What Parliament Did This Monsoon

Frederick Owens
August 13, 2017

Lok Sabha did not take up any business on two days (in memory of Vinod Khanna and Sanwar Lal Jat); Rajya Sabha did not function on the first day of the session as a mark of respect to Anil Madhav Dave, Minister of State for Environment, who passed away in May.

Here's a summary of what went on in Parliament this session, in numbers. Besides, elections to the offices of president and vice president were conducted during this time.

Ananth Kumar said though time was lost to disruptions, members compensated by sitting extra hours.

Lok Sabha worked for 67% of the scheduled working hours and Rajya Sabha worked for 72%. The Lower House also passed a Bill giving the country's 20 IIMs the status of institutes of national importance and the power to award degrees. Two Bills extending the GST regime to Jammu and Kashmir were among the 13 that were passed.

According to the data provided by the secretariats of the two houses, the Lok Sabha's productivity was 77.94 per cent, significantly down from 114 per cent during the Budget Session. In Lok Sabha, most of the recorded productive time, which is just 40 per cent, was spent on legislative business including the passing of 14 bills, while in Rajya Sabha, a higher proportion of the scheduled time, which is 42 per cent, was spent on non-legislative business. "There were disruptions, even though we were ready to discuss what they wanted..." the Minister said, adding that these factors led to low productivity ratio. These included debates on topics like the agrarian crisis, floods and the incidents of lynching and atrocities against minorities and Dalits in the country. Of these 46 starred questions were answered orally. After Question Hour and papers were laid, the Speaker adjourned the house sine die.

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Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2017-18, including Railways, and Demands for Excess Grants for 2014-15 and related Appropriation Bills were discussed and passed by the Lok Sabha. On Wednesday, the government introduced the Code on Wages Bill at short notice and referred it to a Joint Committee of both Houses.

The other Bills passed by the upper House were the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-Private Partnership) Bill; the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill and the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill.

The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017 was referred to the Joint Committee of both Houses.

This session saw eight discussions in total being taken up in both Houses. A special discussion was also held to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement.

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