Amid rumours that the Digital Data Protection Bill being categorised as a money bill, the government of India has issued a statement, clarifying that it will be introduced as a non-money, non-finance, regular bill and will be discussed properly in the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha.
The government has denied that it is bringing in the new data protection law as a money bill after a series of tweets by Congress leader Manish Tiwari suggested it was doing so. Tiwari’s tweets prompted several people to take up the issue.
It is now clear that the confusion could be because the new proposed law on data protection has been brought in as a financial bill instead of a regular one; unlike a money bill. This will be debated and voted on by both Houses of Parliament, officials aware of the matter said on Thursday. The officials said the reason for bringing it in as a financial bill is because it involves setting up a data board and the salaries of its members. And a Presidential nod to do this is required.
Tewari earlier questioned how the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill get classified as a financial bill suddenly. In a tweet, he said, “If this bill on passage is certified as a money bill by @loksabhaspeaker @ombirlakota which seems to be the intent of getting it classed as a Financial Bill then Rajya Sabha can not vote on it. It can only recommend nonbinding changes to Lok Sabha,” he tweeted.
The notification, tweeted by Tewari reads, “The President, having been informed of the subject matter of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2023, recommends to the House the introduction of the Bill under article 117(1) and consideration of the bill under article 117(3) of the Constitution.”
A presidential nod is required because it requires funds from the consolidated fund. Officials said that the proposed law as a financial bill is brought under Article 117 and not Article 110 (money bill).
Article 117 of the Constitution deals with “Special provisions as to financial Bills”.
To be sure, money bills do not come under Article 117 but 110.