Rajya Sabha saw repeated
disruptions over the issue of President’s rule in Uttarakhand. The
Leader of the House stated that President’s rule was imposed as a result
of breakdown of constitutional machinery. He said that Rajya Sabha
would later take up discussion on the issue once the proclamation of
emergency is placed in the House.

Lok Sabha took up discussion on the Demands for Grants of Railways, 2016-17.  Some key highlights are:

·         Total
revenue for 2016-17 is estimated at Rs 1,89,271 crore which is a 10%
increase from the revised estimates of 2015-16. Total revenue in
2015-16, undershot budget estimates by Rs 16,752 crore (9%).

·         Total
revenue from traffic for 2016-17 is estimated at Rs 1,84,820 crore,
which is a 10% increase from the revised estimates of 2015- 16. Revenue
from freight and passenger is expected to grow by 5% and 12%
respectively.

·         Total expenditure for 2016-17 is projected at Rs 1,71,060 crore which is a 13% increase from the revised estimates of 2015-16.

·         Operating
Ratio for 2016-17 is projected to increase to 92%. In 2015-16, the
Operating Ratio increased from a budgeted estimate of 88.5% to 90.5%.

Operating
Ratio is the ratio of the working expenditure (expenses arising from
day-to-day operations of Railways) to the revenue earned from traffic.
Therefore, a higher ratio indicates a poorer ability to generate surplus
that can be used for capital investments such as laying new lines,
deploying more coaches, etc.

Our detailed note giving an overview of railway finances can be found here.

The Standing Committee examining the Consumer Protection Bill presented its report today
Among other things, the Committee recommended that in order to claim
product liability, the Bill should specify conditions for establishing
deficiency in services in addition to conditions for establishing defect
in products.   

Under
the Bill, in order to claim product liability, a claimant must
establish four kinds of defects in the product, the injury caused from
it, and that it belonged to the manufacturer. The claimant must also
establish that the manufacturer had knowledge of such a defect. It may
be argued that the conditions to establish a product liability claim are
unreasonable. The Committee, therefore, recommended that the provision
relating to product liability in the Bill may be suitably redrafted.

Our
legislative brief provides a detailed analysis on the Bill, and can be
found here. The analytical note points out issues to consider, along
with key features.

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