Four bills, Rafale debate highlights of Parliament’s Winter Session
The Winter Session of Parliament came to an end Wednesday after both Houses passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill to reserve 10% of government jobs and university seats for the poor.Updated: Jan 10, 2019 00:00 IST
The last session of Parliament before the next Lok Sabha election will take place from January 31 to February 13, during which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government will present an interim budget and give the final push to some key pending bills.
The Winter Session of Parliament came to an end Wednesday after both Houses passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill to reserve 10% of government jobs and university seats for the poor. Although the session saw the passage of four bills, including the Constitution 124th Amendment, the RTE Amendment Bill (disbanding the no-detention policy) and The National Trust for Autism and Cerebral Palsy, its initial days were marred by prolonged protests and adjournments over issues including the contentious Rafale jet fighter deal, the Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, and controversies surrounding the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Reserve Bank of India.
Overall, the Lok Sabha managed to make use of only 46% of its allotted time, making it the fourth least productive session during the NDA’s rule. In the monsoon session, it managed to work for 110% of its allotted time.
The Rajya Sabha fared worse and could only use 26% of its allotted time. In the monsoon session, the Opposition-dominated upper house made use of 68% of the time meant for legislative business.
The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, headed by home minister Rajnath Singh, met on Wednesday to discuss the schedule for the next session. Officials familiar with the development added that the government may prorogue the winter session that ended on Wednesday and opt for a new session.
“The government is all set to re-promulgate the ordinance on Triple Talaq. Now, the citizenship amendment bill has also remained pending. So, the Centre might prorogue this session and go for a new session,” said a senior official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A final decision will be taken shortly.
President Ram Nath Kovind is likely to address the joint sitting of the two Houses on January 31 and the Economic Survey may also be tabled the same day. The next day, the NDA government will place its last budget — an interim one — before going to the polls.
The government managed to introduce 16 new bills; only four prices of legislation could be cleared by both Houses of Parliament. As many as 12 bills passed by the Lok Sabha could not be taken up in the Rajya Sabha.
First Published: Jan 10, 2019 00:00 IST