Vishnu Padmanabhan examines the key bills passing through India’s parliament that may affect domestic and international businesses

As India’s economic growth slows, almost everyone is clamouring for reforms. In India’s parliamentary democracy, any reform or major policy change will come through legislation. Typically, legislation or bills are formulated by the ministry concerned, approved by the cabinet and then introduced in either the Lok Sabha (lower house) or Rajya Sabha (upper house).

Following a bill’s introduction, it is usually referred to a departmentally related standing committee. The committee rigorously examines the bill, seeking the opinions of experts, practitioners and the public before submitting a report with recommendations. Most committees typically try to submit a report on a bill within three months of its introduction, but in practice the process takes much longer.

After the standing committee report has been tabled, the bill is debated and voted on. For a bill to become law, it has to be passed by both houses (except money bills, which only require approval from the Lok Sabha). Currently 109 bills from almost every sector are pending in parliament. Some of these bills are particularly significant for domestic and international businesses.

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Vishnu Padmanabhan is an analyst covering the finance and energy sectors at PRS Legislative Research, an independent organization in New Delhi, providing non-partisan research support and analysis to members of parliament.

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