With more than 40 bills and five ordinances pending before Parliament, the Narendra Modi government’s legislative agenda is set to be busy for the monsoon session, which is set to commence in July after the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic raged through the country, people aware of the matter said.
A bill to designate major airports, proposed laws for the welfare of parents and senior citizens, strengthening the child protection system, and setting up of an interstate river water dispute redressal committee are some of the pending bills before Parliament.
The government authorities plan to slot the monsoon session in July as Covid-19 cases are receding in various parts of the country. “We also want to find a suitable slot for the monsoon session, keeping in mind the possibilities of the next surge in Covid-19 cases,” a senior Parliament functionary said on condition of anonymity.
The Union government promulgated five ordinances after the budget session had to be wrapped up earlier than scheduled due to the second wave of Covid-19. The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance and The Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance are currently in force.
These ordinances will be taken up on priority as the Constitution gives a window of only six weeks from the beginning of a Parliament session for the move.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected Parliament sessions since March 2020 as it devastated myriad aspects of India’s public affairs and private lives. Last three sessions of Parliament had to be concluded midway while the entire 2020 winter session was cancelled due to the public health crisis.
The passage of many bills got delayed while several discussions, primarily those sponsored by opposition parties, could not be taken up or got merged with other debates as the government managers and parliamentary authorities grappled to slot different agenda in the tight schedule.
Some of the bills pending before standing committees could face delays as the panels virtually couldn’t function for almost two months in May and June due to the Covid-19 situation, the people quoted above said.
The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill: Under the Act, maintenance tribunals may direct children to pay up to ₹10,000 per month for their parents.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill: The Bill seeks measures for strengthening the child protection set-up.
The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill: It provides that every Assisted Reproductive Technology clinic and bank must be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India.
The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Bill: To declare six bodies located in Ahmedabad, Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Raebareli as Institutions of National Importance.