Govt considers early end to monsoon session as RS stalemate continues

House Secretariat records show Rajya Sabha’s Monsoon Session productivity fell from 32.2% in the first week (starting July 19) to 13.7% in the second

Of the 50 total working hours available, 39.52 were lost to disruptions in the Rajya Sabha | File Photo

Amid a persistent stalemate in Parliament, the government is reportedly contemplating curtailment of the monsoon session scheduled to continue till August 13. The frequent disruptions have affected the productivity of the Rajya Sabha, as per the records of the Secretariat, which has for the first time started issuing daily bulletins on the business of the House.

“The government is ready to discuss every people-related issue in Parliament, but the opposition does not want that. It’s a complete waste of money and time,” The Indian Express quoted a minister as saying. He said the “looming COVID threat… with many areas reporting cases” would also be a factor if the government decides to wind up the session. The minister, however, said the government would make “some more efforts” to “convince” the opposition leaders to agree for the smooth functioning of both the Houses.

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The continuing impasse is reflected in the Monsoon Session’s productivity, which fell from 32.2 per cent in the first week (starting July 19) to 13.7 per cent in the second. Its overall figure for this period stood at 21.6 per cent, as per House Secretariat’s records, NDTV said.

The Secretariat is issuing daily bulletins, recording the business of the House that could not be taken up. In the first two weeks, 130 Zero Hour submissions and 87 Special Mentions failed to be taken up, though they were admitted by the chairman. Through these queries, MP raise questions on issues related to public importance.

Of the 50 total working hours available, 39.52 were lost to disruptions. The House, however, sat for 1.12 hours beyond the scheduled time, but for which the productivity would have been even lower, NDTV said.

During the nine sittings of the Rajya Sabha in these first two weeks, it had only 1.38 hours of Question Hour. This process ensures accountability of the executive to Parliament.

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It spent 1.24 hours on legislative business, passing four Bills with seven members intervening. The Bills passed were The 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.

The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, were among those introduced.

“Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, during the all-party meeting ahead of the session and the Business Advisory Committee meeting during the first week, has urged the government and the leaders of various parties to discuss the legislative and other business to be taken up in the House,” a statement from the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said on Saturday (July 31).

Covid-related issues were discussed for 4.37 hours in the first week. The IT minister also made a statement on the Pegasus spyware issue in this period.

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