India 2016 wishlist: Let parliament function


Parliament disruption

It’s a New Year resolution the nation would readily cheer and welcome. The opposition Congress must heed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s exhortation to take a vow to allow the parliament to function. The scenes of chaos and noisy posturing indulged in by an unusually combative Congress have alienated the public opinion, dented the global image of the world’s largest democracy, and have cost the nation a packet.

Attacking the opposition over relentless disruption of the Parliament, Prime Minister Modi said on the New Year’s Eve: “Those who ruled India for 60 years have no right to disrupt its functioning.”

The Congress has reacted by indulging in blame game. Reacting to Mr Modi’s remark, Congress leader Anand Sharma said that the government’s arrogance did not let Parliament function. “While in Opposition, BJP opposed GST, Modi spearheaded the charge, we are the authors of GST,” Mr Sharma added.

Cost to the nation  

Both the houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die on December 23, which marked the end of the Winter Session. The earlier monsoon session of Parliament in 2015 was also a wash-out. The Lok Sabha managed to pass 13 Bills despite persistent uproar created by opposition Congress over various issues including certain allegations against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in connections with DDCA affairs.  The upper house of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, lost over 47 hours due to disruptions. 

The 20-day session in Lok Sabha was considerably much productive as compared to the last Monsoon session. The cost of running each House is Rs. 29,000 per minute and the loss of hours in the Rajya Sabha has resulted in a loss of nearly Rs. 10 crore (around $1.8 million) to the exchequer.

The Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha clocked only 14 per cent productive time at just 2.4 hours for the entire session. The Lok Sabha, worked for 115 hours. This was an hour extra compared to the scheduled 114 hours and in this house it is the ruling BJP that has more number of seats with a clear majority.