The Parliament session concluded on Wednesday was one of the most productive in 15 years with Lok Sabha working for 123% of the scheduled time and Rajya Sabha for 101%. Not only was Question Hour keenly attended with responses given to a higher number of questions but money bills were also discussed more than they have been in the last three years.
In RS, 31% of the scheduled questions were answered orally which is the highest ever in the last 10 years, while in LS 22% questions were answered orally according to data collated by think tank PRS Legislative Research.
This session was marked by two highlights; one, it has the highest instances of recorded voting in the past 15 years. Typically, bills are passed by voice vote in Parliament. However in the 16th LS, 17% of the bills were passed by recorded vote.
On an average in the past 15 years each LS saw about 5% of the bills being passed by recorded voting.
Another highlight was that no private members’ bill has been passed in either House in the last 47 years. In this session a private members’ bill mooted by Tirucha Siva giving equal rights to transgenders was unanimously passed by the RS.
In this session, one third of the bills introduced replaced ordinances. As compared to 39% ordinances replaced by bills in this session, previous session like the 14th LS session saw 11% bills replacing ordinances, while in the 15th LS the number was 8%.
The session saw passing of important legislation like the black money bill and constitutional amendment for the Indo-Bangladesh land boundary agreement. However, the Goods and Services Tax bill was sent to the select committee and the controversial land acquisition bill was referred to the joint committee following protests from the Opposition.
The government described the role of the opposition as “obstructive.”