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Law load on winter session

New Delhi, Nov. 16: A heavy dose of legislation awaits the month-long winter session of Parliament beginning on Monday.

However, save the usual pandemonium and adjournments, the session is likely to end on a tame note given that leaders of major political parties are busy campaigning for the Gujarat elections on December 12.

Finance minister Jaswant Singh is expected to make a statement on mid-year economic review and the roadmap of the government’s economic policies for the coming months in view of the budget-making exercise.

As many as 40 Bills — including freedom of information, electoral reforms to prevent criminalisation of politics and right to education — are awaiting clearance. Other Bills expected to be taken up on a priority basis are the Lok Pal, Repeal of IDBI Act (to corporatise the financial institution), the Competition Bill (to move away from monopolies) and the Fiscal Responsibility Bill (to effect fiscal prudence).

Several women-oriented legislations are also on the agenda, like the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill, the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention) Bill and an amendment to the People’s Representation Act seeking to bar those convicted in a Sati case from contesting elections, besides the long-pending Women’s Reservation Bill.

The Right to Education Bill, the controversial Central Vigilance Commission Bill on enhancing powers of the chief vigilance commissioner and the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Bill seeking to put in place a conditional access system for viewing pay channels are other important legislations being pushed through.

The economic Bills likely to come up during the session are Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Bill, and Prevention of Money Laundering Bill.

Other legislation pertaining to economic ministries include four crucial Ordinances amending the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act to give the watchdog body more powers, repealing the UTI Act for its restructuring and a legislation on the operation and maintenance of the Delhi Metro railway. There is also the North-Eastern Council Amendment Bill to include Sikkim in the committee and the Consumer Protection Bill.

Eleven other legislations will also be taken up if cleared by the standing committees of the ministries concerned.

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