The CPI on Friday slammed the government for not conducting the Budget session of Parliament according to schedule and also condemned the BJP for unnecessarily disrupting sessions.
The net result of Government’s apathy towards conducting the Parliament and BJP’s repeated walkouts from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha was that out of the 119 hours the Parliament met for business, 73 hours were lost. It costs a little more than Rs 11 lakh to hold one hour of the LS.
``The Budget session was supposed to be held for 42 days over two phases. The number of days, however, was reduced to 32 days. Why did the Government reduce the days when summons were given to hold it for 10 days more,’’ CPI’s leader in LS, Gurudas Das Gupta, asked on Friday.
The disruptions not only cost the taxpayer several crores, but it also curtailed the time for the important discussions and bringing in pending bills. Das Gupta said that several bills including the one for the labour in the unorganised sector, bill on women’s reservation, a bill on communal violence and one on judicial commissions – expected to be brought in the just-concluded session -- could be not tabled.
``The Government was lackadaisical and lacked direction in conducting proceedings and the BJP cooperated with them in not allowing important bills to be tabled. There was enough business but the session was abruptly ended,’’ the CPI leader said.
Das Gupta added that the absence of members in the houses while a session is on is also a dangerous trend. He urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to call all party meetings and evolve a consensus on how Parliament should be conducted. `` A code of conduct should be evolved for the Members of Parliament,’’ he added.
This is not the first time during the 14th Lok Sabha, which had its first session in the middle of 2004, that time and money have been lost because of disruptions. Since 2004, more than 250 hours have been lost because of adjournments and walkouts
The other problem is the number of days for which Parliament now meets. Till about 10 years after Independence, the Parliament met for 120 days a year. It decreased to 100 after that. Now, the Parliament doesn’t even meet for 100 days.
1951 – Rs 6000 per hour was the cost of running the Question Hour in Parliament (LS and RS)
1963 – One sitting of the Lok Sabha cost Rs 25,000 per hour
1981 – Average expenditure on running the Parliament (LS and RS) Rs 48,000 per hour
2006 – Now, it costs Rs 1122829 to just run the Lok Sabha for an hour.
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