Parliament proceedings | 8 Bills passed in Rajya Sabha on last day amid Opposition boycott

Upper House adjourned sine die

Updated - September 23, 2020 08:06 pm IST

Published - September 23, 2020 07:43 pm IST - New Delhi

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die on September 23, 2020. Photo: Rajya Sabha TV

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die on September 23, 2020. Photo: Rajya Sabha TV

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die on Wednesday, clocking a productivity rate of over 100%, even though it was one of the shortest monsoon sessions with only 10 sittings held.

Parliament proceedings, Sept. 23 updates

On Wednesday, the House passed eight Bills in less than four hours as the Opposition boycotted the proceedings over the manner in which two farm bills were passed on Sunday.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the session was being concluded eight sittings ahead of the 18 planned sittings as COVID-19 pandemic continued.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House when Mr. Naidu made the concluding remarks.

“In the 10 sittings, 25 bills were passed and 6 bills introduced. The productivity of the House during this session has been 100.47 %. As against the scheduled available time of 38 hours and 30 minutes, the actual functional time of the House has been 38 hours and 41 minutes. While 3 hours and 15 minutes were lost, unfortunately due to disruptions,” Mr. Naidu said as he praised the efforts of the Rajya Sabha secretariat for the smooth functioning of the proceedings.

Also read: As Rajya Sabha clears Bills amid Opposition boycott, Venkaiah Naidu expresses anguish at ‘unpleasant turn of events’

He said 57% of total functional time of the House was spent on government legislative business and it was significant, as only 28 % time has been spent on government Bills since 1952 when the House came into being. He said 1,567 unstarred questions were replied to in writing by the government. The session was satisfactory in terms of productivity. There were some areas of concerned.

Mr. Naidu appealed to all members, “from the depth of his heart”, to ensure that such unseemly behaviour was not repeated. “I am pained to see bills getting passed in the din. It pains me more when the Chair is rendered helpless and is forced to take decisions against members. To protest is the right of the Opposition. Any member, for that matter. But how should it be done? The floor of the House is the most effective way, and not through boycott”.

On Monday, eight members of the House were suspended following the pandemonium when the farm Bills were taken for voting a day ago.

Mr. Naidu brought up the remarks made by Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday regarding the dilution of the powers and stature of the LoP. “I spoke to him several times while planning for this unique session and so was the case on many other issues. The Leader of the Opposition is very central to orderly functioning of the House and it is my firm conviction that diluting his role is unthinkable”, he said.

‘To err is human’

“As I said yesterday, to err is human. In a fit of emotion or on the spur of the moment, somebody does something. It happens. But, if they realize it later, then the Chairman, the House and the particular ruling party should be positive in responding to the realization and move ahead. ...I would like to caution people. Unfortunately, it is not the live telecast alone. Some hon. members in their over-enthusiasm, thinking that they are wise, made video of their acts and circulated it without understanding that they themselves got exposed. Please avoid using phones and other instruments because as per rules, it is not allowed,” he said.

During the day, the House passed the following legislation in a matter of less than four hours- The Foreign Contribution Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020, The Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020, The Occupational Safety Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, The Code on Social Security, 2020 , The Appropriation (No.3) Bill, 2020, and the Appropriation (No.4) Bill, 2020.

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