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All About Jan Vishwas Bill

In News: Recently Lok Sabha on approved the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, which seeks to decriminalise.....

In News: Recently Lok Sabha on approved the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, which seeks to decriminalise small infractions, as a ground-breaking measure for increasing the ease of doing business. In December of last year, the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry initially presented the legislation being considered to the Parliament.

What is Jan Vishwas Bill 2023?

  • It seeks to redefine the regulatory landscape of the country with decriminalisation of minor offences under 42 Acts to reduce compliance burden and promote ease of living and doing business in the country.
  • It was tabled in Parliament by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry last year and later referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) for review.
  • The JPC presented its report with recommendations to Parliament during the Budget Session.
  • As per reports, most recommendations of the JPC have been approved by the Union Cabinet, clearing the way for its passing.

Key Highlights:

  • On December 22, 2022, the Lok Sabha introduced the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2022.
    • Its aim is to reduce the compliance burden on individuals and businesses and to promote ease of doing business.
  • “The Parliamentary Joint Committee, which was formed to engage in extensive discussions with stakeholders, has conducted six readings of the Bill.
    • It has been intended to present the Jan Vishwas Bill to Parliament during the ongoing Budget session when it reconvenes in mid-March.
  • Under the Bill, as many as 183 sections across 42 Acts under 19 Ministries are proposed to be amended.
    • These include the Indian Post Office Act, the Environment (Protection) Act, the Legal Metrology Act, the Motor Vehicles Act, the Public Liability Insurance Act and the Information Technology Act, 2000, among others.

Some key laws covered in the Bill

  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
  • The Indian Forest Act, 1927
  • The Agricultural Produce (Grading & Marking) Act, 1937
  • The Information Technology Act, 2000
  • The Copyright Act, 1957
  • The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
  • The Cinematograph Act, 1952
  • The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, etc

Salient provisions of the Bill

  • Decriminalising: 180 offences across 42 laws governing environment, agriculture, media, industry and trade, etc.
  • Completely remove/ replace imprisonment clauses: With monetary fines.
  • Compounding of offences in some provisions.
  • Removes all offences and penalties under the Indian Post Office Act, 1898.
  • Changes in grievance redressal mechanisms: Appointment of one or more Adjudicating Officers for determining penalties.
  • A periodic revision of fines and penalties: An increase of 10% of the minimum amount every 3 years for various offences in the specified Acts.

Significance of the Bill

  • Reducing compliance burden gives impetus to business process reengineering and improves ease of living of people.
  • It would accelerate investment decisions due to smoother processes and attracting more investment.
  • The Bill is also aimed at reducing judicial burden. As per the National Judicial Data Grid, out of a total of 4.4 crore pending cases, 3.3 crore cases are criminal proceedings.
    • Settlement of a large number of issues, by compounding method, adjudication and administrative mechanism, without involving courts, will save time, energy and resources.
  • To summarise, the Bill seeks to bolster ‘trust-based governance’.

What are the Concerns?

  • The monetary fines or penalties are not a good enough attempt at ‘decriminalisation’. Hence, the Bill undertakes ‘quasi-decriminalisation.
  • The blanket removal of imprisonment provision might also remove the deterrence effect of the environmental legislation, especially for large corporations profiteering from the offence.
  • Adjudicating Officers may lack the technical competence necessary to decide all penalties under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and the Environment (Protection) Act 1986.
  • Many offences proposed to be removed in the Bill have nothing to do with its objective of decriminalisation to promote ease of doing business – like theft or misappropriation of postal articles.


  • Decriminalization of minor offences will not only ensure that disproportionate punishment is not meted out for advertent and inadvertent wrongdoings that could be considered ‘minor’, but would also de-clog the courts.
  • In addition to the Parliamentary Joint Committee conducting meetings with stakeholders, multiple Ministries and Departments have been directed to engage with various associations and provide their inputs.
  • While the current version of the Jan Vishwas Bill is fairly comprehensive, any necessary minor changes or additions may be made based on the feedback received.
Let’s Get back to Basics
Types of Bills in Parliament
How Does a Bill Become an Act?

Ques 1: What is the Lok Sabha in the Indian parliamentary system?
a) Upper house of the Indian Parliament
b) Lower house of the Indian Parliament
c) State legislature in India
d) Judicial body in India
Answer: b) Lower house of the Indian Parliament

Ques 2: What is the maximum strength of the Lok Sabha in India?
a) 245 members
b) 552 members
c) 250 members
d) 1000 members
Answer: b) 552 members

Ques 3: How is the Speaker of the Lok Sabha elected?
a) Appointed by the President of India
b) Elected by members of the Rajya Sabha
c) Elected by members of the Lok Sabha
d) Nominated by the Prime Minister
Answer: c) Elected by members of the Lok Sabha

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