The Budget Session of the Parliament concluded two weeks ahead of schedule on Thursday. Members of the Parliament from election-bound states had asked for the session to be cut short so they could focus on campaigning. The session began on January 29 and was scheduled to end on April 8.
Both the houses of the Parliament were adjourned sine die. The sessions saw heated debates over the National Capital Territory of Delhi Amendment Bill, 2021, that aims to give more powers to the lieutenant governor. It was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and the Lok Sabha on Monday. The Opposition also staged protests against rising fuel prices during the session.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said the Lower House of the Parliament recorded 114% productivity during the session. Birla did not attend the proceedings for a few days as he had tested positive for Covid-19 last week. In his absence, a panel of 10 chairpersons presided over the proceedings.
The Lok Sabha held 24 sittings, adding up to 132 hours, The Hindu reported. Eighteen bills were passed in the Lok Sabha in this session.
The Lower House of the Parliament also cleared the Insurance (Amendment) Bill, which raised the limit on foreign direct investments in the insurance sector from 49 to 74%. It saw the tabling of around 171 reports by parliamentary committees, the newspaper reported.
Rajya Sabha’s productivity
The Rajya Sabha registered 90% productivity during the Budget Session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said.
Joshi added that the House held 23 sittings, which added up to 104 hours. It passed 19 Bills and spent 42% of its functional time on legislative business,” according to The Hindu.
Congress Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh criticised the curtailment of the Budget session, India Today reported. “In the Business Advisory Committee, we were told by the government that the regional parties want the session to be prorogued early,” he was quoted as saying by the news channel. “But this was the [central] government’s tactic. In fact, this demand came from North Block and South Block [of the Central Secretariat].”
He added that the high productivity of the sessions would not have been possible without Congress.