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Parliament Day 7: Judicial pensions close productive LS week

PRS Legislative Research’ Trina Roy reports that parliament met for its seventh sitting of the Session on Friday (4 December).

Discussion on the High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service (Amendment) Bill was initiated in Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to ensure uniformity in pensions and other conditions of service of Supreme Court and High Court Judges.

Rajya Sabha saw disruptions during the first half of the day as opposition benches protested against remarks previously made by a Minister. 

During the second half, both houses took up discussion on Private Member Bills.  Members across political parties participated in the debates.

Highlights from the week:

- Productivity of Lok Sabha is at 113%, while Rajya Sabha’s is at 76%, as of yesterday.

- Lok Sabha passed two Bills: The Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill and the Bureau of Indian Standards Bill.

- Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha had discussions on the extent of damage caused due to North West monsoon and the flood situation in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

- - Lok Sabha also undertook a discussion on situation arising out of incidents of intolerance in the country.

The Electricity Amendment Bill is currently pending in Parliament and is listed to be taken up during the Session.  The Bill amends the Electricity Act, 2003. It seeks to segregate the distribution network business and the electricity supply business, and introduce multiple supply licensees in the market.

For detailed understanding on the Bill, please read our analysis here.

The Bill requires the presence of a government company as a supply licensee in an area of supply. This may affect competition. Currently, state distribution companies often keep tariffs lower than the cost of electricity. If this behaviour by a government owned supply licensee continues, it may drive out other supply licensees. This could defeat the objective of increasing competition.

You can also watch our video on the Bill here to understandthe other key features and related issues.

In the recent past, several initiatives have been taken to address the challenges in the power sector. These include structural changes in the regulatory framework as proposed by the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014, and more recently, the UDAY scheme to address financial issues being faced by companies distributing electricity.

In this context,we present an overview of the status of the electricity sector and the challenges it continues to face in our vital stats document.

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