A Step Forward

Ease of doing business is receiving well deserved attention from the Government of India. Series of measures have already been taken to build up an environment of trust and confidence. This has been done by revoking some archaic laws to simplifying compliances and bringing in some semblance of uniformity. The latest in this direction is the introduction of Bill no 299-Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2022 in the Parliament. This happened on 22nd December 2022.

 As per reports the Bill is aimed at promoting ease of doing business by decriminalizing minor offences in 42 Acts administered by 19 ministries and rationalizing monetary penalties depending on the gravity of the offences.

It is reported that the fear of imprisonment for minor offences is a major factor hampering the growth of the business ecosystem and individual confidence.

 The Bill is put forward by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) after receiving recommendations from industry bodies and key stakeholders. The 108-page Bill as introduced in the Lok Sabha proposes to amend 183 provisions across 42 Acts administered by 19 ministries. It proposes to decriminalize a large number of minor offences by replacing them with monetary penalties. 

It proposes amendments to the Acts, that include- The Boilers Act; The Aadhar Act, 2016; the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, Public Debt Act, 1944; Pharmacy Act, 1948; Cinematograph Act, 1952; Copyright Act, 1957; Patents Act, 1970; Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; Trade Marks Act, 1999; Railways Act, 1989; Information Technology Act, 2000; Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002; Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006; and Factoring Regulation Act, 2011, among others. 

 As per reports the Bill has been referred to a 31-member joint Parliamentary committee for scrutiny. The committee is expected to submit its report to parliament by the second part of the Budget session in 2023.

Introduction of the Bill demonstrates Government’s resolve to take forward the agenda of reformation. One more step towards achieving the bigger goal of Developed India.

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