The Winter Session of the Parliament will commence from November 18 and conclude on December 13 said the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs on Monday, October 21. The Ministry has also communicated to the Secretariats of both Houses of Parliament. The days and sittings of the session will soon be officially announced by the CCPA. They will also discuss the legislative agenda for the upcoming Parliamentary session.
The schedule for the session was discussed at a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) in the National Capital headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The committee, headed by Singh, also included Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other senior Cabinet Ministers from Bharatiya Janata Party along with their allies.
According to reports, a number of bills are likely to be taken up during the Winter Session. Further, two crucial ordinances are on the list to be converted into law during the session.
One ordinance reducing the corporate tax rate for new and domestic manufacturing companies to arrest slowdown in the economy and boost growth was issued in September to give effect to amendments in the Income Tax Act, 1961 and Finance Act, 2019. The second ordinance, also issued in September, banned the sale, manufacture and storage of e-cigarettes and similar products.
After scrapping the provision of the Indian Constitution's Article 370 which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the Modi government is likely to table Uniform Civil Code Bill, which mandates implementing a common set of laws for all Indian citizens irrespective of their faith, in the winter session of the Parliament. The Centre intends to make the UCC a reality by early next year. The UCC Bill is part of NDA government's nationalistic outlook for 'One India'.
Last year, the Winter Session had begun on December 11 and it was the last full-fledged Parliament session ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2019. The Winter Session of Parliament ended on January 9, 2019. The session had 20 scheduled sittings, of which 17 were held. Further, Rajya Sabha met for an additional day at the end of the session. In Lok Sabha, 49 MPs were suspended by the Speaker for five sittings for wilfully disturbing the House. This is the penultimate session of the 16th Lok Sabha, with the interim budget to be presented in the next session ahead of the upcoming general elections.
During the Session, 17 Bills (12 in the Lok Sabha and 05 in Rajya Sabha) were introduced. The Lok Sabha passed 14 Bills and while the Rajya Sabha passed 04 Bills during the session. 05 Bills were passed by both the Houses of Parliament. A list containing the titles of the Bills introduced, considered and passed during the Session is annexed. At the beginning of this session, 23 Bills were listed for consideration and passage, and two for withdrawal.
An additional 20 Bills were listed for introduction, consideration, and passage. Altogether, 16 Bills were introduced and four Bills were passed by both Houses. The Bills passed by one House include (i) the Surrogacy Bill, 2017, and (ii) the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016. During the Session, Second Batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants of Rs 15,065 crore for 2018-19 and the related Appropriation Bill, was introduced, discussed and passed by the Lok Sabha.
The Lok Sabha also passed two important Bills namely the Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Three Bills replacing the Ordinances, namely, (i) the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2018 (ii) the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 and (iii) The Companies (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 which were promulgated by the President, were considered and passed by Lok Sabha. The Bills are presently in Rajya Sabha.
Due to disruptions, this session saw the lowest number of non-legislative discussions in the 16th Lok Sabha. Two general discussions were held on: (i) issues relating to the Rafale deal, and (ii) imposition of President’s rule in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
(With agency inputs)