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Fresh Round of Reforms Likely after State Polls

Fresh Round of Reforms Likely after State Polls / By Admin


Officials say govt giving final shape to 2 labour codes, National Medical Commission & GST bills


The government may usher in a fresh round of reforms after the ongoing assembly elections in five states, when Parliament reconvenes for second half of the budget session, two senior officials said.


Some of the key bills that are being given final shape to be tabled in Parliament include two labour codes, the National Medical Commission Bill and the draft goods and services tax (GST) bill, paving way for sweeping changes in the health, labour and financial sector. The next few months could also see some executive decisions like the National Energy policy, the model Contract Farming Act and further easing of ecommerce guidelines and liberalising of foreign direct investment rules, a senior government official said.


The government had put on hold some of the big legislative as well as executive decisions over the past few months in the wake of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.


While labour ministry is gearing up to get Cabinet nod for the two labour codes on wage and industrial relations before it introduces them in the Parliament, NITI Aayog\'s National Medical Commission bill is being vetted by law ministry, following which it will also go to the Cabinet for approval.


The second half of the budget session would begin from March 9.


The government official told ET that important legislations and executive decisions could send a strong message of the government's commitment towards reforms. Finance minister Arun Jaitley had attempted to reaffirm his government\'s commitment toward reforms in his budget speech when he said legislative reforms will be undertaken to simplify, rationalise and amalgamate the existing labour laws into four codes.Labour ministry has decided to amalgamate 44 labour laws into four codes that include code on wages, code on industrial relations, code on social security, and code on safety, health and working conditions. Of the four codes, those on wages and on industrial relations would be brought up during the upcoming Parliament session.


“The tripartite committee has worked. I will be meeting the ministers in this connection next week; after that it will go to the cabinet for approval before becoming a law. I am confident of introducing these two codes in this session,“ labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya had said recently.


Another senior government official overseeing the progress of the National Medical Commission Bill, 2016 told ET that the reforms in the health education system is one of the top priorities of this government. “PMO is personally overlooking this legislation and we hope to see it coming up soon,“ the second official said.


The draft GST bill, that will replace central, state, interstate and local taxes with a single, nationwide, value-added tax on goods and services, will also be taken up for consideration and passage by Parliament. Besides, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant-led high-level committee is relooking into ecommerce guidelines, including issues related to foreign direct investment (FDI), and hopes to give it a final shape while the long pending national energy policy could take a final shape by middle of next month after more than a year.


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