Parliament Monsoon Session Begins - Here's A Brief Account Of The Key Bills To Be Tabled

Considering the soaring tension between the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Opposition parties ahead of a host of assembly elections this year and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the monsoon session is speculated to be stormy.

Parliament building

The monsoon session of Parliament begins from today. The session commences two days after the formation of the mega Opposition alliance of 26 parties named 'I.N.D.I.A.', which stands for Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance.

The monsoon session is scheduled to conclude on August 11.

Considering the soaring tension between the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Opposition parties ahead of a host of assembly elections this year and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the monsoon session is speculated to be stormy.

At the all-party meet on Wednesday, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the government has said it was willing to discuss issues permitted under the rules and added that it has 31 legislative listed items.

"All the parties want a discussion on Manipur and the government is ready to discuss it,” he added.

Bills to be tabled during monsoon session

It has been reported that as many as 31 major bills will be tabled before Parliament during the Monsoon Session. 

Here's a brief account of the key bills.

Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022

The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 aims to replace the existing Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules. 

The draft of the bill says that it aims at “framing out the rights and duties of the citizen (Digital Nagrik) on the one hand and the obligations to use collected data lawfully of the Data Fiduciary on the other hand”.

However, there is no clarity on privacy protection. 

Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023

The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill of 2023, The Bill seeks to amend the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, which was introduced to contain uncontrolled and unregulated use of forest land for various non-forestry uses.

The new bill aims to provide exemption for the lands “situated within a distance of 100 km along international borders or Line of Control or Line of Actual Control,” for “construction of strategic linear projects of national importance and concerning national security”.certain categories of land from the purview of the Act, for instance, the land within 100 km of India’s border, which the government aims to utilise for national security projects and other non-forestry amenities.

It has been reported that the opposition members raised an alarm over exemptions extended to significant tracts of land in the draft legislation.

The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023

The amendment bill seeks to decriminalise minor offences by amending 183 provisions in 42 Acts with a view to promote ease of business.

It amends 42 laws, across multiple sectors, including agriculture, environment, and media and publication.

It also envisages converting fines into penalties and removes imprisonment as punishment for many offences under the Post Office Act of 1998.

Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Joint Committee of Parliament cleared The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill and will be tabled in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in the monsoon session.

The bill proposes to amend the existing Biological Diversity Act of 2002, which has its roots in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to ‘enhance’ biodiversity conservation.

However, many stakeholders have opposed it as they fear several loopholes in the law can be misused and defeat its original purpose.

Bill to replace Delhi Ordinance

The parliament is expected to witness trading of heated arguements around the contentious Delhi ordinance, in which opposition parties, including the Congress, have voiced their support for the Aam Aadmi Party as it prepares to oppose the bill.

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 takes over the control of Delhi’s administrative services, the hiring and transfers of the employees. 

The authority used to be with the Delhi government. Voting on the NCT Bill will also be a test of the newly forged Opposition unity.

The other bills which are also ready to be tabled include The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2019, The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019, The Mediation Bill, 2021, The Multi State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022, The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2022.