Thirty-three bills are pending in Rajya Sabha for different duration and one of them is awaiting passage for the past 32 years, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday, as he expressed concern over pendency and called for a debate on changes to be made in Parliamentary rules to tackle pendency.
During the Zero Hour, Naidu said the "present dysfunctional, disruptive environment" must change and MPs must use the time available for Parliamentary debates most productively.
He suggested that one should rethink whether Bills passed by Lok Sabha that did not get Rajya Sabha nod should lapse at the dissolution of the Lower House. He also wanted a debate on whether a Bill pending in Rajya Sabha should be treated as lapsed if it is not passed within five years of its introduction.
Of the 33 bills pending in the Upper House, he told Rajya Sabha MPs that there are three legislations, which are still awaiting a final decision for more than 20 years. Three bills are pending for 10-20 years while 14 are pending for 5-10 years and another 10 for less than five years, he said.
The Indian Medical Council Amendment Bill 1987, which is aimed at improving the functioning of Medical Council of India, is pending for 32 years, he said adding, "this is certainly not a happy situation." The report of a Joint Committee on the Bill was submitted in July 1989 when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister.
Calling for a wider debate on dealing with pendency, he said 22 bills passed by the previous Lok Sabha lapsed when the House was dissolved as the Upper House did not give its assent.
"It takes considerable time and energy to get a Bill passed in either of the Houses of Parliament. Given the implications for the functioning of the Parliament and the impact of the Bills getting lapsed on the much desired transformation of our country, there is a need to rethink the provision regarding the lapsing of the Bills in the Upper House of the Parliament," he said.
Another issue Naidu touched was the stalling of Bills in Rajya Sabha where the Opposition has a numerical edge over the government. "We should examine the reasons why there was a wide gap between the number of bills passed by the 16th Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, especially when compared to the 15th Lok Sabha," he said.
Raising the issue of disruptions, he said it raises "negative perception". Emphasising that there is a growing perception that democracy is in danger because of dysfunctional Parliament, he said, "I have been getting deeply disturbed by the recent happenings in the House. At times, I don't even get sleep. I am sorry, I am really disturbed." (ENDS)
Some of the Bills pending in Rajya Sabha
The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 1987
The Constitution (79th Amendment) Bill, 1992
The Provision of the Municipalities (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Amendment Bill, 2001
The Seeds Bill, 2004, The Pesticides Management Bill, 2011
The Mines (Amendment) Bill, 2011, The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Amendment) Bill, 2011
The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2012
The Building and Other Construction Workers Related Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2013
The Wakf Properties (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Bill, 2014