Parliament sitting days fewer now, says study

Parliament sitting days fewer now, says study

The Indian Parliament might have come of its age and celebrating 60 years of its existence on Sunday but figures regarding its sittings and law making show that this “temple of democracy” is not what it used to be.

According to a study by the PRS Legislative Research, the Lok Sabha met for an average 127 days in the 1950s and the Rajya Sabha for 93 days but it has drastically gone down to 73 days for both Houses in 2011. This is despite the All-India Conference of presiding officers, chief ministers, minister of parliamentary affairs and leaders and whips of parties held in 2001 demanding that Parliament should meet for a minimum of 110 days every year.

In Parliament, concern over repeated disruptions and need for introspection dominated the debates as it celebrated on Sunday the 60th year of its first sitting in independent India.

However, the study says, it must be noted that Departmentally Related Standing Committees were instituted in 1993 and since then Parliament refers many bills to these committees. This work happens outside Parliament sittings.

The study also pointed out that the first Lok Sabha passed an average of 72 bills each year but this has decreased to 40 bills a year in the 15th Lok Sabha. The highest number of bills passed in a year was 118 in 1976 during the Emergency. The lowest number of bills was passed in 2004 when only 18 bills were passed in Parliament.

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