Jan Vishwas Bill: More trust, less suspicion

Source– The post is based on the article “Jan Vishwas Bill: More trust, less suspicion” published in “The Indian Express” on 11th August 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Polity

Relevance: Important Bill and Acts

News– Recently, Jan Vishwas Act was introduced in Parliament.

How is Jan Vishwas Bill a positive step in the direction of boosting investment and economy?

The investors are concerned that businesses are highly vulnerable to legal action and imprisonment. The Jan Vishwas Bill aims to alleviate such concerns.

The inclusion of criminal liability in numerous laws has fostered suspicion toward private enterprises.

A total of 183 provisions across 42 Central Acts will undergo decriminalization. The goal is to ensure that the severity of punishment aligns with the gravity of the offense.

The elimination of punitive measures will be positively received by companies. They are fearful of receiving notices that could lead to arrests of their key management personnel for even the slightest infractions.

These notices to directors also impact the company’s public image on a global scale, particularly considering SEBI’s strict disclosure guidelines.

This legal reform will also ease the burden on the judicial system. These cases congest the court system. Companies enlist high-profile lawyers to defend them. Consequently, more serious offenses that require thorough examination by the courts get pushed aside.

The recent legislation comes at a timely juncture.

Amendments are being made to the Marine Products Export Development Authority Act, the Farm Produce (Grading and Marking) Act, the Rubber Act, the Tea Act, and the Spices Board Act to mitigate the severity of consequences for violating specified regulations.

Similarly, removing the criminal provision from the Forest Conservation Act that allowed for the arrest of grazers whose livestock entered forest areas will align the law with the objectives of the Forest Rights Act.

Way forward-

The amendment within the legal framework is essentially a way to enable transformative shifts.

There is a need to modify the regulations to align them with the intended objectives of the law, while also maintaining a balance between safeguarding public interests and those of the industry.

The elimination of unnecessary provisions and the initiative to decriminalize are measures that will enhance people’s trust in the government.

This trust is a prerequisite for attracting investments and for halting the outflow of capital from the country.

As a nation on the cusp of becoming the third-largest economy, it’s crucial that laws are continuously assessed, modified, or even revoked.

The government should remain vigilant against violations that jeopardize lives or harm the environment. However, it’s equally vital to honor those who contribute taxes and generate wealth.

Business and industry associations should now advocate for the decriminalization of inappropriate provisions in financial and corporate laws.

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