On Monday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will introduce the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the Lok Sabha, which will decriminalise the possession of a limited quantity of drugs for personal use while regulating certain operations such as the manufacture, transportation, and consumption of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
The Bill will replace the ordinance of the same name, promulgated on September 30 to amend the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 to correct a drafting error, according to PRS Legislative Research.
The move to decriminalise possession of a limited quantity of drugs for personal use is being done with the view to help the victims of drug abuse come out of addiction. The recommendations in this regard were made to the Prime Minister’s office on November 10 by various ministries including from the department of revenue, home ministry, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), social justice ministry and health ministry.
The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021 may also be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
The former, which will be introduced by Union health minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, provides for granting the status of national importance to the six institutes in Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Raebareli.
Two sessions after the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulations) Bill, 2020 was passed in the Lok Sabha by a voice vote, the Union health minister will be introducing the Bill for passage in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. The Bill aims to regulate assisted reproductive technology (ART) services such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) centres, sperm or egg banks etc that have mushroomed across the country.
Dr Mandaviya will also be introducing the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020 in the Rajya Sabha. It was passed by Lok Sabha in August 2019 before it was referred to a Select Committee, which recommended that the ART Bill is brought first, so that all the highly technical and medical aspects could subsequently be addressed in the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019.
The Surrogacy Bill provisions for a National Surrogacy Board that will be involved in policy making and also in supervision, and State Boards that will act as executive bodies.