Farm laws repeal, election laws to salary of judges: 51 bills cleared by Parliament in turbulent year

While the continued protests over the farm laws forced the Modi government to withdraw them, the Parliament was rocked by frequent disruptions and a stern view of the conduct of members in Parliament by the Rajya Sabha Chairman and the Lok Sabha Speaker.

Both Houses of Parliament passed a total of 51 bills this year.

The year 2021 passes off as one marked by controversies and turbulence in the political arena, both outside Parliament and inside it. While the continued protests over the farm laws forced the Modi government to withdraw them, the Parliament was rocked by frequent disruptions and a stern view of the conduct of members in Parliament by the Rajya Sabha Chairman and the Lok Sabha Speaker. Both Houses of Parliament passed a total of 51 bills this year. While anger over the farmers’ protests and high fuel prices led to repeated adjournments during the Budget Session, it was the Pegasus snooping allegation that rocked both the houses during the Monsoon Session. While the Centre introduced the Farm Laws Repeal Bill on the first day of the Winter Session setting a tone for a smooth Parliament session, it was the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs and Lakhimpur Kheri violence that again led to repeated adjournments.

During the Budget Session, a total of 20 Bills (17 in Lok Sabha and 03 in Rajya Sabha) were introduced. A total of 18 Bills were passed by the Lok Sabha and 19 Bills were passed by the Rajya Sabha. The total number of bills passed by both Houses of Parliament was 18. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi had informed that the productivity for the complete Budget Session, 2021 of Lok Sabha was approx 114 per cent and that of Rajya Sabha was 90 per cent.

Here is the full list of Bills passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in 2021:

1) The Mines and Minerals (Developments and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2021 proposes to develop the mining sector to its full potential for faster economic growth.

2) The Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021 aims to achieve the objective of the Government’s FDI policy by raising the limit of foreign investment in Indian insurance companies from the existing 49 per cent to 74 per cent and to allow foreign ownership and control with safeguards.

3) The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 addresses the concerns raised by stakeholders after the enactment of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019.

4) The National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill, 2021 proposes to establish the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development to support the development of long-term non-recourse infrastructure financing in India.

5) The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2021 aims to provide greater autonomy, flexibility to the Major Ports and to professionalise their governance by repealing the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.

6) The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2021 increases the upper gestational limit for termination of pregnancy and strengthen access of woman to comprehensive abortion care without compromising the service and quality of safe abortion.

7) The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2021seeks to provide for regulation and maintenance of standards of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals, assessment of institutions, maintenance of a Central Register and State Register and creation of a system to improve access, research and development and adoption of latest scientific advancement and connected.

8) The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021 amends the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 in respect of the State of Tamil Nadu.

9) The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021 will extend the Act, 2011 for a further period of three years from 01.01.2021 to 31.12.2023.

10) The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 will promote harmonious relations between the legislature and the executive of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

11) The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

12) The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bill, 2021

13) The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation (No. 2) Bill, 2021

14) The Puducherry Appropriation Bill, 2021

15) The Puducherry Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 2021

16) The Appropriation (No.2) Bill, 2021

17) The Appropriation Bill, 2021

18) The Finance Bill, 2021

The Monsoon Session, 2021 of Parliament which commenced on July 19, 2021, was adjourned sine die on August 11, 2021. The Session provided 17 sittings spread over a period of 24 days. During the Session, 22 Bills were passed by both the Houses of Parliament which includes two appropriation Bills relating to the Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2021-22 and the Demands for Excess Grants for 2017-2018. Four Bills replacing the Ordinances, namely, the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2021 and the Essential Defence Services Ordinance, 2021 which were promulgated by the President before Monsoon Session, were considered and passed by the Houses.

20) The National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021: It declares certain institutions of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management to be the institutions of national importance and to provide for instructions and research in food technology, entrepreneurship and management.

21) The Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021: It provides for the development, maintenance and management of aids to navigation in India; for training and certification of the operator of aids to navigation, development of its historical, educational and cultural value; to ensure compliance with the obligation under the maritime treaties and international instruments to which India is a party.

22) The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021: It provides that instead of the court, the district magistrate (including additional district magistrate) will issue such adoption orders. The Bill adds that serious offences will also include offences for which maximum punishment is imprisonment of more than seven years, and minimum punishment is not prescribed or is less than seven years.

23) The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It seeks to help micro, small and medium enterprises significantly, by providing added avenues for getting credit facilities, especially through Trade Receivables Discounting System. An increase in the availability of working capital may lead to growth in the business of the micro, small and medium enterprises sector and also boost employment in the country.

24) The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021: It promotes economical and safe transportation and trade through inland waters, to bring uniformity in the application of the law relating to inland waterways and navigation within the country, to provide for the safety of navigation, protection of life and cargo, and prevention of pollution that may be caused by the use or navigation of inland vessels, to ensure transparency and accountability of administration of inland water transportation, to strengthen procedures governing the inland vessels, their construction, survey, registration, manning, navigation.

25) The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill,2021

26) The Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021

27) The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It proposes to amend the definition of “major airport” so as extend its scope to determine the tariff for a group of airports also, which will encourage the development of smaller airports.

