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The average number of annual sitting days of Parliament came down to 55 in the 17th Lok Sabha from 135 in the first.

February 11, 2024 9:07 pm | Updated on February 12, 2024 07:23 pm IST – New Delhi

The average annual sitting days of the first Lok Sabha, with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as Leader of the House, was 135 days, and the 17th Lok Sabha, which concluded on Friday, met only for 55 days on average a year. .

According to a statistical study of Parliament between June 2019 and February 2024 by non-profit organization PRS Legislative Research, the 17th Lok Sabha held 274 sessions and the previous four Lok Sabha, all of which were dissolved before the period stipulated five years. had fewer sessions.

One of the explanations for the lower number of sessions is the COVID-19 pandemic, although it does not explain why 11 of the 15 sessions held during this Lok Sabha were suspended early, leading to the cancellation of 40 scheduled sessions. Different reasons were cited for each cancellation. Of the five years, Parliament sat for the fewest days (33 in total) in 2020.

The 17th Lok Sabha was the first to function without a deputy president, a constitutionally mandated post. Article 93 of the Constitution requires the Lok Sabha to elect a President and Vice President as soon as possible.

The opposition has often criticized the government for passing bills hastily, often amidst a din, without any debate. Statistics seem to support the opposition’s claim. According to the study, 58% of bills were passed within two weeks of being introduced. The J&K Reorganization Bill, 2019 and Women’s Reservation Bill, 2023 were passed two days after their introduction. “35% of the bills were passed in less than an hour of discussion in Lok Sabha. The corresponding figure for Rajya Sabha was 34,” says the PRS study.

Only 16% of bills were referred to standing committees for parliamentary consideration. “This is lower than the figures for the previous three Lok Sabhas,” the PRS study observed.

Another major victim of fewer sittings were private members’ bills and resolutions (PMBs). In total, 729 PMBs were introduced in the 17th Lok Sabha, which is higher than all previous Lok Sabhas except the 16th. However, only two of them were discussed.

During the same period, 705 PMBs were introduced in Rajya Sabha and 14 were discussed.

To date, only 14 PMBs have been approved and received approval. None have passed both Houses since 1970.

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