Government Unveils Ambitious Legislative Agenda for Winter Session, Including Key Reforms and Legal Overhauls
In a significant development, the government has unveiled an extensive list of 18 bills to be presented during the upcoming winter session, set to commence on December 4, 2023. The legislative agenda encompasses a diverse range of issues, from financial matters to constitutional amendments, with a notable focus on reforms and legal modifications.
- Supplementary Grants and Demand for Excess Grants: The session will witness the introduction of the first batch of supplementary grants and a demand for excess grants. These financial matters are crucial for addressing the evolving economic landscape and ensuring the smooth functioning of government operations.
- Provisional Collection of Taxes Bill 2023: Among the proposed bills is the Provisional Collection of Taxes Bill 2023, aimed at re-enacting the existing act. This legislative move holds implications for the taxation landscape and reflects the government's commitment to refining fiscal policies.
- GST Act Amendments: Another highlight is a bill to amend the CGST Act, based on discussions from the GST council meeting held in October. The amendments are anticipated to streamline the Goods and Services Tax framework and enhance its efficacy.
- Women's Reservation Act Extension: The government plans to extend the provisions of the Women's Reservation Act to Jammu & Kashmir and Puducherry, a move that underscores the commitment to gender equality and political representation.
- Criminal Laws Replacement: A bold step is the introduction of three bills aiming to replace existing criminal laws. The proposed Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya bills are set to reshape the legal landscape, potentially impacting the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and Indian Evidence Act.
- J&K Assembly Strength Increase: A significant proposal is the plan to increase the strength of the Jammu & Kashmir assembly from 107 to 114 seats. This strategic move is designed to ensure adequate representation for Kashmiri migrants, displaced individuals from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and Scheduled Tribes.
- Rajya Sabha Etiquette Guidelines: In an effort to maintain decorum, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has issued a set of etiquettes for Members of Parliament. Notably, members are advised against rising or leaving the House when the Chairman is addressing, and reading from written speeches is discouraged.
- CEC Appointment Bill and Post Office Bill: The legislative agenda also includes the CEC and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, proposing a three-member panel led by the Prime Minister to appoint future chief election commissioners and election commissioners. Additionally, the Post Office Bill, introduced in the Rajya Sabha, is slated for discussion and passage.
- Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill: The Lok Sabha is set to deliberate on the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, reflecting a commitment to regulating and enhancing the media landscape.
As the winter session unfolds, these proposed legislations are expected to be subject to rigorous debates and discussions, shaping the legal and policy landscape of the nation. The outcomes of these deliberations hold the potential to influence the trajectory of governance, economic policies, and societal structures in the foreseeable future.