Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla speaks during the Budget Session of Parliament in New Delhi on Saturday. (ANI Photo)
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla speaks during the Budget Session of Parliament in New Delhi on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

‘Highly productive’, says Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla as first phase of Budget Session ends

While the Rajya Sabha went on a recess on Friday, the Lok Sabha went into recess on Saturday evening and both the Houses will reconvene on March 8.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray
PUBLISHED ON FEB 13, 2021 07:48 PM IST

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Saturday the Budget Session, which began on January 29, has been highly productive with more than 100 members taking part in the discussion. “The first part of the Budget Session, which concluded today, has been highly productive. As many as 117 members took part in the General Discussion on Union Budget 2021-2022, which lasted for 14 hours and 40 minutes,” Om Birla said according to news agency ANI.

“During the first part of the Union Budget, the Lok Sabha sat for 49 hours and 17 minutes against the stipulated time of 50 hours with the participation of 117 members, including 49 women MPs. The House lost an effective time of 43 minutes due to disruptions,” Birla was quoted as saying by ANI.

The Lok Sabha Speaker that the time lost due to disruptions was compensated by sitting beyond schedule time. “It is the responsibility of all members to ensure that democratic and ethical standards are maintained in the House,” Birla said.

Officials, according to ANI, had said earlier that the Lok Sabha has seen productivity of 164 per cent in the first four days of this week with the overall productivity of the House in the budget session is nearing 100 per cent. The productivity has risen due to efforts of Birla, who held series of meetings to resolve the standoff between the government and opposition over a separate discussion on new farm laws which had led to several disruptions last week, they added.

While the productivity was only 10 per cent between February 2 and 5, it reached 164 per cent between February 8 and 11. The productivity was 96 per cent between January 29 and February 11 and was expected to cross 100 per cent by Saturday.

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Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has said on Friday that the Rajya Sabha clocked 99 per cent productivity during the two-week long first part of the dual-phase Budget Session. "I am happy to inform you that this part of the session has been quite productive with the House clocking 99 per cent productivity," Naidu had said before adjourning the proceedings till March 8.

The House, apart from the discussion on the budget, also debated for 15 hours on a motion thanking the President for his address to the joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the session. "The productivity of the House during this week has been 113 per cent as against the productivity of 82 per cent during the first week. As against the total scheduled time of 45 hours 4 minutes, net of only 30 minutes has been lost due to disruptions," Naidu said.

Naidu said during the first part 27 hours and 11 minutes were spent on debate and discussions. More than 60 per cent of the total functional time was spent on discussing Motion of Thanks to the President and the General Budget for 2021-2022, he said. "About 100 members spoke on these two subjects alone,” he added.

As against the loss of 4 hours 24 minutes during the first week, the members sat for an extra 3 hours 54 minutes during the second week. A total of 88 issues of public importance have been raised. These include 56 Zero Hour and 32 Special Mentions. Also, 55 Starred Questions were orally answered. The J&K Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and The Major Ports Authority Bill, 2020, were passed during the two weeks. 

The budget session began on January 29 and the first part of the session concluded on Saturday. While the Rajya Sabha went on a recess on Friday, the Lok Sabha went into recess on Saturday evening and both the Houses will reconvene on March 8. Parliament’s Budget session is usually held in two phases — President addresses the two Houses in the first and the Union Budget is also introduced during this period. The recess allows department-related standing committees to examine demands for grants of various ministries.

In the second phase of the Budget Session, the finance bill and related demands for grants are passed. The session would conclude on April 8.

(With agency inputs)

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