny on the demand of opposition members.
The main objection of Opposition members was granting “unbridled powers” to the central government to exempt any of its probe agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI, from the purview of the entire Act.
According to the government’s legislative business list for the session, three bills have also been listed to replace as many ordinances. These three bills are Narcotics Drug and Psychotic Substances Bill to amend an act of the same name, the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill and the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill.
The Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill and the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill propose to extend the tenure of directors of the CVC and CBI.
There is also a politically significant bill specifically for poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, to amend the SC and ST list of the state. It is being introduced just a few months before the UP assembly election slated to be held early next year. Similarly, there is another bill to amend the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes list of Tripura.
Then, there is the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021, to amend the salaries act of judges of the higher judiciary.
The list of businesses also includes the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, The Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority (Amendment) Bill.
Other listed bills include the Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2021, which seeks to “empower the Commander-in-Chief or the Officer-in-Command of Inter-Services Organisations in respect of persons subject to the Army Act, 1950, the Navy Act, 1957, and the Air Force Act, 1950, who are serving under or attached to his command, for maintaining of discipline and proper discharge of their duties”.
The Emigration Bill, 2021, will replace the Emigration Act, 1983 to establish a robust, transparent and comprehensive emigration management framework that facilitates safe and orderly migration.
The National Anti-Doping Bill, 2021, aims to provide a legislative framework to the NADA for meeting the obligations of India under the convention and the obligations of NADA as a signatory of the WADA Code, as amended from time to time.
The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021, seeks to prevent and combat trafficking in persons, especially women and children, to provide care, protection, assistance and rehabilitation to the victims, while respecting their rights, and creating a supportive legal, economic and social environment for them, and also to ensure prosecution of offenders, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The session is likely to conclude on 23 December.
With input from agencies
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