Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today proposed an all-party meeting to allay apprehensions regarding the proposed Motor Bill that aims at bringing in radical reforms in the transport sector, an official said. The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2017, passed by the Lok Sabha last year, is yet to be passed by the Rajya Sabha. “The Road Transport and Highways Minister has requested the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman to convene an all-party meeting of the Upper House (members) to allay any apprehensions regarding the proposed Bill,” a ministry official said. The meeting is likely to be scheduled on July 26, the official said.
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 licences are bogus.” Gadkari 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 today had demanded that the bill be referred to a Select Committee of the House for proper scrutiny. The bill aims at bringing radical reforms in the transport sector like heavier fines for traffic rules violation, improve licensing system, protect the good Samaritans and check bogus vehicle theft cases. Congress leader Anand Sharma said in the Upper House that the issue was discussed in the Business Advisory Committee last week and many parties had raised concerns and reservation that the Standing Committee’s suggestions were not accepted fully.
The Opposition had made it clear that it needs to be examined by a Select Committee, he said. Thiruchi Siva (DMK) also demanded that the bill be referred to a Select Panel. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi assured the Opposition members that their concerns will be conveyed to the minister concerned. 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 licences and vehicle theft.
The bill, which seeks to amend nearly 30-year-old Motor Vehicle Act 1988, also calls for 100 per cent e-governance and will cap maximum liability for third party insurance at Rs 10 lakh in case of death in a motor accident. The bill was passed by a voice vote in the Lok Sabha last year.