Reforms push: govt introduces 4 key Bills in Lok Sabha

K. R. Srivats New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 07, 2015


Pertaining to atomic energy, potable alcohol, bonus payments and commercial disputes

Four key economic Bills that would validate the reformist credentials of the Modi-led Government were introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday. These Bills sought to bring in legislative changes in atomic energy, potable alcohol, commercial disputes and bonus payments.

Bonus payments

abour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya introduced a Bill to enhance the eligibility limit for bonus payment from ₹10,000 per month to ₹21,000. Also, the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill 2015 seeks to raise the calculation ceiling from ₹3,500/month to ₹7,000/month or the minimum wage for the scheduled employment, whichever is higher. If this enhanced ceiling is adopted, then it may lead to additional ad hoc bonus payout of ₹3,128 crore to employees of the central government, the Railways and the postal department (productivity-linked bonus).

Atomic energy

The Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill 2015 seeks to widen the scope of a ‘government company’ so as to enable the formation of joint venture companies between Nuclear Power Corporation of India and other PSUs for civil nuclear power projects in the country.

The Bill also seeks to enable the Centre to issue licences to such joint venture companies to set up nuclear power plants, take measures for their safe operation and ensure disposal of nuclear material.

It also provides for cancellation of licence in case the licensee ceases to be a government company.

Potable alcohol

A Bill to bring industries engaged in the manufacture of ‘potable alcohol’ under the total and exclusive control of States in all respects was also introduced in the Lok Sabha.

However, the Centre would continue to be responsible for formulating policy and regulating foreign collaboration (foreign direct investment and foreign technology collaboration agreements) for all products of fermentation industries, including industrial and potable alcohol.

This Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill 2015 was introduced by Commerce and Industries Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Centre is conforming to the Supreme Court diktat in the Bihar Distillery versus Union of India case, wherein it held that where the removal or clearance is for industrial purposes (other than manufacture of potable alcohol), the levy of excise duty and all other control should be with the Union Government.

Commercial disputes

Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda introduced a Bill that would pave the way for constitution of commercial courts at the district level.

This Bill — which seeks to replace an existing ordinance promulgated in October this year — would lead to the setting up of a commercial appellate division in all High Courts to hear the appeals against the orders of the commercial courts and the orders of the commercial division of the High Court.

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Published on December 07, 2015
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