Parliament should have 100 sittings a year: Meira Kumar | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Parliament should have 100 sittings a year: Meira Kumar

delhi Updated: Aug 26, 2009 17:26 IST

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Wednesday expressed her concern over repeated disruptions in the house and said parliament should sit for a minimum 100 days a year.

"I really want the parliament to have 100 sitting days a year. We should also make full use of the parliament time. The most important thing is that the question hour should be sacrosanct and should never be suspended," Meira Kumar, India's first woman speaker, said.

"During the parliament session, I was very concerned about the question hour as it is the time when the government is accountable to the parliament and there is so much of information that becomes public," she said during an interaction with women journalists here.

Emphasising that more questions should be answered during the question hour, the speaker said: "As of now, on an average 3.34 questions of 10 listed gets answered during the question hour. I would like it to go up to six or seven per day."

Her remarks come against the backdrop of criticism on the decreasing working hours of the parliament.

In 2008, the Lok Sabha worked for just 46 days, the lowest ever. The number of sittings have also witnessed a steady drop from 1950s when it had crossed 140. The average number of Lok Sabha sittings has been 97 per year.

"There has been a feeling that parliamentarians are not serious about their job, but I have seen them sitting till late in the night in the house. During the budget session, the parliament worked seven hours more from the stipulated 164 hours.

"Around 23.34 hours were wasted but we worked extra 30 hours to compensate for it. I hope the next session we should be improving," she said.

Asked about bills being passed in the parliament without discussion, Meira Kumar said: "Ideally all bills should be passed after discussion but at times, due to time constraints, members don't get a chance to discuss them and they have to be passed in a hurry."