Updated: August 11, 2021 11:41:46 pm
Bringing an end to a tumultuous Monsoon session, both Houses of Parliament—Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha—were adjourned sine die on Wednesday, two days ahead of schedule.
The session, which started on July 19, witnessed a logjam in both Houses with the Opposition demanding a debate on the Pegasus snooping allegations and the repeal of three farm laws and the government not agreeing to them.
The Lok Sabha functioned only for 21 hours and 14 minutes against the stipulated time of 96 hours, registering a productivity of just 22 per cent. This was in stark contrast to the last Budget session when the Lower House saw 114 per cent productivity.
Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha witnessed overall productivity of 28 per cent this session as opposed to the 90 per cent productivity recorded in the Budget session. While the Upper House lost over 76 hours due to disruptions, it also saw the passage of 19 Bills in the curtailed session.
Earlier in the day, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said that he was pained by the fact that the proceedings of the House did not take place as per expectations in this session. “I always make an effort to see that maximum business takes place in the House and discussions are held over issues related to the public,” he said.
Taking into consideration the breakup of business in the Lok Sabha, legislation had a 49.5 per cent productivity during the session. The productivity of questions was 27.4 per cent, of non-legislation 6 per cent and of financial business 0.7 per cent.
The repeated disruptions and the bitter exchanges over the Pegasus issue brought back memories of 2010 when the Winter session was washed out over protests by the BJP, then in the Opposition, demanding a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum license allocation. The saffron party had then stalled the functioning of both the Houses after the CAG report on 2G allocation became public.
The Rajya Sabha was also hit by disruptions, with Chairman Venkaiah Naidu breaking down in the House on Wedneday. Naidu said the “sacredness” of the House was destroyed by some Opposition MPs, adding he could not sleep last night.
“I struggled to find out the reason for forcing this house to such a low yesterday. A discussion on agriculture problems and solutions was listed. I find it difficult to understand how subject listed in the list of business for yesterday would have prevented any member from raising any issue connected to the farm sector, including the three farm Bills, which some members were keen to raise in the House,” he said.
In rare unanimity across the political divide, signalling a brief pause in acrimonious exchanges inside the House, the Opposition cooperated with the government when it came to the OBC bill. The Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed on Tuesday evening in the Lok Sabha with the overwhelming support of all parties. The bill, which restores the states’ powers to make their own OBC lists by identifying and notifying socially and economically backward classes (SEBCs) for the grant of quota in jobs and admissions, was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Among the other bills that were passed in Parliament during this session are: The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2021, The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, The Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021, The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021, The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, The Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021, The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021, The Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 and The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021.
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