Amid Opposition protests, Rajya Sabha clears Inland Vessels Bill

Amid persistent sloganeering by the Opposition demanding a dialogue into the Pegasus scandal and the withdrawal of the farm legal guidelines, The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 was cleared by Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The Bill had earlier been handed by Lok Sabha on July 29.

The authorities mentioned the Bill goals to carry uniformity within the utility of regulation referring to inland waterways and navigation inside the nation. Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal mentioned it replaces the “obsolete” act of 1917, and is designed to “encompass trade and transportation by inland vessels throughout the country without any hindrance… The proposed Bill will make the inland waterways sector more attractive to investment resulting in more employment opportunities, more avenues and more economic development in the state”.

However, some members who spoke on the Bill amid the uproar, expressed concern that it encroaches into the powers of state governments.

Arguing that inland waterways transport in India is very underutilised as in comparison with developed nations, TRS’s Banda Prakash mentioned, “This Bill is a unified law for the entire country… Instead of having separate rules and regulations framed by the states the entire control is in the hands of the Centre.”

AIADMK’s M Thambidurai, who was Minister of Shipping and Surface Transport in 1998-99 within the Atal Bihari Vajpayee authorities, mentioned the Bill intends to remove the powers of the state governments. “That is the only objection. I have no objection with regard to the intention of the Bill that you want uniformity and everything. But, if in the name of uniformity, you are taking away the powers of the state governments, then our federal system will collapse.”

In response, Sonowal mentioned fears that the “Central Government would be infringing upon the rights of States to legislate on state list, intrude into the domain of the state legislature and affect the traditional fishermen and movement of their boat, are completely unfounded”.

YSRCP’s Ayodhya Rami Reddy identified that the certificates of registration granted below the proposed regulation can be deemed to be legitimate in all of the states and the Union Territories and there can be no want to hunt separate permission from states.

“We hope that this provision has been enacted with due regard to states’ jurisdiction and in consultation with the line Departments of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. Any loss of revenue must also be compensated for the first five years by the Central Government to the respective states,” he mentioned.

The authorities additionally launched the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021.


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