An all-party meeting will be held tomorrow to discuss the fate of new Motor Vehicles Bill which aims at bringing radical reforms in the transport sector. The meeting of leaders of political parties in the Rajya Sabha will take place in the chamber of Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien announced in the House today. The meeting on the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was scheduled today but could not take place because of scheduling issues. The bill seeks to amend nearly 30-year old Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last year but got stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the Opposition members demanded that it be sent to the Select Committee of the House for proper scrutiny.
At tomorrow’s meeting, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari is expected to allay apprehensions regarding various provisions of the bill. The bill aims at brining radical reforms in the transport sector like heftier fines for traffic rules violations, improve licensing system and check bogus licenses. Kurien said, “There were lot of objections and Opposition to some of the clauses of Motor Vehicle Bill. I myself suggested to LoP (Leader of Opposition) that he may discuss with Minister that he can accommodate some of the views. Later I understand that the Minister (Gadkari) himself was ready to accommodate.”
Some of the members including AIDMK’S Vijila Sathyananth said her party leader were unable to attend the meeting today to which Rajeev Shukla (Cong) suggested that it should be postponed for tomorrow. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said there is no objection to it from the government provided the minister is available. Earlier, Gadkari on July 24 has requested for convening the all-party meeting of the Upper House members to allay any apprehensions regarding the bill.
The Minister has said that he is ready to accept suggestions from all political parties on the bill as “it is not a political agenda, and his ministry is looking to transform the sector where about 30 per cent licenses are bogus.” Gadkari has expressed sadness over 1.5 lakh deaths on Indian roads every year and hoped that the government will be in a position to check this with stringent laws. The Congress and the DMK in the Rajya Sabha on July 24 had demanded that the bill be referred to a Select Committee of the House for proper scrutiny.
Anand Sharma (Cong) had said that the issue was discussed in the Business Advisory Committee and many parties had raised concerns and reservation that the Standing Committee suggestions were not accepted fully. Standing Committee on Transport and Tourism has already examined the Bill. The bill is aimed at ushering in multi-fold hike in fine for traffic violations, compensation of Rs 5 lakh for grave injuries, and check bogus licenses and vehicle thefts.