Indian Parliament
Indian Parliament.Reuters File

The Narendra Modi-led NDA government will table 56 Bills – mostly on economic agenda – in its first Parliament winter session beginning Monday. The session, starting Monday, 24 November 2014, will continue for 22 working days and end on 23 December.

The ruling government will introduce 37 Bills and table 19 others during the 22-day long session. These include a number of economic Bills, some of which are on the top of Modi government's agenda.

The top list reportedly includes the significant Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008, seeking to raise foreign investment limits from 26% to 49%, according to The Wall Street Journal report.

One of the major Bills to be tabled in Parliament during this session includes the Constitution Amendment Bill 2011 or GST Bill. This Bill, if approved, will allow amendments to the Indian Constitution that would lead to reforms in tax policies to boost manufacturing and the passage of the long-delayed Goods and Services Tax Bill.

The Anti-Hijacking (Amendment) Bill, 2010 will be tabled once again to allow "death penalty and other strict punishments for those who unlawfully or by force seize an aircraft", and will also introduce Indian Institutes of Information Technology Bill, 2014.

The government will also table Repealing and Amending Bill, 2014, which will allow it to discard some of the outdated laws and amendment acts. Besides this, the Modi-government aims at passing the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which will allow opening of a central university in Bihar.

The Coal Regulatory Authority Bill, 2013, is also on the table this winter session. After the coal scam during the UPA government, the Modi government seeks to set up an independent body which will monitor the supply and pricing of fuel and eventually put an end to state monopoly.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, will also be introduced by the government. The Bill seeks to appoint an independent anti-corruption ombudsman at the national-level parallel to anti-graft agencies at the state-level. The Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha during the last winter session; and awaits approval in the Lok Sabha.

 The two Labour Reform Bills—the Labour Laws Amendment Bill and the Apprentices (Amendment) Bill are also on the anvil amid expected opposition as Congress does not seem to agree with introducing the labour Bills right away in the Parliamentary session.

"We do not have a blanket opposition to reforms. But on these (labour) Bills we need to talk to labour unions first and take them on board," Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh told Hindustan Times.

The BJP government is not just going to face the heat from Congress during the session, other parties, including JDU, CPI-M, BSP, TMC and SP are also likely to raise objections to several Bills – significantly to FDI hike in insurance.

Amid strong opposition, Shiv Sena's support in the Parliamentary session would bring some relief to the NDA government. "Differences in Maharashtra will have no bearing on Sena's relations with BJP at the Centre," The Times of India quoted Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut as saying.

"Since we are in NDA at the Centre, we will support the government. We will be with the government as we have been so far and will go by the priorities of the government," he added.

 Despite several parties ready to oppose some of the Bills this winter session, Modi is reportedly optimistic about the end results of the Parliamentary session.

Quick Links