Its been a year of debate, disappointments, mudslinging, and some hard-fought victories when it comes to policies. Various arms of the Indian government and regulatory bodies, including the Supreme Court, Reserve Bank of India, and of course, the Sansad, were part of the tamasha.
This roundup will help you manage your expectations for governance and regulation going into 2019.
We now have a drone policy
Implemented only earlier this month, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had announced its policy for remotely piloted aircraft, also known as drones, earlier this year. Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permits (UAOP) will be issued to trained remote-pilots by the DGCA, while guidelines have been set to limit harm to lives and damage to property.
Biz strategy of e-commerce giants to be affected by new bill
The online retail industry is set to undergo a harsh makeover as a result of the new e-commerce regulations and FDI norms announced towards the end of December 2018. Deep discounts that are characteristic of prominent platforms with deeper pockets and strategic deals with labels might be a thing of the past, as the government looks to promote homegrown, desi e-commerce platforms.
Bill takes stance against human trafficking
In a year plagued by #MeToo accusations coming to the fore, protecting women, transgenders, children, and other members of the sexually vulnerable population became very important to citizens and policy-makers alike. The Anti-Trafficking Bill was introduced in parliament by Woman and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, and was passed a long and hard-fought battle.
Labour rights have been front, up and centre
Labour rights have received much attention in 2018, with a focus on the massive informal sector in the country.
After over a decade of persuasion and pressure from NGOs and unions, a centralised policy for domestic workers was given the green signal. Benefits like minimum wages, leave quotas, and maternity leaves were mandated by the policy, which will benefit a sector that has a lot of female participation, especially with vulnerable socio-economic backgrounds.
Moreover, the government has also promised social security to about a 100 million workers in 2019. Farmers and manual labourers are expected to benefit from this move, which was based on the recommendations provided by the 2012 Suresh Tendulkar Committee poverty-line report. It is to be implemented in phases.
Watch out for these policy moves in 2019
‘Unloving’ sons and daughters who abandon or abuse their elderly parents could end up in jail for upto six months according to a proposal by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
The government is set to announce a bio-fuel in aviation policy which will help reduce oil imports, according to Transport minister, Nitin Gadkari. This will be complemented by a revised Goods and Services tax rate.
28 years since the New Economic Policy set the ball rolling for liberalisation, privatisation, and globalisation in India, the commerce ministry has prepared an action plan and sent the final draft for Cabinet approval for its replacement. The focus of the draft industrial policy is on:
- Creating jobs over the next two decades;
- Promote foreign technology transfers;
- Attraction an annual FDI of $100 billion.
The policy is set to strengthen municipal bodies, a much-needed governmental reform. Read more about the draft industrial policy here.
Many more moves to formalise the informal economy through labour laws are expected in 2019.
A social media policy also seems to be in the offing, that will moderate and regulate content on social networking platforms.
Tejaswi Subramanian is a senior sub editor at Qrius
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