Members of the 16th Lok Sabha worked harder in the budget session than they have in the last 10 years, parliamentary data shows. Less time was lost to disruptions and more parliamentary and legislative business was conducted.
PRS Legislative Research, an independent, non-profit parliamentary research think-tank, compared data for the just-concluded budget session with that of sessions for the last 10 years.
The Lok Sabha worked for 104 per cent of the sanctioned time and the Rajya Sabha for 106 per cent, they found. “Though the Rajya Sabha witnessed more disruptions than the Lok Sabha, it made up for the lost time by working late on several days,” PRS found.
While the 2009 budget session saw similarly high productivity in the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha in 2009 was not as productive. Overall, the 2014 budget session saw the highest productivity since the 2005 monsoon session.
Question Hour was also the most productive that it has been in 10 years; 24 per cent of questions were answered orally in the Lok Sabha, while it was 15 per cent in the Rajya Sabha.
However, financial business took up less of the Lok Sabha’s time than it did in the last two budget sessions, with 94 per cent of budget demands passed without discussion. In all, financial business took up just a third of the Lok Sabha’s time, while non-legislative work — like debates on drought and communal violence — took up 38 per cent of the time.
Another 12 per cent of the time was spent on legislative business. Six Bills were passed, leaving 67 Bills pending in Parliament. 246 of the 314 first-time MPs participated in debates during the session. On an average, a first-timer took part in 3.7 debates while an experienced Member of Parliament participated in 5.7 debates in this session.