|The Monsoon Session of Parliament
concluded yesterday with both the Houses sitting for two extra days --
26 instead of the planned 24 -- to compensate for time lost to
disruptions. Still, the Lok Sabha lost 18 hours of business and the
Rajya Sabha six.
Question Hour did not take
place on nine days in both Houses. In the Lok Sabha, only 10 per cent
listed questions were orally answered -- something the government today
described as a matter of “grave concern”. “Presiding officers of both
Houses are proposing to move Question Hour to another time of the day.
We are open to all arrangements to ensure the Question Hour is held,”
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal said.
the legislative front, the government claimed it did well by passing 24
Bills. The plan was to pass 33. Analysis of data on legislative
business in Parliament’s monsoon session collated by PRS Legislative
Research, New Delhi, shows that the Lok Sabha passed 47 per cent Bills
in less than two hours.
controversial Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Bill was the most
debated law followed by the MP Salary Hike Bill. The N-Liability law was
also the only one that saw Prime Minster Manmohan Singh’s intervention.
In the lower house, 20 MPs debated this law over 4.7 hours while in the
Rajya Sabha, 25 members discussed it for 5.1 hours.
laws that saw discussions for over three hours were the Mines and
Minerals Amendment Bill (permits auction through competitive bidding for
allocation of coal blocks for captive mining), Educational Tribunal
Bill (to set up tribunals for out of court settlement of educational
disputes) and the Foreign Trade Amendment Bill (includes services for
export incentives and permits quantitative restrictions).
least discussed laws in Lok Sabha were the MCI Amendment Bill (to
replace the ordinance dissolving MCI), Representation of People
Amendment Bill (provides voting rights to NRIs) and Personal Laws
Amendment Bill (makes adoption gender neutral).
laws had to be deferred due to opposition - the Enemy Property Bill in
the Lower House and Educational Tribunals Bill in the Upper House. Bills
pertaining to control of Wakf properties and prevention of torture have
also been referred to select committees of Upper House and will be
taken up later.
In the Lok
Sabha, six short discussions were held under Rule 193 (urgent
importance) on delay in preparation of the Commonwealth Games, the
Bhopal gas tragedy, illegal mining, atrocities against SCs, STs, Kashmir
situation and floods and drought in the country. The Rajya Sabha
discussed the Bhopal tragedy and illegal mining.
the monsoon session was the first of the 15th Lok Sabha when the Prime
Minister was not on a foreign tour and was available throughout the
proceedings. He, however, participated in no debate except the one on
the N-Liability Bill.