Lok Sabha witnesses most productive session in 20 years

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Times of India, July 18, 2019

Encouraged by the proceedings in Parliament in the current session which has been the most productive in the last 20 years, the government is contemplating to extend the sittings for a few more days, a day after PM Narendra Modi dropped hints about it while addressing the BJP parliamentary party meet on Tuesday.

Several legislations are still pending and the government is keen on getting most of them cleared by extending the session rather than calling a separate Monsoon session. “After the current session, the next will be the winter session,” a source said.

A senior functionary said, “There is a possibility of the extension of the session. However, formal decision in this regard is likely in a few days.”

As the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha has been working for more than its scheduled time, its productivity has been the highest in the past 20 years. According to data released by PRS, Lok Sabha’s productivity till July 16 is at 128% which is the highest for any session in the past 20 years. Next highest were the Budget session in 2016 and winter session in 2014 clocking almost 125% of productivity.

On July 11, the productivity of Lok Sabha was the highest as the House discussed Demand for Grants for ministry of railways till midnight. Sources said Speaker Om Birla had urged the Lok Sabha secretariat to look at the logistical support till early morning as initial plan was to go ahead till 3am. Even on Tuesday, the lower House functioned till midnight.

Despite uninterrupted functioning of the House, PM Modi had said on Tuesday that if need be, the session would be extended for some days as business must be completed. Moreover, there will be a gap of more than 4-5 months before the next session and the government doesn’t want to keep several key legislations pending. The bills had piled up as several of them, though on top of the government’s agenda, lapsed with dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. So far, the session has passed at least eight bills.

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