Budget session of Parl ends without land bill being passed

Budget session of Parl ends without land bill being passed

Budget session of Parl ends without land bill being passed

The Budget session of Parliament concluded today with passage of record official business in recent years but the government failed to ensure passage of the controversial Land Acquisition Bill as also key reform measure of GST amid stiff resistance from opposition.

This Budget Session has proved to be most productive during the last decade with the Lok Sabha working 117 per cent of the scheduled workimg hours and the Rajya Sabha reported a productivity of 101 per cent, the government said.

"In terms of number of Bills passed by both the Houses during the Budget sessions, the highest number of 24 Bills were passed by both the Houses during this Budget session, the best in the last five years," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said.

Despite the government proroguing Rajya Sabha to faciliate repromulagation of the Land Ordinance, it was forced to refer the contentious bill to a Joint Committee of Parliament in the face of stiff resistance by opposition led by Rahul Gandhi.

This was the second time, the government had attempted to bring the bill. In the first phase of the Budget session that ended on March 20, the land bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, but got stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the BJP and its allies did not have numbers.

Government had put a lot of hopes on the early passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill for roll-out of GST to send out the message that it was going fast on the reform route, but the session saw it had to bow to the opposition wishes of sending it to the standing committee.

The second phase of the budget session of Lok Sabha started on April 20 in an atmosphere surcharged over the Land Bill as several opposition parties had made a common cause to resist it.

A highlight of the session was the passage of a number of bill including the Constitution (100th Amendment) Bill relating to operationalisation of Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh, the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill and the important Black Money Bill.

In addition, major legislations for ensuring transparency in allocation of natural resources like coal and other mineral minerals and enhancing ease of doing business were also passed during this session.

The Rajya Sabha saw history being created with a private members' bill seeking equal opportunities to transgenders moved by Tiruchi Siva of DMK being passed, the first in 36 years.

In terms of the number of sittings also, this session scored high. The Lok Sabha held 35 sittings, the highest in the last five years.  Rajya Sabha held 32 sittings, next only to that of 34 in 2012.

During the session, 620 starred questions were listed, out of which 135 questions were answered orally. "Thus on an average, 4.21 questions were answered per day. During the session,

Naidu said the second part of the Budget Session in particular and the Session in general has proved to be "very eventful" as well as productive.

A total of 22 Bills were introduced in Lok Sabha and 2 Bills in Rajya Sabha during this Budget session. While the Lok Sabha passed 23 Bills, Rajya Sabha passed 24 Bills.
Also, a record in recent years was the fact that the Demand for Grants were discussed in Lok Sabha for 6 Ministries.

On account of disruptions and interruptions, Lok Sabha lost 6 hours 54 minutes but made up for the lost time by giving up lunch hours and working beyond scheduled time for 42 hours 41 minutes. Similarly, Rajya Sabha has lost 18 hours 28 minutes but gained 20 hours.
With government set to complete a year in office in about a fortnight, Naidu spoke of "perceptible improvement" in the functioning of Parliament.

2345 papers were laid on the table of the House by Ministers concered, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan said in her valedictory address.

"During this Budget session, Lok Sabha had Question Hour on 32 days. It is disturbing to note that opposition had given notices for suspension of Question Hour on 20 days. Similarly, notices were given for suspension of Business of the House during 29 of the 35 total sittings," Naidu said.

"In effect, opposition attempted to disturb the scheduled business of Lok Sabha on 32 of the 35 working days. In the case of Rajya Sabha, opposition demanded adjournment of business on 15 of the 32 working days," the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said.

"Our focus is on removing the cobwebs that are coming in the way of the much-needed economic recovery by enabling necessary flow of domestic and foreign investments," he said, adding the government will never hesitate to agree to refer any Bill to any committee for detailed scrutiny if complex issues are involved in such proposals.

In an apparent attack on mainly on Congress and Left parties, Naidu said, "We will certainly have a problem if procedures are insisted only with a view to apply breaks on the government's initiatives by seeking to delay such proposals in the guise of referring them to some committee or the other.

"Particularly so, when some Bills which were already scrutinized by such committee were asked to be again sent for further scrutiny. Land Bill, GST Bill, Real Estate Bill are some such cases," he said.

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