Winter Session: Highest propotion of Bill passage, introduction in 10 years

New Delhi: As both Houses of the Parliament adjourned sine die today marking the end of the Winter Session, productivity for Lok Sabha stood at 102 percent while Rajya Sabha’s stood at 50 percent.

The Question Hour at the end of the Session functioned for 87 percent of its scheduled time in Lok Sabha and 14 percent of its scheduled time in Rajya Sabha.

The Parliament had plans of introducing 14 Bills in the Winter Session, but was able to introduce only eight of them. The Parliament passed only eight Bills out of the twenty planned for the Session.

During the Session, committees examining three bills submitted their reports.

Committee reports on bills related to Lokpal and Lokayukta, Commercial Courts and Merchant Shipping was submitted.

The Prevention of Corruption Bill was referred to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has also been referred to a Joint Committee.

It is important to note how the Lok Sabha has been more productive than Rajya Sabha in the last four sessions with the average productivity of Lok Sabha being 97 percent and that of Rajya Sabha being 62 percent.

The Rajya Sabha also spent less time debating Bills and passed six Bills without discussion.

However, in the last 10 years, this session saw the highest proportion (71 percent) of Bills being introduced and passed within the same session.

Supplementary Demands for Grants (Appropriation Bills) were passed by both houses but were discussed only in Lok Sabha. Seven legislative Bills were introduced during the Session and three were withdrawn. 11 legislative Bills were passed by Lok Sabha and seven by Rajya Sabha.

The 237th Session of the Rajya Sabha ended this afternoon with the passage of the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill ; the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill and Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill.

These bills were passed by the Rajya Sabha without discussion.

The Parliament also approved the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill 2015 today, with the Rajya Sabha adopting it. The Lok Sabha had approved the legislation yesterday.

The law would make more workers eligible for bonus with retrospective effect from 2014-15 by raising their monthly pay eligibility limit to Rs. 21,000 from Rs. 10,000. The legislation also enhances monthly bonus calculation ceiling to Rs. 7,000 per month from Rs. 3,500.

The functioning of Rajya Sabha during the Session was disrupted over issues related to the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, the National Herald case and financial irregularities in DDCA.

Both the Houses discussed India’s commitment to the Constitution to celebrate the 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in special sittings. Other issues discussed were related to intolerance, drought and flood conditions in the country. Price rise and situation in Nepal and Indo-Nepal relations were also discussed in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively.

In his valedictory remarks, Rajya Sabha chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari regretted that in terms of legislative work, the session was singularly unproductive. He also added that interruptions in the functioning of the House continued to result in loss of working time and neglect of the listed business. Later wishing them well for the New Year, the chairman adjourned the House sine die.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu today accused Congress of using its numbers in the Rajya Sabha to paralyse the functioning of the House. He backed the talks for redefining the role of the Rajya Sabha in view of disruptions.

Naidu said the country is disappointed with the functioning of Parliament and charged the Congress of cheating the people by not allowing the government to carry out legislative business during the Winter Session.

Naidu added that the Congress was looking for lame excuses to paralyse Parliament on a day to day basis and accused the opposition party of being intolerant towards the mandate of the people given to NDA government. He also accused the Congress of not wanting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to succeed for ‘he will be a threat to the opposition party in future’.

Meanwhile, the Congress today said the government has failed to ensure smooth functioning of both the Houses of Parliament. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that the Opposition was not taken on board and in confidence on many issues.

Also addressing the conference, party leader Mallikarjun Kharge denied the government’s charge that the Congress played the role of a ‘destructive opposition’.

Earlier, when the Lok Sabha met for the day, Congress members continued to disrupt the proceedings over the alleged irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), demanding the resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. However, amid the uproar created by the opposition members, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed the question hour. Later, the Speaker adjourned the House sine die.