Great Responsibility, Greater Expectations: The Monsoon Session

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Monsoon Session

The monsoon session of the Parliament has convened starting Monday in Delhi, with the Prime Minister thanking all concerned in their stand with regards to the Kashmir violence and bringing the attention to the passage of the GST bill (in the Rajya Sabha). While many have criticised the choice of words, the 9th sitting of the present Lok Sabha comes as a culminating point for many issues which have plagued the Indian Polity over the last few months.

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This session will see nine bills for consideration and six bills to be introduced in the well of the house. Here are some of the bills listed and expected –

  1. The GST bill

Much talked about and much awaited, the Goods and Services Tax bill has been under the media glare for some time now. With the opening moves made into this domain under the Vajpayee government in 2000, the GST bill is to harmonise the existing structure of indirect taxes by subsuming them under a common header. This would help eliminate the cascading effect of taxes between different states charging a varied rate of taxes. While it was pushed under the Congress regime with vigour, Prime Minister Modi has historically been against the GST bill till the time he came into power. With the change in government in the Centre, the Bill found a new backer in the PM who has since gone all out to secure the passage of the bill.

  1. Recovery of Debts bill

With the recent debate over the looming crisis in the financial institutions and banks and the very publicised debacle of Vijay Mallya, a sitting Rajya Sabha MP who left the country under a cloud and now is refusing to return to face charges related to financial irregularity, the Recovery of Debt bill is set to help in recovery of assets pledged as collateral for bank loans in case of a default under a set time frame with the help of the District Magistrate concerned. This comes in at a time when various cases related to debt recovery were highlighted in the media, from the flight of Vijay Mallya and many other big businesses with outstanding and no demands for repayments loans to the suicides committed by small and medium farmers and repayments required by government controlled banks.

  1. Indian Medical Council bill

Attempts to regularise the admission processes for various medical colleges, both private and public, meeting a dead end due to various reasons; the Supreme Court order jarred the bureaucracy with its order to implement the common admission test for medical colleges under NEET (National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test). In response to this, seeing the logistical challenges which were against implementing the exam at such short notice, the President of India had issued an ordinance circumventing the SC order and giving a breather to the states. This bill comes in to change the same ordinance to law, giving it the blessing of the Indian Parliament.

  1. The use and regulation of DNA technology bill

The use and regulation of DNA technology for use in Civil, Criminal proceedings, identification of missing persons and human remains would set up the DNA Profiling Board and a National DNA bank, allowing for a central registry of DNA sets for people. This is to help in bringing in the use of DNA technology in criminal cases (which is still in its nascent stages in the country) and also sets the stage for a more significant use of biometric systems in the country.

Ranveer Raj Bhatnagar

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