Data Focus

Karnataka passed most number of Bills, Kerala promulgated most Ordinances in 2021

Parvathi Benu | Updated on: Jun 30, 2022

KARNATAKA BENGALURU 14/02/2022 Karnataka Governor Thaawar Chand Gehlot addressing the Joint session at assembly hall in Vidhana Soudha today. Also seen Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri and Legislative Council chairman Basavaraj Horatti in the picture | Photo Credit: HANDOUT E MAIL

According to a report, State Assemblies functioned almost normally last year despite two Covid waves

Despite the second and third Covid waves, State Assemblies functioned almost normally in 2021. So which State Assemblies legislated the most number of Bills and how efficient were they in passing Bills?

A recent report by PRS Legislative Research provides some answers. Karnataka passed the most number of Bills and Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were the quickest in getting Governor’s asset for Bills. Kerala Assembly convened the most number of days but had to rely on ordinances for legislative action.

The most active and efficient

Despite many hiccups, Karnataka managed to pass a whopping 48 Bills during the year. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh that passed 38 Bills and Punjab, Kerala and Maharashtra passed 35 Bills each. On the other hand, Delhi had passed just two Bills last year.

Interestingly, Delhi was in the bottom of the table in 2020 too, passing just two bills. Karnataka, at that time, had passed 60 Bills.

The report also showed that almost a third of the Bills, 73 per cent of them, received the Governor's assent in a month. A Bill must receive the assent of the Governor or the President to become an Act. In 2021, 73 per cent of the Bills received the assent of the Governor within a month. In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the average number of days taken by the Governor to give assent was the fastest at seven days. This number was 94 days for Jharkhand and 61 days for Tripura, the report noted.

The ordinance factory in Kerala

, Kerala promulgated 144 ordinances in 2021. Ordinances are temporary laws that the government can make when immediate action is required and the legislature is not in session. This is noteworthy, because the Kerala State Assembly met for 61 days in 2021, making it the one with the most number of sittings in the country. This is at a time when all State Assemblies met for an average of 21 days. "In Kerala, 51 Ordinances were promulgated within two weeks after a session ended. 44 Ordinances were promulgated 20 days before a session started," the report said.

Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra promulgated 18 and 15 ordinances each. In Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, all Bills replacing these Ordinances became Acts in 2021.

When it comes to sittings, Kerala is followed by Odisha, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, where Assemblies met for 43, 40, 34 and 33 days respectively. In 2020, the Kerala Assembly had only met for 20 days. 2021 saw a 205 per cent increase in the number of days that the State Assembly met. On the other hand, is the Tripura Assembly, which met for only seven days. It is followed by the Delhi and Andhra Pradesh Assemblies that met for eight days each.

The report also noted that between 2016 and 2021, State Assemblies met for an average of 24 days. Here too, Kerala topped the list with an average of 49 meeting days a year. Tripura was at the bottom of the table with 11 meeting days. "In the last two decades (1997-2019), the Kerala Assembly has met for an average of 51 days in a year," the report noted.

Published on June 30, 2022
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