Policy

Govt makes surprise introduction of two historic Bills

K.R. Srivats New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on August 10, 2017

Code on Wages Bill 2017 and Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill introduced

Two historic Bills—one consolidating the labour laws around wages and the other introducing specialised resolution process for failing financial services providers—were introduced in Lok Sabha on Thursday, reaffirming the reformist credentials of the Modi-Government.

Besides seeking to amalgamate, simplify and rationalise four central labour enactments relating to wages, the ‘The Code on Wages Bill 2017’ would also widen the scope of minimum wages to all workers (including those in the unorganised sector), Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya told the Lok Sabha while introducing the Bill.

The four central labour enactments relating to wages that are to be amalgamated are the Payment of Wages Act 1936; The Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and the Equal Remuneration Act 1976.

FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS

The Modi Government also took a big step towards ushering in a specialised resolution process for failing financial services providers, thereby contributing to the stability and resilience of financial system.

For this purpose, a new Bill –The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill 2017—was introduced in the Lower House by Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Finance. This Bill was later referred to a Joint Committee of the Houses consisting of 30 members, twenty from Lok Sabha and ten from Rajya Sabha.

The opposition parties MPs in the lower house were clearly upset on two counts—both these Bills were circulated at 9 am on Thursday and secondly the Financial Resolution Bill was being referred to the Joint Committee of Houses instead of it being referred to a Standing Committee on Finance.

At present, there is no specific law in India for resolution of failures of financial services providers. The recently enacted Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 does not automatically cover financial service providers.

This new Financial Resolution Bill will seek to regulate financial service providers including banks (not cooperative banks), insurance companies, financial market infrastructure, payment systems, non-banking finance companies so as to comply with the emerging international norms for establishing effective resolution regime for financial sector, official sources said.

The proposed Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill 2017 together with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 is expected to provide a comprehensive resolution mechanism for the Indian economy with the objective of protecting consumers of specific service providers and public funds, official sources said.

The Financial Resolution Bill will also pave the way for creation of Resolution Corporation and confer on it certain new methods of resolution such as bail-in and bridge service provider.

Also, this Bill provides for designation of certain financial service providers as Systemically Important Financial Institutions.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha on Thursday also gave its nod for a Bill enabling the consolidation of the SBI associate and Subsidiary Banks with the parent bank State Bank of India.

Although the consolidation has been effective from April 1, the legal sanctity for this arrangement is now being provided. Replying to the discussion on this Bill, Santosh Gangwar, Minister of State for Finance, said that with this consolidation State Bank of India has already broken into the global top 50 banks ranking and is now at the 45 th position.

srivats.kr@thehindu.co.in

Srivats.kr@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 10, 2017
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