28) The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021

29) The Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021

30) The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It converts certain offences into civil defaults and changes the nature of punishment for these offences. It also defines small LLP, provides for the appointment of certain adjudicating officers, and establishment of special courts.

31) The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It enables easy and time-bound access by depositors to their own money, even when there are restrictions on banks. It is proposed to provide that even if a bank is temporarily unable to fulfil its obligations due to restrictions such as moratorium imposed on it, depositors can access their deposits to the extent of deposit insurance cover through interim payments by the Corporation.

32) The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It seeks to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes in relation to the State of Arunachal Pradesh.

33) The Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021: The Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021 has replaced the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021. The Bill has not only abolished five appellate tribunals which are the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, Airports Appellate Tribunal, Authority for Advanced Rulings, Intellectual Property Appellate Board and the Plant Varieties Protection Appellate Tribunal. It has also introduced changes in the terms of service of the tribunal officials.

34) The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It provides that no tax demand shall be raised in future on the basis of the said retrospective amendment for any indirect transfer of Indian assets if the transaction was undertaken before 28th May, 2012.

35) The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It seeks to amend the Central Universities Act, 2009 inter alia to provide for the establishment of a University in the name of “Sindhu Central University” in the Union territory of Ladakh.
The General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021: It provides for greater private participation in the public sector insurance companies and to enhance insurance penetration and social protection and better secure the interests of policyholders and contribute to faster growth of the economy.

36) The National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021

37) The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021

38) The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021: It seeks to adequately clarify that the State Government and Union territories are empowered to prepare and maintain their own State List/ Union territory List of socially and educationally backward classes.

39) The Appropriation (No.3) Bill, 2021

40) The Appropriation (No.4) Bill, 2021

The Winter Session, 2021 of Parliament which commenced on November 29, 2021 and was adjourned sine die on December 22, 2021. The Session was curtailed one day earlier than scheduled on completion of Essential Government Business. The Session provided 18 sittings spread over a period of 24 days. During the Session, 13 Bills (12 Bills in Lok Sabha and 1 Bill in Rajya Sabha) were introduced. 11 Bills were passed by both the Houses of Parliament which includes one Appropriation Bill relating to the Supplementary Demands for Grants for the year 2021- 22. Three Bills replacing the Ordinances, namely, the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 (9 of 2021), the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 (10 of 2021) and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Ordinance 2021(8 of 2021) which were promulgated by the President before Winter Session, 2021 were considered and passed by the Houses.

41) The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021: In view of protests by a group of farmers, the bill was introduced and passed to repeal the three farm laws namely, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 passed by Parliament in September, 2020 with the objective of overall development of farmers.

42) The Dam Safety Bill, 2021: It provides for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of the specified dam for prevention of dam failure related disasters and to provide for an institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

43) The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2021: It provides for the establishment of the National Board, the State Boards and the National Registry for the regulation and supervision of the assisted reproductive technology clinics and the assisted reproductive technology banks, prevention of misuse, safe and ethical practice of assisted reproductive technology services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

44) The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2021: It provides for regulation of surrogacy services in the country, to prohibit the potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and to protect the rights of children born through surrogacy.

45) The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It provides to bring clarity that the institutes established as well as any other similar institute to be established under the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Act shall be institutes of national importance and to establish a central body, to be called the Council to ensure coordinated development of pharmaceutical education and research and maintenance of standards, etc. and also to rationalise the Board of Governors of each such institute and to widen the scope and number of courses run by such institutes.

46) The Appropriation (No.5) Bill, 2021

47) The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021: It provides benefit of additional quantum of pension to a retired Judge from the first day of the month in which he completes the age specified in the first column of the scale and not from the first day of his entering the age specified therein as so interpreted by the High Courts.

48) The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It provides for an extension of the tenure of Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation by up to one year at a time in the public interest, till the completion of five years in total including the period mentioned in the initial appointment.

49) The Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It was brought to provide for an extension of the tenure of Director of the Directorate of Enforcement by up to one year at a time in the public interest, till the completion of five years in total including the period mentioned in the initial appointment.

50) The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It is aimed at rectifying the anomaly in section 27A of the Act by substituting’ clause (viiib)’ in place of ‘clause (viiia)’ in section 27Awith a view to have correct interpretation and implementation of the NDPS Act.

51) The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It provides for linking of electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem to curb the menace of multiple enrolments of the same person in different places.

During Budget Session, the Lok Sabha sat for a total of 24 sittings that lasted for 132 hours while the assembly’s productivity stood at 114 per cent. The productivity of the Rajya Sabha was 90 per cent with 104 hours of functioning. In the 2020 Budget Session, the productivity for the complete Budget Session, 2020 of Lok Sabha was approximately 90 per cent and that of Rajya Sabha was 74 per cent. According to PRS Legislative, during the Monsoon Session, the productivity of Lok Sabha was just 21 per cent (21.3 hours) while that of Rajya Sabha was 28 per cent (29 hours). During 2020, the productivity of the Lok Sabha was approximately 167 per cent and that of Rajya Sabha was approximately 100.47 per cent during the Monsoon Session, 2020. During the winter session, the productivity of Lok Sabha was approximately 77 per cent (83 hours) while that of Rajya Sabha was approximately 43 per cent (46 hours). The Winter Session didn’t take place during 2020 due to COVID-19.

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