Highlights of Parliament in 2013

  • In 2013, Parliament met for 63 days and was productive for 44 percent of the scheduled time. The Monsoon Session of Parliament was extended for a week, something that has not happened in the last four years. 2013 also saw the shortest Winter Session of 10 days.
  • Fifteen Bills were passed. Key legislations included: The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, The Food Security Bill, The Land Acquisition Bill, The Prohibition of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Bill, The Companies Bill, The Pension Bill and The Lokpal Bill.
  • Eleven Ordinances were promulgated in 2013. Four of these Ordinances were re-promulgated when the original Ordinance lapsed because it was not passed by Parliament. In some cases, the government issued Ordinances having already introduced a similar Bill that was pending in Parliament.
  • Both Houses were disrupted on issues such as coal block allocations, the draft report of the JPC on 2G, Telangana, border security issues with Pakistan and China, and the economic situation of the country. Budget and Winter Sessions were curtailed as Parliament adjourned two days ahead of planned schedule.
  • Question Hour continued to be a major casualty to disruptions in 2013. In Lok Sabha, only 56 out of 1100 starred questions were answered orally in the floor of the House. In Rajya Sabha, only 77 out of 1100 starred questions were answered orally.
  • In the Budget Session, the Finance Bill was passed without discussion and all demands for grants were guillotined. In comparison, in 2012, 92% of total demands were guillotined while in 2011, 81% were guillotined.
  • 12 MPs were suspended by the Speaker in Lok Sabha in the Monsoon Session for “grave disorder”. Of these, nine were suspended again. On both occasions, the MPs were suspended for five sittings. The Monsoon Session also saw the names of MPs of Rajya Sabha listed in a House Bulletin for 'gross disorderly conduct'.
  • The report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on matters relating to allocation and pricing of telecom licences and spectrum was tabled in Parliament in the Winter Session. Only four other joint parliamentary committees have been constituted in India’s history. These looked into the Bofors issue (1987), the two stock market scams of 1992 and 2001, and the issue of pesticides in soft drinks (2003).
  • In a first, Lok Sabha MPs Lalu Prasad and Jagdish Sharma and Rajya Sabha MP Rasheed Masood lost their seats after being convicted on criminal charges.
  • Three separate notices for no-confidence motions were received by the Speaker against the government during the Winter Session, but could not be admitted due to disruptions and adjournments.

Subscribe for Parliament Diary