After three decades, the 16th Lok Sabha witnessed a government with a single party majority. The majority was expected to enable smooth functioning of Parliament and passage of legislation. In the last five years, the government was able to pass 133 bills. Key bills piloted by the finance and social justice ministries were approved by Parliament.
These included bills like GST, insolvency and bankruptcy code, Aadhaar, increase in maternity benefit for women, reservation for the economically weaker section and constitutional status for the OBC Commission. However, it was not smooth sailing for the government’s legislative agenda. The opposition either successfully blocked or delayed many government bills.
Marque government legislations like land acquisition amendment, triple talaq, and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill were blocked and will now lapse at the end of this Lok Sabha. This was because of governments’ lack of numbers in the Rajya Sabha.
Opposition parties forced referral of some bills to select committees of the Upper House before agreeing to pass them. But a number of bills were fast-tracked through Parliament without referring them to a parliamentary committee.
In this Lok Sabha, 70 per cent of the bills did not go through the scrutiny of parliamentary committees.
On important issues like GST, the government had to build consensus before Parliament approval could be secured. But this spirit of building consensus was missing on many issues over the last five years. This reflected in parliamentary proceedings getting adjourned and on occasions, the highest law-making body was reduced to a formality.