Topic– Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
3) The Motor vehicles amendment bill passed by the Lok Sabha recently is a much needed reform, but it raises several issues and is fraught with several deficiencies. Critically examine.(250 words)
Why this question
The Lok Sabha recently passed the Motor vehicles amendment bill which brings in significant reforms in the transportation sector. However, the bill has been criticized on several accounts, which needs to be discussed.
Examine- Here we have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to look into the provisions of the Motor vehicles amendment bill and find out the positive as well as negative implications, deficiencies of the bill, which it fails to address. Based on our discussion we have to form an opinion on the issue.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few lines about the ‘Road Accidents in India, 2016’ report and relatively high number of road accidents in India. Mention that, in order to make roads safer, the Centre in consultation with State Transport Ministers came up with this Bill to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
- Discuss the positive points of the bill. E.g defines aggregators as “a digital intermediary or market place for a passenger to connect with a driver for the purpose of transportation.”; optional for State governments to follow central guidelines on issuing licenses to such aggregators; higher penalties for traffic violations; National Transportation Policy; caps the maximum liability for third party insurance in case of a motor accident; provides for a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund which would provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India for certain types of accidents; Aggregators, however, now have to be compliant with the Information Technology Act, 2000; provides for the recall of vehicles if the defective vehicle is a danger to the environment, the driver or other road users; provisions to harness technology, including CCTV monitoring, to improve road safety etc.
- Discuss the deficiencies and the limitations of the bill and also other issues it raises. E.g Sections 66A and 88A, which will empower the Centre to form a National Transportation Policy through a process of consultation, and not concurrence; Centrally-drafted schemes to be issued for national, multi-modal and inter-State movement of goods and passengers, for rural mobility and even last-mile connectivity; need for strong enforcement with regard to road safety provisions; lack of a professional investigation agency; issue of creating a new fund, with Solatium Fund already existing to provide compensation for hit and run accidents, the purpose of the new Accident Fund is unclear. ; does not cap the compensation amount that courts can award. In cases where courts award compensation higher than the maximum liability amount, it is unclear who will pay the remaining amount etc.
Conclusion- briefly discuss the way-forward that should be adopted in order to enhance the effectiveness and desirability of these reforms.