December 22, 2023
Parliament Winter Session: A Balance of Productivity Amid Disruptions
Productivity Amidst Interruptions
- The Winter Session of Parliament, wrapped up prematurely due to disruptions and a record 146 suspensions, still emerged as one of the most productive this year. Despite ongoing interruptions, mainly stemming from uproar over a security breach on December 13, the session witnessed substantial legislative progress. Notably, crucial bills were passed, although discussions often occurred in near-empty opposition benches.
- Comparing this Winter Session’s productivity with prior sessions of the 17th Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha reveals intriguing trends. Although disruptions were rampant, the session managed to utilize a significant portion of scheduled time for functioning. The Lok Sabha, scheduled for 15 sittings, conducted 14, utilizing 74% of the allocated time, marking a notable rise from earlier sessions.
- The Rajya Sabha, with a similar number of sittings, achieved 81% functionality, ranking it among the more productive sessions despite the challenges.
Legislative Focus and Output
- The number of bills passed and introduced offers further insight. While this session ranks sixth in bills passed, it lags in bill introductions, mainly handling pending bills from prior sessions. The Lok Sabha, especially, focused on pending legislation, resulting in fewer new bills.
- Notably, the Winter Session witnessed a substantial emphasis on legislative business, particularly with the passage of the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill. However, varying levels of discussion time were apparent across bills, with some passing with minimal deliberation.
Record Suspensions and Historical Context
- Despite its productivity, the Winter Session also saw record-high suspensions, notably in the Lok Sabha, reaching 113 instances, surpassing previous records held by the 8th Lok Sabha.
- This trend of increased suspensions in recent Lok Sabhas contrasts with historical records, where the 8th Lok Sabha, during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure, held the suspension record. Since 2014, consecutive Lok Sabhas under Prime Minister Narendra Modi have seen a steady rise in suspension instances.
- The Winter Session of Parliament showcased a peculiar balance between productivity and interruptions, highlighting the substantial legislative output amid the turmoil. While grappling with disruptions and suspensions, it notably progressed key bills, underscoring the session’s significance despite its challenges.