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Budget session spent little time on legislation

Friday March 25, 2011 09:29:41 PM, IANS

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Parliament's budget session, the shortest in recent history, ended Friday after witnessing bitter discussions over alleged graft scams but scored low on legislative business. The budget session - originally scheduled to be held in two parts, Feb 21 to March 16 and then from April 5 to April 21, with a recess   »

New Delhi: The budget session of parliament, that ended Friday, saw very little time spent on legislation and several hours lost in interruptions over controversies like the appointment of the CVC and the cash-for-votes controversy, a legislative research organisation said Friday.

"Both houses sat for a total of 23 days. This Budget Session recorded the lowest number of sittings in a non-election year in the last two decades," the Delhi-based PRS Legislative Research organisation said in an analysis of the session.

The session was cut short due to upcoming assembly elections in four states and a union territory.

While the Lok Sabha spent 44 hours discussing the budget, the Rajya Sabha spent 23 hours.

The session, which began Feb 21, was earlier scheduled to be held in two phases with the first phase ending 16 March and the second post recess phase scheduled from April 4 to April 21.

The analysis highlighted that 30 percent of the productive time was used for non-legislative debates including those on formation of JPC and Wikileaks.

Only twelve percent of the budget session time was spent on legislation in Lok Sabha and six percent in Rajya Sabha even as Lok Sabha worked for 85 percent of the scheduled hours and Rajya Sabha for 70 percent.

"Several hours were lost due to interruptions on the issues of appointment of CVC and a newspaper report on payment of 'cash for votes'," the statement added.

"The Standing Committees this year were unable to scrutinize the budget. Usually, the budget session is divided into two parts with a brief recess in between. The committees use this recess period to analyze the budget proposals in detail. This year, the recess was done away with and the session was cut short due to the impending assembly elections in five states," the statement from PRS said.

Besides finance and appropriation Bills, the government had listed 34 Bills for introduction. However, only 9 were introduced.

A total of six bills were taken up for discussion in the Lok Sabha and five
in the Rajya Sabha. The 'Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2010', which was taken up by Lok Sabha Thursday, was the most discussed Bill. Discussions continued for approximately 3 hours and saw participation from 21 MPs.

During the five-week session, the two houses of parliament saw animated debates and raucous scenes over allegations of corruption against the government on the 2G spectrum allotment to mobile operators, Devas-ISRO deal and the WikiLeaks cables.

Parliament passed the 2011-12 budget and seven new legislations, excluding finance and appropriation bills, in either of the houses.

The government had, however, planned to get approved 34 new legislations, during the session.









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Picture of the Day

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