Parliament worked just 18 hours in first 2 weeks of monsoon session
Parliament could function for just 18 hours out of possible 107 hours since the monsoon session began on July 19 leading to the loss of taxpayers money amounting to more than ₹133 crore as the opposition disrupted the business of both the Houses over several issues, reports said citing an official notification.
According to the reports, the Lok Sabha worked for about 7 hours out of possible 54 hours and the Rajya Sabha for 11 hours out of possible 53 hours as opposition parties protested over farmers' agitation, the Pegasus spyware row, the Centre's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and inflation.
"With disruptions continuing, the productivity of Rajya Sabha fell to 13.70 per cent during the second week of the ongoing monsoon session from 32.20 per cent during the first week, resulting in the overall productivity of 21.60 per cent for the first two weeks," ANI reported quoting an official notification. "Of the total 50 working hours available, 39 hours 52 minutes have been lost due to disruptions. The House, however, sat for 1 hour 12 minutes beyond the scheduled time, but for which the productivity would have been much lower," the notification added, according to ANI.
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The Rajya Sabha only had an hour and 38 minutes of Question Hour, an hour and 24 minutes for legislative business passing four bills with seven members intervening and a minute of Zero Hour and another four minutes on Special Mentions during the nine sittings of these first two weeks in the monsoon session.
Union information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw made or laid a statement on the Pegasus spyware row and Covid-19 related issues were discussed for 4 hours 37 minutes during the first week.
The government has so far managed to get Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021; the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill, 2021; the Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and The Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021 passed in Parliament. Among the four bills introduced in the Rajya Sabha were The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
As the logjam continued in Parliament even as the opposition and the Centre traded blame for the disruptions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress party of not allowing the monsoon session to function. PM Modi also asked lawmakers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to "expose the party before the public and the media".
On Friday, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said in the Lok Sabha opposition leaders should not focus on “non-serious issues” but raise “important people-related issues”.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has written to the chairman of the House, vice president M Venkaiah Naidu, saying that opposition parties are not being given time to speak in Parliament.
(With agency inputs)