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The complexities and burdens of excess compliances on businesses has kept India on lower among other countries, as could be ascertained by the World Bank’s reports on Ease of Doing Business. Although over the years India has improved its ranking (from rank 132 out of 185 countries in 2013 to rank 63 in 2020) but still there is scope of improvement in terms of reducing excessive compliances and decriminalising minor offences. In order to overcome these challenges the Jan Vishwas Bill 2022 has been proposed

Credits – KNN India

The bill aims to amend 42 laws.  These Acts include the Indian Post Office Act, 1898, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991, and the Information Technology Act, 2000 among others.

Among the major changes, the bill converts several fines to penalties removing the angle of court prosecution, removes imprisonment as a punishment for certain offences and also provides for a mechanism for adjudicating penalties by introducing posts of adjudicating officers and appellate authorities.

The key acts that this bill aims to amend are –

  • Indian Post Office Act, 1898
  • The Indian Forest Act, 1927
  • The Copyright Act, 1957
  • The Patents Act, 1970
  • The Environment(Protection) Act, 1986
  • The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
  • The Railways Act, 1989
  • Information Technology Act, 2000

The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 22 December 2022 and was then referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the same day. The JPC has submitted its report on 17 March 2023 with certain recommendations. Recently the Cabinet has approved the amendments to the bill based on the recommendations of the JPC which seeks to decriminalise 183 provisions in 42 Acts.

As India is emerging as a global power and has been seen as a country for the future, this Bill would not only promote India’s global vision and ease of doing business but would also turn out to be fruitful in terms of global trust and investments.

Note – The bill can be found on the official website of the Parliament – ‘Sansad’