Important bills for Winter session-II (With: Government to push for anti-corruption bills, deal with divisions over Telangana)

Thirty-nine bills are on the government’s agenda for the second half of the winter session beginning Wednesday. Of these, six are finance bills.

Some of important bills pending:

* The womens reservation bill. It’s a constitutional amendment bill that seeks to reserve one-third of all seats for women in parliament and the state legislative assemblies.

* Anto-vommunal violence bill. While the official list released by government does not mention it, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Monday included this controversial bill in the list of important bills for the session. It makes bureaucrats and public servants accountable for any acts of commission and omission while handling communal violence.

* The Telangana bill provides for creating a separate state of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh.

* Rights of persons with disabilities bill provides for five percent reservation in public sector jobs and makes the private sector more accountable for creating a disabled-friendly environment. It provides incentives for the private sector to take such measures.

* The street vendors bill aims to protect the livelihood rights of street vendors as well as regulate street vending through demarcation of vending zones, conditions for and restrictions on street vending.

Anti-graft bills:

* The public procurement bill seeks to regulate and ensure transparency in procurement by the central government and its entities. It exempts procurements for disaster management, for security or strategic purposes and those below Rs.50 lakh. The government can also exempt, in public interest, any procurements or procuring entities from any of the bill’s provisions.

* The Prevention of Corruption Act (Amendment) Bill. Under this, an investigating agency may have to seek prior permission from the government before questioning a retired bureaucrat in a corruption case. The provisions aimed at protecting retired bureaucrats will come into effect only after parliament gives its nod to the changes in the Prevention of Corruption Act (Amendment) Bill, 1988.

* The prevention of bribery of foreign public officials and officials of public international organisations bill provides a mechanism to deal with bribery among foreign public officials (FPO) and officials of public international organizations (OPIO). India had signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption on December 9, 2005. The bill is necessary for ratifying the convention.

* The judicial standards and accountability bill lays down enforceable standards of conduct for judges. It also requires judges to declare details of their and their family members’ assets and liabilities. Importantly, it creates mechanisms to allow any person to complain against judges on grounds of misbehaviour or incapacity.

* The right of citizens to time-bound delivery of goods and services and redressal of their grievances bill seeks to create a mechanism to ensure timely delivery of goods and services to citizens. Every public authority is required to publish a citizens charter within six months of the commencement of the act. The charter will detail the goods and services to be provided and their timelines for delivery.

* The whistleblowers protection bill.