Types of bills in the Indian Parliament

15 Jul 2021  Read 278 Views

A Bill is a proposal for the legislation which becomes an act or law when duly enacted. Every bill has to pass through stages in each House. The Bills introduced in the Parliament are of two kinds- private bills and public bills. Although all the bills are governed by the same procedure in the House, they can differ in various respects.

The Bills introduced in the Indian Parliament are of four types:

  • Money Bill

  • Financial Bill

  • Ordinary Bill

  • Constitution Amendment Bill

Money Bill

Money bills are those Bills that contain the provisions dealing with all the matters specified in Article 110 of the Constitution of India. These bills are mainly concerned with the financial matters like public expenditure and taxation. A money bill shall be introduced in the Lok Sabha only with the permission of the President of India. The bill cannot be rejected by the Rajya Sabha. It can be detained in the Rajya Sabha for not more than 14 days after which it is sent to the President for his approval. The President cannot return the bill for reconsideration, where as in the case pf the other types of Bills of the Parliament, there is an option of returning the bill to the House for reconsideration. The provisions mentioned in Article 110 are:

  • Imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax.

  • The regulation of the borrowing of money by the Union Government.

  • Custody of the consolidated fund of India or the contingency fund of India.

  • Appropriation of money out of the consolidated fund of India

  • Declaration of any expenditure charged on the consolidated fund of India or increasing the amount of any such expenditure

  • Receipt of money on account of the Consolidated Fund of India or the public account of India or the custody or issue of such money, or the audit of the accounts of the Union or of a state

However, a bill is not to be deemed as a money bill by reason only if it provides for:

  • The imposition of fines or other penalties

  • The demand or payment of fees for licenses or for services rendered

  • The imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax by any local authority or body for local purpose. 

If the question of whether a bill is money bill or not, then the decision of the speaker of the Lok Sabha is considered to be final. His decision in this matter cannot be questioned in any court of law or in any of the House of the Parliament or even the President of the country. When a money bill is transmitted to the Rajya Sabha for the recommendation and presented to the President for assent, the Speaker endorses it as a money bill. 

Role of Rajya Sabha while passing the Money Bill

The Rajya Sabha has restricted powers with regard to the money bill.

  • Rajya Sabha has the power to make recommendations on the bill.

  • Rajya Sabha cannot reject or amend the bill.

  • Rajya Sabha can sit on the bill for a maximum period of 14 days after which it must return the bill to Lok Sabha, with or without recommendations. The Lok Sabha can either accept or reject any or all the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha.

In cases, where the Lok Sabha accepts the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha, then the bill is deemed to be passed in both the Houses of the Parliament. If the Rajya Sabha fails to return the bill to the Lok Sabha within 14 days, then the bill is considered to be passed by both the Houses. Hence, in matters of money bill, Lok Sabha is vested with more powers than the Rajya Sabha. 

Finally, when the bill is presented to the President, he has the power to either give assent to the bill or withhold his assent, but cannot return the bill for reconsideration. 

Financial Bill

Financial Bills are those that deal with the fiscal matters including revenue and expenditure. However, the Constitution uses the term financial bill in a “technical sense”. The different kinds of financial bills are:

  • Money Bills- Article 110

  • Financial Bills (I)- Article 117 (1)

  • Financial Bills (II)- Article 117 (3)

This implies that all money bills are financial bill but all financial bills are not money bills. A money bill is considered to be a financial bill when it exclusively contains those matters that are mentioned in Article 110 of the Indian Constitution.

Financial Bills (I)

A financial bill (I) contains not only any or all matters mentioned in Article 110, but also the matters of general legislation, that is, a bill that contains borrowing clause but does not deal exclusively with borrowing. A financial bill (I) can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha and not in Rajya Sabha. Like the money bill, the financial bill (I) can be introduced only with the permission of the President. Since the bill is governed by the same legislative procedure that applies to the ordinary bill, it can be either amended or rejected by the Rajya Sabha. If there is a disagreement between two Houses of the Parliament over a bill, there is a provision of joint sitting to resolve the matter. Once the bill is presented to the President, he can either give assent or withhold his assent to the bill or return the bill for reconsideration.

Financial Bill (II)

A financial bill (II) contains the provisions related expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India but does not include any of the provisions of Article 110. Similar to financial bill (I), this bill is also governed by the same legislative procedure that applied to the ordinary bill. The only difference in the case of financial bill (II) is that it cannot be passed by either of the House of the Parliament unless the President has made recommendations to that House for the consideration of the bill. If there is a disagreement between two Houses of the Parliament over a bill, there is a provision of joint sitting to resolve the matter. Once the bill is presented to the President, he can either give assent or withhold his assent to the bill or return the bill for reconsideration.

Ordinary Bill

Ordinary bills are those that are concerned with any matter except the financial matters. All the ordinary bill has to complete the following stages in the Parliament:

  • First Reading: During the first stage, the bill is introduced in either House by either a minister or by any other member. The member who wants to introduce the bill asks for the leave of the House. Once the leave is granted by the House, the bill is introduced by reading its title and objectives. In this stage, no discussion on the bill takes place. After this the bill in published in the Gazette of India. The introduction of the bill and publication in the Gazette is known as the first reading which constitutes the first stage.

  • Second Reading: The second reading is considered an important stage in which the bill not only receives a general but a detailed scrutiny. It is during this stage that the bill assumes its final shape. There are three further sub-stages:

  1. Stage of General Discussion- During this stage, the House can take any of the following actions:
    • May take the bill into consideration immediately or fix a specific date for the same

    • May refer the bill to a select committee of the House

    • May refer the bill to a joint committee of the two Houses

    • May circulate the bill to public opinion

  2. Committee Stage- The committee examines the bill and proposes amendments without altering the main principles. After the completion of discussions, the committee sends the bill back to the House.

  3. Consideration Stage- After receiving the bill, the House considers the provisions of the bill. Each provision is discussed upon and voted individually.

  • Third Reading: The third reading is considered to be a procedural stage in which no further amendments are allowed as the main principle of the bill has already been examined in the previous stage. In case the bill is gets a majority vote, the bill is regarded as passed by the House.

The bill is deemed to be passed only if both the Houses have agreed to it, with or without any amendments.

Constitution Amendment Bills

Article 368 deals with the Constitution Amendment Bills. Article 368 provides for two types of amendments, however, in India three types of amendments are followed:

  • Amendment by simple majority.

  • Amendment by special majority

  • Amendment by special majority and ratification of half of the state legislatures.

Conclusion

When any bill is passed by both the Houses of the Parliament, it will be introduced before the President of India for his assent. The President has the power to either return the bill for reconsideration or give or withhold his assent in the case of all the bills except for the Constitution Amendment Bill in which he is bound to give his assent.

About the Author: Antalina Guha | 29 Post(s)

Antalina Guha, is in the  5th year of B.A. LL.B course in Ajeenkya DY Patil University, with a core interest in Intellectual Property Rights and Criminal law.

Liked What You Just Read? Share this Post:

Finology Blog / Constitutional Developments / Types of bills in the Indian Parliament

Wanna Share your Views on this? Comment here: