Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, Parliament shall, during a period of five years from the commencement of this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to the following matters as if they were enumerated in the Concurrent List, namely: —

 

(a) trade and commerce within a State in, and the production, supply and distribution of, cotton and woollen textiles, raw cotton (including ginned cotton and unginned cotton or kapas), cotton seed, paper (including newsprint), food-stuffs (including edible oilseeds and oil), cattle fodder (including oil-cakes and other concentrates), coal (including coke and derivatives of coal), iron, steel and mica;

 

(b) offences against laws with respect to any of the matters mentioned in clause (a), jurisdiction and powers of all courts except the Supreme Court with respect to any of those matters, and fees in respect of any of those matters but not including fees taken in any court;

 

but any law made by Parliament, which Parliament would not but for the provisions of this article have been competent to make, shall, to the extent of the incompetency, cease to have effect on the expiration of the said period, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before the expiration thereof.

Debate Summary

Draft Article 306, Draft Constitution of India 1948 

Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, Parliament shall, during a period of five years from the commencement of this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to the following matters as if they were enumerated in the Concurrent List, namely:- 

(a) Trade and commerce within a State in, and the production, supply and distribution of, cotton and woollen textiles, paper (including newsprint), foodstuffs (including edible oil-seeds and oil), petroleum and petroleum products, spare parts of mechanically propelled vehicles, coal, iron, steel and mica 

(b) Relief and rehabilitation of displaced persons; 

(c) Offences against laws with respect to any of the matters mentioned in clauses (a) and (b) of this article, inquiries and statistics for the purposes of any of those matters, jurisdiction and powers of all courts except the Supreme Court with respect to any of those matters, and fees in respect of any of those matters but not including fees taken in any court; but any law made by Parliament, which Parliament would not but for the provisions of this article have been competent to make, shall to the extent of the incompetency cease to have effect on the expiration of the said period except as respects things done or omitted to be done before the expiration thereof. 

 

Draft Article 306 (Article 369 of the Constitution of India 1950) was discussed in the Constituent Assembly on 7 October 1949.  

 

The Draft Article was first among the Constitution's ‘temporary and transitory provisions’. It gave Parliament the power to legislate on a few select subjects in the State List like cotton and woollen textiles, foodstuffs, coal and iron as if they were subjects in the Concurrent List. This applied for a period of five years after the Constitution came into force.  

 

A Member noted that the Draft Article aimed to smoothen the economic difficulties that would accompany India’s transition to an independent State. Citing the international economics crisis, he moved an amendment to increase the Draft Article’s time limit from 5 to 15 years. The Drafting Committee Chairman dismissed the amendment without any discussion.  

 

Another Member wanted to bring charcoal and firewood under the Draft Article’s ambit as these were vulnerable to the economic crisis. The Union government, he added, must have the power to control the prices of these commodities. Though the Drafting Committee Chairman was open to the suggestion, the amendment was not accepted by the Assembly.  

 

The Draft Article as amended by the Drafting Committee Chairman was adopted by the Constitution on 7 October 1949.