|Every year, parliament witness one or two events which leave a bad impression. It was this year, too. However, this doesn't eclipse the highs of 2014.
The first session in February but the last for the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, remained unfruitful as expected. Seven Bills were passed and another 10 introduced in both Houses.
"The Session saw extensive disruptions over the issue of separate statehood for Telangana and the plight of Tamil fishermen. It ended on a low note, with an MP using pepper spray in the Lok Sabha to protest the introduction of The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014. Seventeen MPs were suspended by the Speaker for grave disorder," said PRS Legislative Research, a non-profit organisation.
The 15th Lok Sabha completed its five-year term in June. It left 128 Bills pending, the highest at the end of any Lok Sabha. Of these, 68 lapsed and another 60 Bills, also pending in the Rajya Sabha (where Bills never lapse, as it is a permanent House), have been forwarded to the 16th Lok Sabha.
The new or 16th Lok Sabha following an emphatic victory of the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) saw some serious transaction of business. The productivity in both Houses during the Budget session (July-August) was quite high. Five Bills were passed and another 14 introduced in both Houses.
"It lost a significant time to disruptions during the winter session over the issue of reported religious conversions and was able to work for 59 per cent of its scheduled time in the Rajya Sabha," said PRS. In the Lok Sabha, though, it was high productivity.
Around 40 Bills were introduced this year. These included the Constitution 122nd Amendment (Goods and Services Tax) Bill, The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, The Factories (Amendment) Bill and The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill.
"Eight ordinances were promulgated. Two of these were by the UPA government and six by the current NDA government. These included the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance, promulgated twice, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Ordinance, and the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Ordinance," stated PRS.
The new Lok Sabha saw the highest percentage till date of women (11) and the largest number of members (47 per cent) over the age of 55, and a small decrease in members with at least a graduate degree (75 per cent).
"The single largest profession of MPs elected was agriculture (27 per cent).
Also, 314 Lok Sabha members (58 per cent) were elected for the first time, the highest in three decades.
Issues that dominated and disturbed the house included the monsoon, price rise, atrocities against women and children, communal violence, unaccounted money, natural calamities, agrarian crisis, religious conversions and the national rural jobs guarantee scheme.