NEW DELHI: Many Bills are pending because the UPA failed to garner political consensus among its own allies. Some had to be deferred on account of impromptu opposition from the Congress’ own MPs. Both the Educational Tribunal Bill and the Bill to declare the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing at Kancheepuram as an institution of national importance, were deferred due to opposition from Congress members in the Rajya Sabha, where the UPA is in minority.
Among pending Bills, some have been on the backburner since 2004. Some were passed by one of the Houses of Parliament, and are waiting for the approval of the other House. More than one dozen Bills are under consideration of the department-specific standing committees. Human Resource Development Ministry tops the list of pending Bills with as many as 14 education reform Bills. Despite three years in the ministry, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal’s education reforms agenda has not moved one inch. Many Bills, including the Foreign Universities Bill, are pending in Parliament. His rejection of several recommendations of the department-related standing committee triggered resentment from the opposition in Rajya Sabha, including his own party members, and resulted in stalling of the Bills.
As per the government’s list, 10 Bills moved by the Home Ministry are pending in Parliament, including the Communal Violence Bill introduced in 2005. Agriculture ministry too hasn’t done any better. To regulate quality of seeds, the UPA government had introduced the Seeds Bill in 2004 with much fanfare. The Bill is yet to get the nod of the Parliament due to utter lack of coordination within the government. A Bill for effective management, regulation, sale, distribution and use of pesticides—the Pesticides Management Bill of 2008—too, is stuck in the Rajya Sabha.
Three women-oriented Bills: one relating to empowerment, another against sexual harassment at work place, and third to make divorce easy are also pending, with the no one knowing when they will see the light of day.
These apart, the Bill to provide reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies is put on hold in the Lok Sabha, the Constitution (110th Amendment) Bill introduced in 2009 to enhance reservation of women in panchayati raj institutions is also pending. The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010, and the Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at Work Places 2010, too, are pending.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, aimed to establish a fund to pay compensation in the case of persons who have been killed or sustained grievous injuries in hit-and-run motor accidents, is pending in the Parliament since 2007.