Productive budget session spells relief for UPA-2
The UPA-2 has a reason to cheer on its third anniversary. For a government that has been targeted by opposition members and activists alike, a certain degree of relief can be attained from the fact that this budget session has been the most productive since 2009 — when it managed to come to power again.The government was able to off-load a good part of its legislative burden by passing 21 bills in Lok Sabha and 22 in Rajya Sabha. On Tuesday, which was the last day, Lok Sabha passed three bills — The Copyright (Amendment) Bill, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, and The Anand Marriage (Amendment) Bill. Rajya Sabha had passed the bills earlier. There were about 100 bills pending — 47 in Lok Sabha and 49 in Rajya Sabha — before the session began.
The session saw ministers such as Kapil Sibal (HRD) making peace with the opposition, and passage of important bills such as Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, the National Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill. However, the most contentious one — the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill — was pushed into cold storage, with Rajya Sabha referring it to a select committee.
The Lok Sabha, which celebrated the 60th anniversary of its first sitting, also commemorated the historic event by sitting for a total of 181 hours — the highest during the UPA-2 regime.
The session, however, was not entirely trouble-free. The Question Hour could not be taken up in Rajya Sabha for 11 days due to pandemonium. Though precious time was lost on issues such as the alleged coal allocation scam, the army chief accusations, and the Aircel-Maxis deal, both the houses made up for the loss by sitting late — over 41 hours in LS (a record during the 15th Lok Sabha) and more than 29 hours in RS