The UPA-II has not been able to introduce in Parliament even half of the bills publicly announced by its ministers during the government’s 14 month tenure so far.
Barring the exception of Finance, Home and Human Resources Development (HRD) ministries, others have been unable to match their public statements with the actual introduction of bills in either House of parliament.
The UPA government in its second tenure has faced four parliament sessions so far, including the current Monsoon session, and had planned to bring 190 bills.
It has, however, been able to introduce only 77 bills, according to the data compiled by Delhi-based PRS Legislative Research.
The 113 bills yet to see the light of the day include important legislations like the Judges Accountability Bill and the bill to prevent sexual harassment of women at workplaces.
The list does not include legislations like the Food Security Bill, which is currently being debated at the stage of drafting only.
Out of the 77 bills introduced by Manmohan Singh government in its second innings, the government has managed to get 37 of these passed, which have now become part of the law books.
The ongoing Monsoon session has been the best so far for the government, since it has been able to improve its record on legislations, with 15 bills have been passed by both Houses, five by the Lok Sabha and two by the Rajya Sabha.
In its defence, the government feels it should be given more time before its record in parliament is evaluated. “We are trying our best and we have only got four sessions of parliament to transact business. The current parliament session has been productive,” said Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal.
Asked about the mismatch in announcement of bills by various ministries and the actual effort in getting them introduced and passed, Bansal replied :“It depends on many factors, including how many days the parliament functions. Then there is priority business,” he said.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee leads his colleagues with having introduced 12 bills, closely followed by Home Minister P. Chidambaram and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal with 11 each.
All other ministers have not crossed single figures, with notable surprises being Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily and Women and Child Development Minister, Krishna Tirath, both of whom have made the largest number of announcements on new bills.
The data shows 61 bills introduced by the UPA government between 2004 and 2009 in its first tenure are still pending in parliament. Bills introduced in Rajya Sabha do not lapse with the end of tenure of the government, though those introduced in Lok Sabha lapse as soon as the House is dissolved.