The winter session of Sansad (the Indian parliament) is set to begin on a stormy note tomorrow, with the government ready to bring in a bill to repeal the three contentious farm laws. The Farm Laws Repeal Bill is slated to be introduced in the Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi skipped an all-party meeting called by his government this afternoon, a day before the start of the winter session.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal were present from the government side.
The ruling BJP and main opposition party INC have issued whips to their MPs to be present on the day.
“We were expecting that the prime minister will attend the meeting and will share something with us. We wanted to ask more about the farm laws as there are some apprehensions that these three farm laws may again come in some other form,” said Mallikarjun Kharge, INC leader in the Rajya Sabha.
Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021
Farmers concentrated in Punjab and Haryana and some from western Uttar Pradesh have been protesting for the past year to repeal the three legislations, with some help from Khalistani elements and sponsors of anarchist activities in the West. The bill states that though “only a small group of farmers are protesting” against these legislations, the need of the hour is to take along everyone for inclusive growth.
The opposition will seek to target the government on the issue of farmers’ plight as well as their demand for legal backing for the minimum support price (MSP), which means handing them over a fixed guaranteed amount regardless of the quality of their produce from the pool of taxpayers’ money.
The INC has demanded a condolence resolution for the farmers who, the party claims, died because the government did not care about them during their year-long protests against the three laws that could have transformed Indian agriculture.
The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021
The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, seeks to “prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.”
The Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021
It will also consider the Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, which seeks to create a “facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency be issued by the Reserve Bank of India”.
The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021
With the UP polls slated to be held early next year, the Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, which aims to amend the state’s SC and ST list, gains significance too.
In addition, a bill to amend the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes of Tripura will also be considered.
The Mediation Bill, 2021
The bill proposes for pre-litigation mediation, while also safeguarding the interest of the litigant to approach the appropriate judicial forum in case an urgent relief is sought.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021
This bill is being tabled to replace an ordinance that was promulgated in September, this year. It seeks to amend the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 to correct a drafting error.
The Emigration Bill, 2021
The Emigration Bill, 2021 will also be taken up, with the aim of replacing the Emigration Act, 1983. This seeks to establish a “robust, transparent and comprehensive emigration management framework” to facilitate safe and orderly migration.
Also on the agenda are proposals for some of the new bills first announced in the 2021 Budget, such as the privatisation of two public sector banks, and a bill to regulate the nursing sector is also on agenda.
Four bills that were earlier referred to the Standing Committees and for which reports have been tabled are also expected to be taken up. These are the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020, the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019, and the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
There is also the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021, to amend the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954, and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958.
Other listed bills include the Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2021, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, and The Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority (Amendment) Bill.
In addition to this, the remaining bills that will be tabled in the winter session of 2021 are…
— The Indian Maritime Fisheries Bill, 2021
— The National Dental Commission Bill, 2021
— The Metro Rail (Construction, Operation and Maintenance) Bill, 2021
— The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021
— The National Anti-Doping Bill, 2021
The government has listed 25 draft legislations for the winter session, including one to ban all but a few private cryptocurrencies while allowing an official digital currency by the RBI.
A report of the joint committee of the parliament on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, will be tabled in the two houses during the session.