Even as the first Parliament session of the new central government led by Narendra Modi is scheduled to begin on July 7, several Bills belonging to the health and pharma sectors are waiting for the Parliament’s final nod. Several of these Bills have been pending for quite some time for introduction in Parliament.
The major Bills which have been waiting for the Parliament’s final nod included NBRA Bill, ART Bill, HIV/AIDS Bill, Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research on Human Subjects Bill, Central Drug Authority (CDA) Bill, Medical Devices Bill, etc.
But according to sources, the chances of any of these Bills getting the final nod from Parliament in this Budget session is very bleak as the law-makers will be busy in transacting the budget related businesses as it is the first budget of the new government. The Parliament session which begins on July 7 will be on session till August 14. The general budget is scheduled to be presented on July 10.
Among these bills, the NBRA Bill that seeks to establish Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India to regulate research, import, transport, use of organisms and product produced from modern biotechnology has repeatedly been finding a place in the tentative list for transaction of business for the last several sessions of Parliament. It may find a place in the next session also. The Bill also seeks to make NBRA as an independent, autonomous, statutory agency to safeguard the health and safety of the people of India and to protect the environment by identifying risks posed by, or as a result of, modern biotechnology, and managing those risks through regulating the safe development and deployment of biotechnology products and processes in the country.
Another bill, which was in fact almost through, was the CDA Bill which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in August last year and then was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee. The panel, which submitted its report in December, has virtually turned down most of the main proposals, putting the government in a spot to redraft the bill.
The long pending HIV/AIDS Bill, which seeks to stop the discrimination against the people living with HIV, was introduced in Rajya Sabha in February this year, thus making it alive though the term of the Parliament ended without passing it. As the Bill has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha, it would not lapse even though the term of the Lok Sabha came to an end and a new team has come to power. It is now expected to go to the parliamentary standing committee on health and family welfare for their recommendations.
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