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21 bills passed, 49 hours lost during winter session of Parliament

Source: PTI
January 05, 2018 23:26 IST
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The truncated winter session of Parliament ended on Friday during which the Lok Sabha passed 12 bills and the Rajya Sabha 9, even as the two chambers lost 15 and 34 hours respectively due to disruptions.

The session that started on December 15 ended on Friday with the adjournment of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sine die.

 

Prime Mnister Narendra Modi was present in both the Houses when they were adjourned.

The highlight of the Lok Sabha proceedings was the passage of the 'triple talaq' bill that seeks to criminalise the practice of instant divorce among Muslims with imprisonment up to three years for the errant husband.

Announcing the adjournment of the lower house, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the session held 13 sittings spread over 61 hours and 48 minutes and lost about 15 hours due todisruptions and adjournments.

"In this session, while we lost over 14 hours and 51 minutes of time due to interruptions followed by forced adjournments. The House also sat late for 8 hours and 10 minutes to discuss various important issues," she said.

In the Upper House, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said though Parliament was a political institution, it "cannot be an extension of politics in its typical sense which is marked by deep divisions and acrimony."

He also urged members to seriously introspect on their conduct in the House which lost almost 34 hours due to frequent disruptions.

Ahead of adjourning the House sine die at 1 PM, Naidu said the session had its highs and lows, but lamented that it ended up "losing some degree of esteem" on account of disruptions.

"It is unfortunate that despite discharging its responsibilities to a great extent, the august House ends up losing some degree of the esteem of the people on account of disruptions and substantial loss of functional time.

"Intense and passionate submissions and debates are the order of democracy, but disruptions are certainly not. I urge upon members to seriously introspect in this regard," he said.

Naidu also said it was "an opportunity for all of us to review, recall and introspect" about how the proceedings have been conducted in the House.

This, he said, was the first full session after he took over as the Chairman, and it could have been better than what it proved to be.

Parliament, he said, is an important institution for furthering the shared socio-economic goals of the nation which are critical to fulfilling the aspirations of the citizens whoare the chief patrons of our parliamentary democracy.

"The legislatures of our country including the apex Parliament need to quickly evolve in the way we conduct our proceedings so as to meet the needs of our evolving nation," he said.

Recalling the highs and lows, Naidu said one high point was that the government and the opposition reiterated their commitment to respecting and upholding the high office of the prime minister and ex- prime minister, and hoped this spirit prevails in future.

Another high point of the session, he said, was the way all sections of the House spoke in one voice in a restrained way about Kulbhushan Jadhav meeting his family members in Pakistan.

"This has been an exemplary case of members going beyond party lines on larger issue of common concern," he said.

Naidu said he was glad that leaders of all parties in the House created a record by taking up all listed starred questions on January 2, 2018 after 15 years. The need of the hour is to carry this spirit into the future, he said.

The Lok Sabha passed several important bills during the session including those for raising the salaries of judges, central road fund (amendment) bill, the requisitioning and acquisition of immovable property bill, the national capital territory of Delhi laws (special provisions) second (amendment) bill and the goods and services tax (compensation to states) amendment bill.

The Speaker said 16 bills were introduced by the government in the session.

During the session, she said, 280 starred questions were listed, of which 45 were answered orally. Written replies to the remaining starred questions along with 3220 unstarred questions were tabled.

About 198 matters of urgent public importance were raised by the members who sat till late in the evening.

Standing committees presented 41 Reports to the House.

The Lok Sabha held a short duration discussion on natural calamities in various part of the country, with special reference to cyclone Ockhi in south India.

In the Rajya Sabha, 19 Private Members' Bills were introduced and one was discussed at length. The House also deliberated on important issues like the state of economy and employment generation, besides the high levels of air pollution in Delhi.

The Rajya Sabha also bid farewell to three members -- Karan Singh, Janardan Dwivedi and Parvez Hashmi, representing the National Capital Territory of Delhi, who would be retiring on January 27.

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