Current Budget session least productive since 2000: PRS REPORT

According to the reports of PRS, a legislative research body, the Budget session of Parliament, which ended on Friday, was the least productive since the year 2000.

For the impasse during the session which saw daily disruptions in both the Houses the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress have blamed each other. The productivity of the Lok Sabha (LS) was 134%, and that of the Rajya Sabha (RS) around 96% during the brief part one of session, according to data provided by parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar. The part one of the session had seven LS and eight RS sittings.

However part two of the session which started from March 5 saw productivity taking a nose dive due to regular disruptions and adjournments. The productivity of the LS was 4% and that of the RS 8%, the minister revealed.

“The Budget session’s complete productivity was 23% for the LS and 28% for the RS,” he said.

According to PRS Legislative Research, “this was the least productive Budget session for both Houses since 2000”.

According to PRS data, during the session, on an average, Lok Sabha worked for 21% of its scheduled time, while Rajya Sabha worked for 27%.

The average productivity of Lok Sabha is 85%, and that of Rajya Sabha is 68%, So far as the 16th (the present) Lok Sabha is concerned.

Former Lok Sabha secretary general P.D.T. Acharya said the productivity of the just-ended session tends to remind him of the winter session of 2010 when the 2G scam led to its complete washout. After the CAG reported on the alleged 2G scam, the protests by the BJP and other parties had rocked the Parliament. The LS and the RS could utilize only 6% and 2% of their allotted time.

But, in a bid to avoid another washout, the UPA government agreed to form a joint parliamentary committee on 2G scam in the 2011 Budget session. Acharya said as the leader of the House, the prime minister has the authority and responsibility to ensure that the House functions. He was of the view that Parliament “can function if the government wants”.

He said that the “Disruptions for a couple of days is alright, but legislations have to be passed…disruptions should not happen daily”.

He recalled how India’s first Prime M9inister Jawaharlal Nehru used to reach out to the opposition leaders and was present in the Lok Sabha every day.

Against the government Several MPs gave notices to move no-confidence motion in the LS. However, due to disruptions caused by members raising various issues such as PNB scam, special status for Andhra Pradesh and Cauvery water dispute, it could not be admitted.

This was the first time a notice to move a no-confidence motion was given in the 16th Lok Sabha.

“A no-confidence motion was also moved in the 15th Lok Sabha in 2013 but was not discussed or entertained. In the 14th Lok Sabha, a no-confidence motion was converted to a confidence vote, which the government had won,” said PRS Legislative Research.


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