Lok Sabha Current Affairs - 2019
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The Lok Sabha has passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 on 20th December 2018, which will replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Bill seeks to enforce consumer rights and to offer a mechanism for complaint redressal related to the deficiencies in goods and services.
Key points about the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018
- The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions will be set up at District, State and National levels as per the bill passed.
- The District Commissions will have the mandate to hear complaints having claim worth one crore rupees. In the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 this limit was 20 lakh rupees.
- The limit of the Commissions’ at the State level enhanced from 1 crore rupees to 15 crore rupees.
- Complaints above 15 crore rupees worth of claim will be settled by the National Commission.
- The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 has provisions for stringent punishments in the matters of food adulterations.
- The Bill has the provisions to protect those consumers who use new digital technologies likes e-commerce and online shopping.
- The Bill seeks to establish a central consumer protection authority (CCPA) which will be tasked with promoting, protecting and enforcing consumer rights.
The main objective of the said bill is to protect of the interests of consumers and to provide effective administration and timely settle consumer disputes. Now, the bill will move to Rajya Sabha for passage.
Lok Sabha has passed Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 on 19th December 2018 to protect surrogacy in the country. The bill has banned commercial surrogacy and allows only altruistic surrogacy. The bill protects the rights of the surrogate mother and the child born from surrogacy and promotes ethical surrogacy. Surrogacy is defined as an agreement between a couple who cannot conceive and a surrogate mother to carry their child.
Provisions of Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016:
- The bill is applicable to all the states of India except Jammu and Kashmir.
- The bill provides the constitution of National Surrogacy board and State Surrogacy board for regulation of surrogacy process.
- The bill is providing surrogacy to only Indian citizens. Thus, Foreigners, NRI and PIOs are not allowed.
- Homosexuals and Single parents are also not allowed for surrogacy and bars the couple who already have children
- The couple seeking surrogacy should possess a certificate of essentiality issued by appropriate authority.
- The bill provides that women can only surrogate once in her lifetime and her age should be in between 25 to 35 years.
- The couple who intend for surrogacy should be aged between 23 to 50 years and married for at least 5 years.
- The bill also provides provision for the custody of the child to be born which will be passed by a court of the Magistrate of the first class or above.
- The bill contains the provision of penalty and imprisonment if the person violated the law.
National Surrogacy Board
The board consists of:
- Chairperson – Minister in-charge of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
- Vice Chairperson – Secretary to the Government of India in-charge of Department dealing with surrogacy matters.
- Members – Three women members of Parliament, Three members of Ministries of Central government from Women and Child Development, Legislative Department in Ministry of Law and Justice and Ministry of Home Affairs not below the rank of Joint Secretary, Director-General of Health Services of Central Government and ten experts members.
The bill was first introduced in Lok Sabha as The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 on 21 November 2018. In 2017, it was then referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare. 102nd report of the bill was placed in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha last year.
The surrogacy which includes sale or purchase of human embryo or gametes or surrogate mother. If the surrogate mother will be rewarded remunerations or financial benefits other than medical expenses.
The surrogacy which includes no financial benefits to the surrogate mother other than medical expenses. It includes insurance coverage for the mother and protects the ethics of society.