Bills and Acts in Current Affairs 2017

Summary of latest bill and acts passed or pending in 2017 in Parliament of India with their salient features and issues for Current Affairs 2017 preparation for various examinations.

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Union Cabinet approves Proposal to introduce the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill 2017

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to introduce a Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017 which will provide a comprehensive resolution framework for financial sector entities to deal with bankruptcy situation in banks, insurance companies, and other entities.

Salient Highlights

The bill will pave way for the establishment of Resolution Corporation. The Resolution Corporation would be mandated to protect the stability and resilience of the financial system; protecting public funds; protecting the consumers of covered obligations up to a reasonable limit.

Once enacted, the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance, Bill 2017 will result in repealing of the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961 and repeal/amendment of other resolution related provisions in sectoral acts. With the repeal of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961, the deposit insurance powers and responsibilities will be transferred to the proposed Resolution Corporation.

The new bill will complement the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016  by providing a comprehensive resolution framework for the financial sector. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 was enacted recently to deal with the insolvency of non- financial entities.

The bill envisages to inculcate discipline among financial service providers in the event of financial crisis. It is expected to maintain financial stability in the economy by limiting the use of public money to bail out distressed entities. It will put in place adequate preventive measures and at the same time proposes to provide the necessary instruments for dealing with an event of financial crisis

The bill is proposed to be enacted to strengthen and streamline the current framework of deposit insurance and to decrease the time and costs involved in resolving distressed financial entities.

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Law Ministry clears Kambala Bill

The Union Ministry of Law and Justice has cleared the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill 2017, and thus legalising kambala. The bill will now be sent to the President for getting his assent.

Background

In November 2016, the Karnataka high court had banned the kambala along with bull-cart race in the state while hearing a case filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) citing animal cruelty. The high court had stayed these traditional sports in view of the Supreme Court’s ban on jallikattu, a traditional bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu.

Following protests by people and kambala organisers, Karnataka Assembly had passed Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017 on February 13, 2017 to allow kambala, the traditional buffalo race and bullock-cart racing.
In April 2017, the Union Home Ministry asked the state government to modify or omit the phrasesubject to such other conditions as may be prescribed” in the sub-section 2 of section 3 of the Bill as this phrase would make it possible for the state government to include more sports involving animals through government notifications in the future. The state government made the modifications and sent it back to the union government.

Kambala

Kambala is the traditional slush track buffalo race that is held annually in coastal districts of Karnataka to entertain rural people of the area. Slushy/marshy paddy field track is used for Kambala. The sports season generally starts in November and lasts till March. The contest generally takes place between two pairs of buffaloes, each pair race in two seprate wet rice fields tracks, controlled by a whip-lashing farmer. In the traditional form of Kambala, buffalo racing is non-competitive and buffalo pairs run one by one in paddy fields. Besides, there is also ritualistic approach as some agriculturists race their buffaloes as a means to thank the god for protecting their animals from disease. But in recent times, Kambala has become an organised rural sport.

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Real Estate Act comes into effect

The Real Estate Act which aims to protect the interests of homebuyers by ensuring transparency has come into effect. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) has asked all the states and Union Territories to implement the Act with letter and spirit. Since land is a state subject, real estate sector comes within the ambit of the state governments.

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2016 was passed by Parliament in March last year. Partially, the act came into force on 1 May last year with 59 of 92 notified sections of the act coming into force. The remaining provisions have come into the force now. Already the act has been notified by 13 states and Union Territories including Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Delhi, Daman and Diu.

Salient Provisions

Buyers and developers of real estate property can seek relief by approaching Real Estate Regulatory Authorities against violation of the contractual obligations and other provisions of the Act.

The act provides for the mandatory registration of projects and real estate agents.

The act mandates depositing 70% of the funds collected from buyers in a separate bank account for construction of the project. The funds could be withdrawn only for construction purposes.

The act prescribes penalty on developers if the project is delayed. The project developers are required to disclose the project details on the website of the regulator and need to provide quarterly updates on construction progress.

Under the act, the Regulatory authorities are required dispose of complaints in 60 days and Appellate Tribunals will be required to adjudicate cases in 60 days.

Significance

The act will ensure transparency and accountability in the real estate sector. It will enhance the consumer confidence and will benefit the whole sector. It will help to attract more investments into the real estate sector and may also open gates for FDI. This act will aid in the effective implementation of projects such as Hosing for All by 2020 and Smart City.

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