Abrogation of certain provisions of Article 370 & bifurcation of Jammu & Kashmir mark the first session of Parliament after General Election
Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die on 7 August; Lok Sabha adjourned sine die on Tuesday 6 August
New Delhi: The most important business transacted during first session of Parliament after the general elections is the abrogation of certain provisions from Article 370 and Presidential Orders thereunder. This will ensure equal opportunities to all sections of Society in Jammu & Kashmir particularly with the restoration of applicability of the provisions of the Constitution of India and all socio-economic legislations thereby ensuring rule of law and equity. Further for ensuring better administration and for curbing terrorism, the State of Jammu & Kashmir has been reorganized with the formation of two Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
The First Session of Seventeenth Lok Sabha commenced on Monday, the 17th of June, 2019 and 249th Session of Rajya Sabha commenced from Thursday, the 20th June, 2019.
Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die on Tuesday, the 6 August 2019. Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die on Wednesday, 7 August 2019. The Session had a total of 37 sittings of Lok Sabha and 35 sittings of the Rajya Sabha.
Being the first Session of the 17th Lok Sabha, new Members took Oath/Affirmation during the first two days i.e. 17th and 18th June, 2019. Election of Speaker, Lok Sabha was held on 19th June, 2019.
This being the first Session after the General Elections, the President addressed both Houses of Parliament assembled together in terms of Article 87(1) of the Constitution, on 20th June, 2019. Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address in Lok Sabha was moved by Pratap Chandra Sarangi and seconded by Dr. Heena Gavit. This item engaged the Lok Sabha for 13Hrs 47minutes against allotted 10 Hours. In Rajya Sabha it was moved by Jagat Prakash Naddaand seconded by Smt. Sampatiya Uikey. This item engaged the Rajya Sabha for 14 Hrs against allotted 12 Hours. Motions of Thanks were discussed and adopted by the two Houses.
The Union Budget for 2019- 20 was presented on Friday, the 5 July 2019. General Discussion on the Union Budget was held in both Houses. This engaged the Lok Sabha for 17 Hours 23 minutes against allotted 12 Hours and Rajya Sabha for 12 Hours 30 minutes against allotted 12 Hours.
In Lok Sabha, Demands for Grants relating to Ministry of Railways, Road Transport & Highways, Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth Affairs & Sports were discussed and adopted. Thereafter rest of the Demands for Grants of the Ministries/Departments were put to the vote of the House on Wednesday, the 17thJuly, 2019. The related Appropriation Bill was also introduced, considered and passed on 17.07.2019. The Finance (No.2) Bill, 2019 was passed by Lok Sabha on 18.07.2019. Rajya Sabha returned the Appropriation (No. 2) Bill, 2019 and the Finance (No.2) Bill, 2019 on 23.07.2019. As such the entire Financial Business was completed before 31stJuly, 2019.
During this Session a total of 40 Bills (33 in Lok Sabha and 07 in Rajya Sabha) were introduced. 35Bills were passed by Lok Sabha;32Bills were passed by Rajya Sabha and 30 Bills have been passed by both the Houses of Parliament. A list of Bills introduced in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Bills passed by Lok Sabha, Bill(s) passed by Rajya Sabha, Bills passedby both Houses are attached in Annex.
The productivity of Lok Sabha was approx. 137% and that of Rajya Sabha was approx. 103%.
This Session has been historic in many ways as legislations relating to almost all walks of socio and economic activities have been passed. 30 Bills have been passed by both the Houses of Parliament in this Session which is a record in single first/effective Session after constitution of new Lok Sabha.
Health Sector Reforms – During this Session four Bills namely the National Medical Commission Bill, 2019, the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Dentist (Amendment) Bill, 2019 have been passed by both the Houses. Particularly the National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 is a revolutionary reform in medical field which provides for constitution of a National Medical Commission for development and regulation of all aspects relating to medical education, medical profession and medical institutions and a Medical Advisory Council to advise and make recommendations to the Commission.
Social and Gender Justice – Certain Bills to further strengthen Social and Gender justice system in India were also passed during this Session. The Consumer Protection Bill,2019 seeks to revamp the consumer protection mechanism by repealing earlier Law and providing for establishment of Central Consumer Protection Authority to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers; to prevent consumer detriment arising from unfair trade practices and to initiate class action including enforcing recall, refund and return of products besides additional provision for “mediation” as an alternate dispute resolution mechanism to cope up with the drastic transformation of consumer markets for goods and services. The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 extends the benefits of reservation as available to persons residing in the areas adjoining actual line of control to the people residing in the areas adjoining international border. The Protection of Children form Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 makes punishment for the sexual offences against children more stringent which may extend upto twenty years or in certain cases imprisonment for remainder of natural life besides declaring depiction of child in pornography as crime. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 which declares the triple talaq/talaq-e-biddat void is a major step towards grant of gender justice to the Muslim women.
National Security – So as to strengthen National Security apparatus and striking a balance between National Security aspects and Human Rights the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 and Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 have been passed during this Session.
Economic Sector/Ease of doing Businessmeasures – The New Delhi Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019, the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment)Bill, 2019 promote and strengthen the alternate dispute resolution system and Non Performing Asset management system respectively and as such are a big leap forward for facilitating the ease of doing business and confidence building among investors. The Special Economic Zone (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to include “Trust or Entity” within the definition of person under the parent Act so as to expand the scopeof entrepreneurs who can setup units in SEZ. The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019 provide comprehensive mechanism to ban the unregulated deposit schemes other than deposits taken in the ordinary course of business and to protect the interest of depositors.
Labour Reforms – The Code on Wages Bill, 2019 has been enacted after amalgamating the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 and is a much awaited labour reform which will facilitate the ease of compliance of labour laws thereby widening the scope of minimum wages to all workers – a big step for equity promotion and setting up of more enterprises thus catalyzing the creation of employment opportunities.
Transport Reforms – The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to address the issues relating to road safety, citizen facilitation, strengthening public transport, automation and computerisation besides increasing the fines and penalties for violation of provisions of the Act and to make a provision for protection of good Samaritans. The Airport Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019 enables to adopt tariff-based bidding system for engaging private partners in infrastructure projects at airports besides amending the definition of major airport – having annual passengers’ throughput in excess of three and a half million.
The above result could be achieved due to excellent floor coordination in both the Houses by Ministers in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs under the dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister. During discussion on the National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 and the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha on suggestions being made by opposition members, Ministers concerned accepted the suggestions and moved official amendments in this respect which are perfect examples of coordination and cooperation among political parties on the floor of the House.
It is also worth mentioning that now from this Session onwards departing from earlier practice of adjourning the Houses for the day in the event of death of a sitting Member of the particular House, a new practice has been developed of adjourning the House for an Hour or Two and then meeting again for transacting essential business of the day. This has contributed for increase in overall productivity of both the Houses which has been 137% in Lok Sabha and 103% in Rajya Sabha.
The extra-ordinary output of this Session has become possible due to tireless efforts of all agencies and individuals involved in the transaction of Business before two Houses of Parliament.