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Banking Bill to be considered this session
July, 24th 2006

The monsoon session of Parliament will see nine Bills including the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) and Financial Institutions Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2006 being taken up for discussion and passage.

Speaking to newspersons on the eve of the session, which begins from Monday and will conclude on August 30, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, said that the Bill proposes to increase the number of wholetime directors in banks from two to four. It also envisages making Government share transferable.

In May the Union Cabinet had approved amendments to the Bill with a view to providing more flexibility to the board of directors and improving corporate governance in banks.

This Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 16 last year. Thereafter it was referred to the Standing Committee of Parliament on Finance for examination. The Committee recommended some modifications.

The Amendment Bill will bring the operations of nationalised banks in tune with the changed scenario and modern business practices.

During the session, the Government Securities Bill, 2004 will also be taken up for consideration and passage.

This Bill proposes to replace the existing Public Debt Act, 1944 and repeal the Indian Securities Act, 1920.

Apart from the two Bills during the session the Parliament is also going to consider the Food Safety & Standards Bill, 2005, which proposes to bring about a single statute relating to food. It also envisages establishing Food Safety & Standards Authority of India. Besides, this it proposes to pool infrastructure, manpower and other facilities for the sector as well as lay down standards based on science, transparency and consultation.

Office of Profit

The Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Bill, 2006 which proposes to include certain offices in the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 so as to exempt the holders of such offices from incurring disqualification will also be taken up for discussion and passage, the Minister said.

The re-introduction of the Office of Profit Bill in the original form means no disrespect to the high office of the President, Mr A.P.J. Kalam, who had sought some changes in it, he added.

The Minister said that there would be no hurdle in passing the Bill that would be considered by the Business Advisory Committee of the Rajya Sabha on Monday and subsequently presented in the Upper House on Tuesday. "It should be carried as such and re-passed by Parliament."

Another Bill to be taken up for consideration and passage is the Central Silk Board (Amendment) Bill, 2005. Supplementary Demands for Grants (General) for 2006-07 and for the Railways would also be passed during the session.

Among the Bills to be introduced during the session are the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2006, the Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2006.

As regards the draft Broadcast Regulatory Bill, the Minister said that the Bill would not be brought in during the session.

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