At 104%, Rajya Sabha most productive in 17 years
The Rajya Sabha, which was adjourned sine-die on Wednesday, put itself in the history books for conducting the best session as compared to those in the last 17 years.
With the productivity of 104%, the performance of the 249th session of the Rajya Sabha, during which legislations on critical issues like instant Triple Talaq and Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill were passed, ranked the fifth-best in the last 41 years.
On 19 occasions, the House sat beyond the scheduled hours to legislate during this session. And, there was a loss of just nine hours and 12 minutes to disruption - one of the lowest in many years.
Complementing the members, vice-president and chairman of the House M Venkaiah Naidu said, “Let’s stay with the new normal of this session. Having reached where we have (in terms of productivity and reduction in disruptions), the challenge will be to sustain this.”
Naidu said the legislations declaring triple talaq as illegal and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, which divided the state into two separate Union territories, were “far-reaching” and “significant.” These legislations addressed “legacy issues”, he added.
Naidu also said Zero Hour, during which members can raise issues of immediate public importance without notice, was the best in two decades. Issues as varied as pollution, circulation of fake news on social media, faulty hip implants and protection of wetlands were raised.
Even as convened for its last sitting of this session, the House considered and amended the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956. It increased the number of judges in the top court from 32 to 35.
The Rajya Sabha also paid tributes to former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, a member of the House who died on Tuesday night, and observed a moment of silence in her memory.