This budget session was the shortest in 20 years

This budget session was the shortest in 20 years

Business was conducted in Parliament just for 23 days

 Business was conducted for a mere 23 days. Earlier, 29 days of business done in the budget session of 2008 and 31 days of the 2001 opening session were the shortest sessions. This, however, excludes election years such as 2004 and 2009.
The longest budget session recorded in the recent past was in 1995 when Parliament conducted business for just 41 days.

This year, the budget session saw the Lok Sabha transacting business for 44 hours and the Rajya Sabha 23 hours.

The current year’s session was reduced to allow the MPs to go for campaigning in the four states and one Union territory where Assembly elections are to be held. Normally, the MPs take a break after the presentation of budget and vote-on-account. The recess facilitates the MPs to study the finer aspects of the budget in their standing committee meetings and make recommendations. This time, however, Parliament did away with the break, met for 23 days and adjourned sine die.

The session has also been prorogued which means the budget session will not continue after the elections as earlier expected.

PRS Legislative Research,  which made this study, took into account all the budget sessions held after 1993 when the format of budget session was changed to allow Parliamentary standing committees to analyse the budget ministry-wise.

In a bid to contain the menace of the question hour (conducted every day of session from 11 am to 12 noon) being disrupted, the Rajya Sabha decided to shift it to the afternoon. While a longer session would help in knowing the impact of the decision, this change, however, did not stop MPs from disrupting the afternoon question hour.

In his valedictory remarks at the end of the session, Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari, however, said: “Initial results have been encouraging. I have also received some feedback which will help fine-tune the new arrangement.”

While the question hour shift has not been done in the Lok Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs minister P K Bansal said the Speaker would take a call on it. At an end-of-session press meet on Friday, he said the government and Opposition parties have not shown much interest in shifting the question hour.