- Education And Career
- Companies & Markets
- Gadgets & Technology
- After Hours
- Banking & Finance
- Energy & Infra
- Case Study
- Web Exclusive
- Property Review
- Digital India
- Work Life Balance
- Test category by sumit
The Jan Vishwas Bill And Good Governance Measures
“India needs to shed the baggage of antiquated laws that adversely affect developmental trajectory. With the advent of technology and changes in the socio-economic scenario, it is essential to unshackle the bygone mindset in this Amrit Kaal of independent India.” said the bill
Photo Credit :
The Jan Vishwas Bill was introduced in the Parliament's winter session by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal. Many changes have been introduced in this session, following which Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill 2022 was placed. This bill holds a special place because it amends provisions that already present some other laws, making them better.
The government said the bill will decriminalise minor offences in 42 Acts administered across 19 ministries in a consolidated form. The 108-page bill proposes to amend 183 provisions across 42 Acts. It proposes decriminalisation of a large number of minor offenses with monetary penalties. If each of these 42 laws were to be amended separately, we would have to amend all of these laws separately. Instead, passing a single bill has been a judicious use of time. The proposed amendments include altering The Boilers Act, The Aadhaar Act, 2016, Legal Metrology Act, 2009, 2016, Public Debt Act, 1940, Public Debt Act 1944, Information Technology Act, 2000; Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2006; Legal Metrology Act 2009; Factoring Regulation Act, 20011, etc.
What do the amendments look like?
- The Press Registration of Books Act, 1867 amended section 8C
- The Indian Post Office Act, 1898 removes Chapter X
- The Boilers Act, 1923 amended section 22, 23, and 24
- The Indian Forest Act, 1927 amended section 26 and 33
- The Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act, 1937 section 3,4, and 5 have been amended
- The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 section 30 and 32 amended
- The Public Debt shall omit section 27
- The Rubber Act, 1947 omitted section 11, 13, and 27
- The Pharmacy Act, 1948 amended section 26 and 41
How will the government decriminalise minor offenses?
Given the stringency of the laws in India, it becomes very difficult for businesses to comply with them. When minor offences serve as a deterrent to these business ventures, they will not be considered of criminal nature. The government has instead increased monetary penalties for these offences. This is a big relief for industrialists who will now have more reasons to work fearlessly. Another key provision of the bill will be an increase of 10 per cent of the final penalty levied on business owners instead of jail time. Given the easy hand of the government, it will bolster trust-based governance among people.
This is in line with the present government's popular belief of 'minimum government maximum governance' from the beginning of their tenure. “India needs to shed the baggage of antiquated laws that adversely affect developmental trajectory. With the advent of technology and changes in the socio-economic scenario, it is essential to unshackle the bygone mindset in this Amrit Kaal of independent India.” said the bill. This means minimum interference of government while giving maximum facilities. Not grouping every move as a part of a criminal offence is part of it. There are some other key provisions as well, including the fact that government can appoint adjudicating officers for the purpose of determining penalties. The adjudicating officers may summon individuals for evidence, and conduct inquiries into violations of the respective acts. The Bill also specifies the appellate mechanisms for aggrieved parties by the order passed by the adjudicating officer.
Prior to 2016, India's rank of India in Ease of Doing Business World Bank, India was ranked above 120, which is 63 in 2020. The ranking has nearly halved in a short time, and these reforms are being touted as one of the moves that will further decrease India's rank. While the Ease of Doing Business ranking is not discontinued it still serves as a testimony to the right steps taken by the government. The Jan Vishwas Bill is a step in this direction.