In ‘historic’ session, Houses pass 18 Bills

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on April 12, 2017

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan speaks in Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday.   -  PTI

Budget session had several firsts: govt

While the Centre claimed the Budget session of Parliament has been “historic”, the Opposition said the Narendra Modi government tried all possible ways to scuttle the democratic process by undermining the Rajya Sabha.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters after the sine die adjournment of both the Houses on Wednesday that the three main highlights of the Session were advancement of the Budget, passage of GST Bills and the integration of rail and general budgets. He said it was for the first time in history that all financial businesses of the government was completed before the start of the new financial year, and by following all due processes. “This is a big financial reform so as to make full funds available to Ministries for the execution of their developmental projects. This is the first time that vote on account was dispensed with during the Budget session,” he said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs MA Naqvi said three Bills — the Bill to give constitutional status to the backward classes commission, Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, and Factories (Amendment) Bill — could not be passed by both Houses.

“The opposition to these Bills was not on merit but still the government respected the consensus in the Rajya Sabha to refer them to the Select Committee,” he said.

A ‘ thinking’ house

Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad questioned the Centre’s contention and said the Upper House works with its own mind.

“The government is undemocratic and that is why it has a problem in accepting the wisdom of the Rajya Sabha,” he said.

There were 29 sittings of both the Houses during the two laps of Budget session.

The productivity of the Lok Sabha was 113.27 per cent and that of the Rajya Sabha was 92.43 per cent.

Approximately eight hours were lost in the Lok Sabha and 18 hours in the Rajya Sabha due to interruptions, which was made up by sitting late for approximately 19 hours and seven hours respectively, Kumar said.

Twenty-four Bills were introduced in Parliament. While 23 were passed by the Lok Sabha, 14 were passed by the Rajya Sabha during the session. “Total number of Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament during the session is 18,” Kumar added.

The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, the Mental Health Care Bill and the Employee’s Compensation (Amendment) Bill and the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill were passed by both the Houses.

Discussions on Sustainable Development Goals, Electoral Reforms and Aadhaar were held in Parliament.

Published on April 12, 2017
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