New Delhi: The just-concluded Winter Session of Parliament recorded low productivity, with the Rajya Sabha registering just 27 per cent and the Lok Sabha 47 per cent.
At the same time, this session saw a historic development when both the Houses passed a Bill to amend the Constitution to provide for 10 per cent reservation to the poor in the general category in government jobs and academic institutions.
Addressing a press conference at the conclusion of the Winter Session here on Thursday, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Narendra Singh Tomar said: “The Winter Session was a successful session in terms of wide participation of all political parties. The productivity of Lok Sabha was 47 per cent while that of the Rajya Sabha 27 per cent. Five bills were also passed.”
During the Session which began on December 11 last year and concluded on Wednesday, both the Houses were repeatedly disrupted by opposition parties over various issues including Rafale fighter deal, special status for Andhra Pradesh, and a dam being constructed by Karnataka over river Cauvery.
In the legislative business, the contentious Citizenship Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha but got stuck in the Rajya Sabha. Similarly, the Triple Talaq Bill was passed by the Lower House but was not passed in the Rajya Sabha with the opposition parties asking the Central government to send the Bill to the Select Committee of Parliament.
“The special achievement of this session of Parliament was that both the Houses passed the 124th Constitutional Amendment Bill. It has been a historical achievement. This was an aspiration of crores of underprivileged Indian citizens,” said Minister Tomar.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel, also presented on the occasion, said: “The passing of the historic 124th Constitution Amendment Bill is a proof of the fact that the government has been ready to discuss all issues of national importance in the Parliament and pass important bills, provided that the government received support from all political parties.”
“The Parliament’s Winter Session-2018 commenced on December 11, and the Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die on January 8, which provided 17 sittings spread over a period of 29 days. Whereas, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die on January 9, which provided 18 sittings spread over a period of 30 days,” added Union Minister Tomar.
During the session, as many as 17 Bills (12 in the Lok Sabha and five in the Rajya Sabha) were introduced. The Lok Sabha passed 14 Bills and while the Rajya Sabha passed four Bills during the session. A total of five bills were passed by both the Houses of Parliament.
The Lok Sabha also passed two important Bills, namely, the Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Three Bills replacing the Ordinances, namely, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2018, the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, and The Companies (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, which were promulgated by the President, were considered and passed by the Lok Sabha. The Bills are presently in the Rajya Sabha.
The other major highlight of the Session was the passing of the Constitution (124 Amendment Bill, 2019) which will provide reservation in services and educational institutions for economically weaker sections in the general category.
“The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Central Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple (Disabilities) Amendment Bill, 2018; the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2019 were passed by both the Houses of Parliament,” said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Tomar.
In the Lok Sabha, short duration discussion under Rule 193 was held on Rafale deal. Another short duration discussion on natural calamities in various parts of the country, particularly in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha with special reference to cyclones like Gaja, Titli, and so on was initiated in the Lok Sabha and remained inconclusive.
Proclamation issued by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 19, 2018, under Article 356 of the Constitution in relation to the state of Jammu and Kashmir was discussed and adopted in the Lok Sabha on December 28 and in the Rajya Sabha on January 2-3 respectively.
Four Pending Bills were withdrawn in the Rajya Sabha, namely, the Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013; the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2005; the Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2005; and the Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
The Bill, as passed by the Lok Sabha and transmitted to the Rajya Sabha for its recommendation, is not likely to be returned to the Lok Sabha within the period of fourteen days from the date of its receipt in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill will be deemed to have been passed by both the Houses at the expiration of the said period in the form in which it was passed by the Lok Sabha under Clause (5) of Article 109 of the Constitution.