The last winter session of Parliament of India witnessed passage of 22 important Bills and was termed and concluded as ‘productive’ and ‘successful’ – yet, a total of Rs 73.5 crore were lost in the 14-day-long parliamentary session.
The Indian treasury faced a dent of Rs 73,50,00,000 during the 14-day-long winter session, yes, let that fact sink in and while you do that, let me tell you that this was one of the most productive and successful parliamentary sessions of recent time. The latest winter session witnessed passage of 22 Bills, yet 34 working hours were lost in the Rajya Sabha House and 15 hours in the Lok Sabha House – making a total of 49 hours being wasted in the session. As per government data, every single minute in the Parliament costs Rs 2.5 lakh – so with 49 hours lost, a total amount of Rs 73.5 lakh was lost in the session.
In the most recent budget session’s second half, both parliamentary houses showed low functioning with the Rajya Sabha functioning for 7% of its scheduled time and Lok Sabha for 3% of its time. However, in order to save time and pass crucial bills on time, the Parliament passed the Finance Bill 2018 without any discussion along with a Rs 89.25 lakh crore spending plan for the next fiscal year in just 25 minutes in Lok Sabha. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had moved 21 amendments to the Bill containing taxation proposals for 2018-19, which were approved by voice vote. So was the Appropriation Bill which detailed spending plans for 99 government ministries and departments.
The losses aren’t occurring for the first time – during the monsoon session last year, both the houses of Parliment lost about 55 hours, causing a loss of Rs 82.5 crore. The enormous damage caused to institutional pillars of democracy and “disabling Parliament” to reflect the voice of the people – which can be avoided if political parties put their agenda aside and work dutifully for the betterment of India and the people of India.