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With 57 sittings, 2017 is the worst year for Parliament

By Rediff News
December 14, 2017 09:47 IST
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All you need to know about the Winter session of Parliament.

Parliament begins its Winter Session on December 15 and research has thrown up some very startling figures.

Other than the fact that the Winter Session was delayed to accommodate the Gujarat assembly election, in terms of the number of its sittings, 2017 is all set to go down in history as possibly the worst year ever for Parliament.

Data provided by PRS Legislative Research shows that so far in 2017, Parliament has assembled for a paltry 48 days; add the nine days in December that Parliament will function in a truncated Winter Session and the total rises to just 57.


In 2016, Parliament saw 70 sittings and in 2015 it saw 72.

In 2000, Lok Sabha was in session for as many as 85 days.

In fact, in the last 10 years, the lower House has met for an average of 70 days a year.

The chart shows the number of Lok Sabha sittings Parliament has witnessed since 1999.

Plan for 2017's Winter session

As many as 25 pending bills and 14 new ones, including a bill providing Muslim women the right to seek maintenance in case of triple talaq, are expected to be placed during the Winter Session.

The session -- which will have 14 sittings -- will end on January 5.

According to the think-tank PRS Legislative Research, some of the bills listed for consideration and passage at the session include the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016; the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013; and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016.

The Surrogacy Bill prohibits commercial surrogacy and allows its altruistic form. It also specifies criteria for the intending couple and a surrogate mother, PRS Legislative Research said.

The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 proposes to make giving a bribe an offence and modifies the definition of 'taking a bribe' and requires prior sanction to investigate officials, PRS Legislative Research pointed out.

The Transgender Bill, on the other hand, defines a transgender person, prohibits discrimination against the community and prescribes penalties for certain offences.

The new bills listed for introduction and passage include the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriages) Bill, 2017 and the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States_Amendment Bill), 2017.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriages) Bill gives women from the community the right to seek maintenance from their husbands in case of triple talaq while the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2017 prohibits certain persons, including promoters of defaulter companies, from submitting a resolution plan, PRS added.

New faces in Rajya Sabha

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit A Shah will join Prime Minister Narendra D Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the front row of the Treasury benches in the Rajya Sabha.

With Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu in the chairman's seat in the Upper House of Parliament, the front row position he occupied will now be taken by Shah who will sit on the other side of the aisle from Modi and Jaitley, the BJP's Leader of the House.

The Opposition's ranks will be weakened with the absence of three vocal members -- now- expelled-from-the-Janata-Dal-United-and-disqualified-by-Naidu Sharad Yadav, Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and Bahujan Samaj Party Supremo Mayawati.

With the JD-U joining the NDA, its members will move from the Opposition to the Treasury benches.

Yechury's front row seat will be taken by fellow comrade T K Rangarajan.

Mayawati had resigned from Parliament in a huff during its last session, complaining that her voice was being muzzled.

After her resignation, her seat was occupied by senior BSP leader Satish Mishra.

Inputs: Press Trust of India

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