Budget Session Least Productive Since 2000: Report

Several MPs gave notices to move no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha against the BJP government.

New Delhi: The Budget session of Parliament, which ended on Friday, was the least productive since the year 2000, a legislative research body has said.

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The ruling BJP and the opposition Congress have blamed each other for the impasse during the session which saw daily disruptions in both the Houses.

According to data provided by parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar, 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. The part one of the session had seven LS and eight RS sittings.

But part two of the session which began from March 5 saw productivity taking a nose dive due to daily disruptions and adjournments. The productivity of the LS was 4% and that of the RS 8%, the minister said.

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

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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%.

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

Parliament functioning in Budget Session 2018: PRS Legislative Research by The Wire on Scribd

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

But the UPA government, in a bid to avoid another washout, 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 to ensure that the House functions. He was of the view that Parliament “can function if the government wants”.

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

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

Several MPs gave notices to move no-confidence motion in the LS against the government. 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. In the 14th Lok Sabha, a no-confidence motion was converted to a confidence vote, which the government had won,” said PRS Legislative Research.