New Delhi: The Motor Vehicles Bill, which aims to usher in far-reaching reforms in the transport sector, was today referred to a 24-member Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha.

The committee will have to submit its report to the Rajya Sabha by the first day of the next session “without extension of time , Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said.

The bill aims at bringing radical reforms in the transport sector, ranging from hefty fines for traffic rules violations to improving the licensing system and checking bogus licenses.

It also aims at ushering in multi-fold hike in fines for traffic violations, compensation of Rs 5 lakh for grave injuries and proposing steps to check vehicle thefts.

A motion for sending the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017, to the Select Committee was moved by Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Mansukh Lal Mandavia in the absence of Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari who is travelling.

It was adopted by the House by a voice vote.

The committee includes Vinay P Sahasrabuddhe, Ajay Sancheti, Shwait Malik, Ram Vichar Netam, P Bhattacharya, BK Hariprasad, Pramod Tiwari, Javed Ali Khan, A Navaneethakrishnan, Manish Gupta, Harivansh, CP Narayanan, Pratap Keshari Deb, CM Ramesh and Vandana Chavan.

The other members of the committee are Veer Singh, Kanimozhi, Anil Desai, Naresh Gujral, Nazir Ahmed Laway, Ram Kumar Kashyap, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Narendra Jadhav and Swapan Dasgupta.

The bill, which would amend the nearly 30-year old Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 was passed by the Lok Sabha last year but had got stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the opposition had demanded that it be sent to the Select Committee for proper scrutiny. The parliamentary standing committee had also examined it.

Last week leaders of all parties had decided to send the Bill to a Select Committee.

Gadkari has said that all parties have assured that the bill, “one of the biggest reforms in the sector”, will be passed in that session.

Asserting that the provisions of the legislation will in no way impinge upon the rights of the states, Gadkari has said many of the political parties were convinced but many others sought more time to study it.

The bill has been framed by transport ministers of states after taking the best global practises from US, UK and Singapore.

Earlier, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry had made it clear that driving licences will be issued by states only, allaying fears that the legislation could impinge on the states’ rights. It had also said the Centre will not establish driving schools and the states can accredit such schools.

DMK MP Tiruchi Siva, on behalf of southern states, had raised concerns in Rajya Sabha that the bill had provisions that the central government can also to establish new driving schools.

It said the Centre has proposed a scheme to provide financial assistance to 2000 motor driving schools to improve driving training standards in the country, particularly in the rural areas. This scheme shall be launched shortly.

PTI