New Delhi: Marred by disruptions since day one, the monsoon session, the sixth of the 17th Lok Sabha, has turned out to be the least productive of the Modi government’s second term. The session was also adjourned indefinitely Wednesday, bringing it to an end two days before the scheduled close of 13 August.
Addressing reporters after the Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die Wednesday afternoon, Speaker Om Birla said the productivity of the Lower House in the monsoon session was just 22 per cent.
Prior to this, the least productive Lok Sabha session was in December 2016, during the first term of the Modi government. The winter session had recorded a productivity of 15.75 per cent.
Compared to the Lok Sabha, the productivity of the Rajya Sabha, which was adjourned sine die Wednesday evening, was slightly better at 28 per cent. Before this, the least productive session of the Rajya Sabha was recorded during the winter session in December 2016. It recorded a productivity of 20.61 per cent, according to data with the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry.
Over 74 hours lost to disruptions in LS, 76 hours in RS
The total time lost due to interruptions or forced adjournments in the Lok Sabha during the monsoon session was 74 hours 46 minutes, data with the Lok Sabha Secretariat shows.
The Rajya Sabha lost 76 hours and 26 minutes due to disruptions, according to data made available by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.
Since the monsoon session began on 19 July, the Opposition has been up in arms against the government. Barring the rare unity seen among the Opposition ranks in both the Houses to support the passage of the Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill, regarding OBC notification, House proceedings were regularly disrupted over a host of issues, including the Pegasus spyware controversy, where the Modi government has been accused of attempting to use the software to hack into phones of several activists, journalists, and politicians.
Opposition MPs also created a ruckus in Rajya Sabha Tuesday during a debate on the topic “agricultural problems and solutions”.
Opposition MPs climbed on to the reporters’ table, which is located in front of the chair’s sitting area, shouted slogans, and showed a black cloth to the chair before the house was adjourned.
Parliament sessions, however, have witnessed far more disruptions and virtual washouts before. In December 2010, soon after the 2G scam had broken out, the then winter session recorded just 6 per cent work.
According to data made available by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, the total number of sitting hours during this monsoon session was 21 hours 14 minutes — the lowest since 2019.
As against this, the total sitting hours during the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha in 2019 was 280, 130.45 hours during the second session, 110.15 hours during the third session, 60 hours during the fourth, and 132 hours during the fifth.
In all, the Lok Sabha passed 20 bills during the session, including the Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill that seeks to restore the power of states and Union territories to identify and notify their own list of Other Backward Classes (OBC), the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill.
The Rajya Sabha, on its part, functioned for 28 hours and 21 minutes. In all, 19 bills were passed in the Upper House.
Barring the OBC bill, on average, 8 minutes taken to pass a bill
Except for the Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill that saw a debate of over six hours in both Houses, there was a record of sorts in the time taken to pass a majority of the other bills.
On average, both the Houses took a little over eight minutes to pass the majority of the bills.
For instance, on 2 August, the Lok Sabha passed the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 in eight minutes. On 6 August, it took the Lok Sabha just six minutes to pass the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
(Edited by Arun Prashanth)