Parliament winter session: Govt holds back data protection, competition bills

The winter session of Parliament, which will have 17 sittings, will begin on December 7 and will consider 16 new bills and seven pending bills

Indian Parliament. winter session
The Opposition has been alleging that the drastic fall in Adani Group shares on Indian exchanges has put public money in danger.

The winter session of Parliament, to be held between December 7 and December 29, will consider 16 new bills and seven pending bills. The short session will have a total of 17 sittings.

Tighter regulation of multi-state cooperative societies, revision of scheduled tribes’ list in a few states, repeal of redundant laws and a globally compatible trademark registration system are among the bills to be introduced in this session.

Missing from list

Surprisingly, the government has not listed the amendment to the Competition Act for the session. The amendment bill – which had been introduced in the Lok Sabha during the monsoon session – would make it mandatory for high-value mergers and acquisitions to be notified to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) if the deal value is over Rs 2,000 crore.

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The highly awaited Digital Personal Data Protection Bill too is missing from the list. The bill, the draft of which is out for study and feedback, was expected to be introduced in this session and was likely to run into the opposition, which has given enough signals that it wants the bill to be referred to a joint parliamentary committee for further study.

Also read: A look at draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022, and what it proposes

Similarly, another key legislation — on overhauling the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) – too is not listed for debate and passing.

Supplementary demands

As per the schedules notified by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the government will table supplementary demands for grants, seeking permission for spending more than originally planned for the current financial year.

The Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022, seeks to strengthen the governance, transparency and accountability in cooperative societies and reform their electoral process. It also seeks to improve the monitoring mechanism and ease of doing business for these entities.

The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2022 Bill seeks to repeal redundant and obsolete laws, according to the Lok Sabha secretariat website.

Bills for passage

Among new bills to be tabled is the Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which seeks to incorporate certain aspects of the Madrid Registration System. The Madrid system allows a person to get trademark rights worldwide with a single application. Incorporating this in the Indian law is expected to step up the intellectual property protection offered by India. India signed the Madrid protocol in 2013.

Also read: New Telecom Bill is flawed; it overlooks monopolies, allows surveillance

Another Bill, which was reviewed by a joint committee of the Parliament—the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021—will also be taken up for passage along with the Mediation Bill, 2021 which was also reviewed by a House panel.

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