Though it is on the path to setting a record for being the most disruptive Parliament since Independence, both its Houses replied orally to a mere 10% of the listed questions, a report said on Tuesday.
A man stands outside the Parliament building as lawmakers arrive in cars to cast their vote in Presidential election in New Delhi. AP photo/Manish Swarup
The seventh citizens’ report on governance and development 2013, released on the day Rajya Sabha passed lokpal bill, made a scathing attack on Parliament, saying only 23% of the 94 planned bills were passed.
Of these, about 18% were approved in less than five minutes without proper debates because of the ruckus created by the members over issues.
Lok Sabha was the most unproductive. It lost 577 hours compared with 442 hours lost in Rajya Sabha.
And the biggest casualty of the repeated disruptions was the Question Hour, which allows MPs to seek replies from the ministers on the listed questions, said the report evaluating the performance of four apex institutions in the country.
The report also pointed out that Lok Sabha on average worked for less than four hours a day during its 227 sittings, meaning two-thirds of time was lost due to disruptions.
Amid these disruptions, the report said the MPs got their salaries and perks increased, reaching 68 times higher than the per capita income of an average Indian.
In fact, the MPs get higher salaries than their counterparts in developed countries such as Japan, Singapore and Italy.
As the Parliament remained stalled, the report said a farmer committed suicide every half an hour, with 2.56 lakh farmers taking their lives between 1995 and 2010.
It also said that 800 MPs got Rs. 4,000 crore per annum under local area development fund compared with, while 2.5 lakh local bodies received a meagre Rs. 5,793 crore.
The report said the government’s social sector spending has fallen as percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The share for social sector shrunk from 14.9% of the GDP in 2012-13 and 14.6% in this financial year’s budget.
On judiciary, the report said the number of pendency of cases increased from 2.81 crore in 2004 to 3.17 crore in 2011.