The only Bills you need know.
The Model Shops & Establishment Act 2016
This Bill, which was quickly passed as an Act, allows malls, shops, theatres and other establishments to remain open 24/7 for 365 days if they choose to. Not only is this Act estimated to add about 6% to India's $600bn annual retail market, but it also allows for women to be employed on a night shift. The Act isn't binding on all states, but fingers crossed they'll pass it soon too.
Whistleblowers Protection (Amendment) Bill 2015
This amended version of the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2011 is seen as counter-productive by many civil society members, who believe that the list of ‘don't’s in the Bill will discourage anyone from blowing the lid off corruption in the system.
The Maternity Benefit Bill 2016
A version of this Bill existed in 2015 but this one's an improvement.
Fully-paid maternity leave was extended from 12 weeks to 26 weeks (even for adoptive mums!), and it extends this provision to the private sector too.
This 1860’s-era law criminalizes homosexual activity. LGBT activists strongly oppose this law and after a series of landmark judgments, the Supreme Court has created a special judicial bench to rethink this portion of the Indian Penal Code.
Road Transport & Safety Bill 2014
This Bill aims to bring about much-needed transparency in the transport sector. It will also heavily penalize rash driving and those who are serial offenders.
The Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code 2016
This legislative reform is considered the next big thing after the GST Bill! As PM Modi's 'Start-Up India' gains momentum, this Code will expedite the winding up of a company and relax the norms for starting a new one.
Juvenile Justice Bill 2015
After a series of rape cases, especially the 2012 Nirbhaya tragedy in Delhi, India decided to take a firmer stand against atrocities committed by young adults. The Juvenile Justice Bill was passed in both houses of Parliament during the 2015 Winter Session and besides outlining how to deal with criminal children, it also makes adoption processes easier for abandoned/orphaned kids.
Hartal Regulation Bill
This Bill gives the Kerala government power to regulate protests in the state, by making it mandatory for worker unions to provide a prior notice before organizing a hartal.
Goods & Services Tax Bill 2014
Because it will simplify taxation in India, corporate India really hoped that the GST Bill would be passed as promised by the NDA government. After much debate (especially in the Rajya Sabha), the Bill was finally passed in August 2016 and will be effective from April 1st, 2017 onwards.
Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill 2015
This Bill was passed by the Gujarat government thrice since 2003 but the President has refused to give it his assent each time. The Bill inflates the power of law enforcement agencies in fighting terrorism.