India

The (mostly) tragic story of the monsoon session in 6 charts

The monsoon session of Parliament was a washout.

The monsoon session of Parliament was a washout.

Rajya Sabha’s productivity in the monsoon session that ended on Thursday was the second worst in 15 years, the previous low being the winter session of 2010 when the then opposition BJP’s demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee to inquire into allocation of 2G spectrum brought productivity down to a historic low of 2% in the Rajya Sabha and 6% in the Lok Sabha.

This year’s budget session, ironically, was the most productive in 15 years. It’s worth noting, though, that large majorities go along with high productivity — the Rajiv Gandhi government from 1984 to 1989 saw productivity at over 100 per cent.

(All data in this article is from PRS Legislative Research. BS, MS and WS refer to budget session, monsoon session and winter session of Parliament respectively, followed by the year.)

Question Hour was the first casualty, after recovering so well in the budget session this year.

Legislative business took a hit, and time on non-legislative business and discussions on the admissibility of matters, statements by Ministers etc. went up.

Only one Bill — the Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2014, passed by Rajya Sabha in the previous session which was passed by Lok Sabha during this session — was passed by both Houses. The Lower House passed four Bills in all, but the Upper House did not pass any.

Among the unusual things that happened in this session — in addition to the suspension of 27 MPs — was the use of a relatively rarely allowed Parliamentary tool: the adjournment motion. Thursday saw the discussion of an adjournment motion on the issue of alleged impropriety in the conduct of the External Affairs Minister in the Lalit Modi visa issue.

There is some good news though: participation of MPs in debates was high, 91 per cent of first-time MPs participated in debates, younger MPs participated more than their older counterparts, and attendance in both houses was over 75 per cent.

Now, it’s for these MPs’ presence and participation to result in something constructive.


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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 7:29:57 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/The-mostly-tragic-story-of-the-monsoon-session-in-6-charts/article60308707.ece