Proceedings in Rajya Sabha: RS passes seven key bills

The Rajya Sabha today passed seven key bills including the crucial Essential
Commodities (Amendment) Bill. In one of its most productive days, the House passed the bills after a number of opposition parties staged a walkout and decided to boycott proceedings of the House till the suspension of eight members is revoked. The Bills passed today are ‘The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020’, ‘The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020’, ‘The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020’, ‘The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020’, ‘The
National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020, ‘The Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020’ and ‘The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020’. First, it passed a bill to declare five newly-established Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) as institutions of national importance. The crucial Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which removes cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities and
removes stockholding limits on them, was passed next. This bill is part of the agriculture reforms bills that the government is pushing to raise farm incomes. The bills passed on Sunday gave farmers the freedom to sell produce anywhere in the country and enter into forward contracts with companies. Rajya Sabha also passed amendments to the Bank Regulation Act to bring cooperative banks under the supervision of the RBI in a bid to
protect the interest of depositors. Thereafter the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which removes the penalty for certain offences, was passed. The National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020 and the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill were also passed in quick succession. Thereafter, the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020 to relax time limit on compliance with tax laws, GST payment and filing in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The Essential
Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 as well as the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020 replace emergency ordinances. The sitting of the Rajya Sabha was extended by just over an hour beyond the scheduled time to allow the passage of the bills. All the seven bills have already been passed by the Lok Sabha.