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Ratification of 11 ordinances on agenda for Monsoon Session

With indications of the beginning of the Monsoon Session of Parliament in the second week of September, the government is learnt to have planned to clear 11 ordinances on priority amid the opposition's attempt to keep it on backfoot over the Galwan Valley incident in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

Most of these 11 ordinances will lapse if not passed in the upcoming session of Parliament as the Winter Session is held in December.

These include, the Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 promulgated by the President Ram Nath Kovinid on April 9; the Salaries, Allowances and Pensions of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 promulgated on April 7; the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 promulgated on April 22; the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, promulgated on June 5; the Farmers Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, promulgated on June 5; and the Farmers (Empowerment And Protection) Agreement On Price Assurance And Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 promulgated on June 5.

The Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 promulgated on April 24; the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 promulgated on April 24; the Taxation And Other Laws (Relaxation Of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020 promulgated March 31; the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 promulgated on June 6; and the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance promulgated on June 26 are the other ordinances passed by the Union Cabinet so far this year.

These ordinances are aimed at boosting the economy, empower rural India through the welfare of farmers engaged in agriculture and allied activities, protection to frontline warriors against physical attacks when the pandemic crippled almost all sectors amid lockdown.

Almost five to six of these ordinances will expire if not passed in the Monsoon Session.

Ordinances are temporary laws that are promulgated by the President of India on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet, which will have the same effect as an Act of Parliament. An ordinance has a life of six months. But from the day a session begins, it has to be replaced by a bill which should be passed by Parliament within six weeks, else it lapses.

The government is at liberty to promulgate the ordinance if the bill fails to get through Parliament. They can only be issued when Parliament is not in session.

Several key legislations will be listed by the government for business in the Monsoon Session for which a Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) meeting will be held next week if it is not held on Friday, said a Parliament official.

As no written communication has been received so far by the two Houses of Parliament from the central government, officials of the two parliamentary secretariats are not yet sure of the date for commencement of Parliament's Monsoon Session, though they expect it to begin in the second week of September as it has to be held on or before September 22.

The Budget Session had ended on March 23, and the maximum six-month gap between two sessions, as per the mandate of the Constitution of India, ends on September 22.

The opposition, mainly Congress is preparing to attack the government on various issues including the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the killing of 20 Indian army men during face-off with soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June..