Although the winter session of Parliament beginning on Friday will be a short one, it could nonetheless be productive for business and financial matters.
Although the winter session of Parliament beginning on Friday will be a short one, it could nonetheless be productive for business and financial matters. As per the current schedule, the session will end on January 5, 2018. There will be a total of 14 sittings. The agenda for legislation includes 25 pending Bills for consideration and passing while 14 Bills are listed for introduction, consideration and passing. One Bill is listed for withdrawal. Among the economic and financial-sector Bills to be considered for approval, the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017, seeks to create a resolution corporation to deal with bankruptcy in financial institutions. However, the bail-in provision in the Bill has raised concerns that deposits by customers in a bank could be converted into equity or even written off in the resolution process.
The Bill is aimed at “limiting the use of public money to bail out distressed entities” and the Opposition could raise objections. The government will introduce the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which prohibits certain persons including promoters of defaulting companies undergoing resolution process from submitting a resolution plan. Last month the government issued an ordinance to give immediate effect to the proposed changes. The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes and Protection of Interest of Depositors Interest Bill, 2017, which provides for a central law to deal with unauthorised deposit taking schemes or Ponzi schemes is also on the Centre’s priority list. Also on the agenda is the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013, now pending for about four years.
The Act will be amended to make giving a bribe an offence and also to modify the definition of taking a bribe. There will be one amendment by which investigating agencies will need prior sanction of the appropriate authority in government to investigate officials. The proposed changes assume importance in the light of the recent conviction of former coal secretary HC Gupta in a coal block allotment case. These apart, the winter session may also see amendments to the Factories Act — this would enhance the limit of overtime work hours and empower the central government to make rules related to exemptions from overtime hours. Besides, the government intends to introduce the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which deals with issues related to the delay in resolution of cases where cheques have bounced. The new rules, if approved by Parliament, would allow appellate courts to direct partial payment of fines or compensation to the payee at the time of filing an appeal.