Rajya Sabha Current Affairs - 2019
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The Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has stated that the Central Government expects a 20 per cent decline in road accidents from the current five lakh a year and Parliament’s nod to pending legislation Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill will also help curb the accidents.
Features of the Bill
The features of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 are:
- The bill seeks to redress the difficulties faced in obtaining driving licenses without the help of touts by taking the process online. Tests for driving licences will be automated, and learner’s licences will be issued online.
- The bill provides for an increase of fines for breaking road rules.
- The new law states that driving licence issued to a person under the age of 30 is valid till the person turns 40. For those who receive licences between the ages of 30 and 50, the licence will remain valid for 10 years. If the licence is issued between 50 and 55 years, it will be valid until the person turns 60, and above 55 years, licences will carry a five-year validity.
- The bill defines aggregators as a digital intermediary or market place for a passenger to connect with a driver for the purpose of transportation and makes it optional for the states to follow central guidelines related to the aggregators.
- The bill leaves the regulation of aggregators should be left to states.
- The bill also removes the cap on payments to be made under third-party insurance proposed in the 2016 bill.
- The bill provides for the recall of vehicles if the defective vehicle is a danger to the environment, the driver or other road users. The manufacturer would be required to reimburse all buyers with the full cost of the vehicle, replace the defective vehicle, and if necessary pay a fine as specified by the government.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 has been passed by the Lok Sabha and is pending in the Rajya Sabha.
The government has re-promulgated the Companies (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 to amend the Companies Act 2013. Even though the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018 for this effect was passed in Lok Sabha, it was pending before Rajya Sabha. The ordinance was first issued in November and would have ceased to be operational from January 21. Hence the government has decided to re-promulgate the ordinance.
Features of the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018
The Loksabha had passed the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The bill had important features like re-categorisation of offences, reducing the burden on special courts and bringing down the applicable penalties for small companies, enhancing the jurisdiction of Regional Director for compounding offences, empowers the central government to allow certain companies to have a different financial year instead of being determined by the National Company Law Tribunal among others.
The main objective of the amendment bill was the promotion of ease of doing business along with better corporate compliance.
Promulgation of Ordinance
Article 123 of the Constitution empowers the President to promulgate Ordinances to amend certain laws when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session and hence it is not possible to enact laws in the Parliament.
Ordinances must be must be approved by Parliament within six weeks of reassembling or they shall cease to operate.
Similar power to promulgate the ordinance has been provided to the Governor of the state under Article 213.
Ordinances were provided as a stop-gap arrangement and not as an alternative legislation process. The promulgation of the ordinance is subject to judicial review
Tags: Article 123 • Article 213 • better corporate compliance. • Companies (Amendment) Bill 2018 • Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 • Companies Act 2013 • Ease of doing business • Lok Sabha • Ordinance promulgation • Rajya Sabha