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Speaker holds all-party meet

Posted on Feb 20, 04:46PM | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 20 : In a bid to ensure a smooth budget session beginning Thursday, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar Wednesday met leaders of political parties.

The government apprehends disruption of the house over issues like the tainted VVIP chopper deal, food prices and the hanging of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

A long list of legislative business lies ahead for the government in the session, with a total of 55 bills, including financial bills, listed.

There are 16 new bills listed for introduction while 35 which had been introduced earlier are there for consideration and passing. Four new bills are also listed to be passed in this session.

Important bills in this session

New Delhi, Feb 20 : A long list of legislative business lies ahead for the government as parliament meets for the budget session beginning Thursday -- there are a total of 55 bills on the agenda, including the finance bill.

This includes 35 bills for consideration and passing.

Four bills including the Finance Bill, 2013 are listed for introduction, consideration and passing.

The government plans to introduce 16 new bills.

Here is a quick glance at important bills listed:

The Finance Bill, 2013 - The most important business for this session, the finance bill is to provide approval to government expenditures.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013 - It is perhaps the most awaited bill in this session, which will amend Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to make stringent laws against rape and violence against women. It will replace an ordinance passed by government, based on the findings of the Justice Verma committee, which was formed following the rape and death of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 (as passed by Lok Sabha and as reported by Select Committee) The most prominent of the group of anti-graft bills on the anvil, this bill establishes an ombudsman Lokpal in the centre, and asks states to establish Lokayuktas. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha at the fag end of the winter session of 2011. A select committee of the Rajya Sabha, however, suggested changes in the bill, which were incorporated and approved by the union cabinet. It will now be presented to the Rajya Sabha, and once approved by the upper house, it will have to be sent again to Lok Sabha for approval of the changes.

The Whistle Blowers Protection Bill - Passed by the Lok Sabha, this crucial bill provides safeguard for whistle blowers, prohibiting the disclosure of their identity.

Grievance Redressal Bill - This bill makes it mandatory for every public authority to publish a citizens' charter within six months of the commencement of the Act. The Charter will detail the goods and services to be provided and their timelines for delivery.

Reservation in services to SCs/STs (The Constitution (One Hundred and Seventeenth Amendment) Bill, 2012) - Passed by the Rajya Sabha, this controversial bill makes provisions to amend the constitution to provide reservation in promotions in government jobs.

Women's Reservation Bill (The Constitution 108th Amendment Bill) - Commonly known as the Women's Reservation Bill, it seeks to reserve one-third of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies. It also provides that one third of the total number of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall be reserved for women of those groups. The bill was passed in Rajya Sabha in March 2010.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal)Bill - The Bill defines sexual harassment at the work place and creates a mechanism for redressal of complaints. It also provides safeguards against false or malicious charges. It has been passed by the Lok Sabha.

The National Food Security Bill - The Bill proposes foodgrain entitlements for up to 75 percent of the rural population, and up to 50 percent of urban population.

The Educational Tribunals Bill - The Bill seeks to set up Educational Tribunals at the national and state level to adjudicate disputes involving teachers and other employees of higher educational institutions and other stakeholders such as students, universities and statutory regulatory authorities.