Even as economic slowdown and rising unemployment rates are likely to be flash points between the Opposition and treasury benches in the Winter session of Parliament beginning Monday, the Centre will seek to convert the two Ordinances on reduction of corporate tax rates and ban on e-cigarettes into law, besides seeking to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and Banking Regulation Act to achieve certain stated objectives.
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) Amendments Bill will seek to raise the number of home-buyers who can invoke insolvency proceedings against realty developer and also introduce individual insolvency and cross-border insolvency regimes.
The government will seek to amend the Banking Regulation Act (BRA) and the Co-operative Societies Act to improve the regulatory regime for co-operative banks and prevent the PMC Bank-type crises from recurring. It may also introduce a modified version of the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill to raise the insurance cover for bank deposits from the current Rs 1 lakh.
The Parliament session, which will have 20 sittings, will also consider passage of 36 Bills including a dozen new ones to be introduced. Besides the Bills listed for introduction and passage, seven Bills are listed for withdrawal from Parliament.
On September 20, the government went the whole hog and unveiled a massive fiscal stimulus of Rs 1.45 lakh crore or 0.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP), in the form of surprise, more-than-asked-for tax cuts for the whole of corporate India. It issued an ordinance to give effect to the reduction in corporate tax rate from 30% to 22% (excluding cess and surcharge) for domestic firms and from 25% to 15% for new manufacturing firms.
It issued another ordinance in September to bar the manufacturing and sale of e-cigarettes to effectively ban vaping in the country. The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance 2019 made manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisements of e-cigarettes a cognisable offence. The government has to get Parliament’s approval for the Bills to supersede the Ordinances.
The Bill to amend MSME Act introduces a uniform classification for all MSMEs. Under the Bill, all MSMEs, whether they are manufacturing or service-providing enterprises, will be classified on the basis of their annual turnover, not on investment criteria. The extant definitions were brought in 2006 and have since become dated due to inflation.
Among other Bills, the government will introduce the Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019 will amalgamates the Trade Unions Act, 1926, the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 to streamline employment related issues including retrenchment. However, it is likely to be referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee before taken up for approval later. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to amends the Code to include a chapter on cross boundary insolvency.
Source: Financial Express, November 18, 2019