#DailyGFX: Lok Sabha requires a month’s extension to pass all the remaining bills
Even if the Parliamentarians burn the midnight oil—or, work for 13-straight hours each day, including tonight—they’d still require a week’s extension.
The BJP-led government is in a hurry to introduce, debate and pass 17 Bills in just five working days remaining in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha.
However, an Asiaville analysis of the Parliament data revealed that the government would require at least 28-days extension to pass all the remaining Bills.
During June 2014 to February 2019, a total of 180 Bills were passed in 331 sittings that continued for 1,612 hours, data from the statistical handbook of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs read.
The average working hours per day for all 17 sessions of the 16th Lok Sabha turns to be 4.87 hours, and the time taken to pass one Bill at 8.96 hours.
Therefore, based on simple mathematics, it would take 152.24 hours to pass 17 Bills; or, 26 additional working days for them to get the presidential nod.
The rush is palpable. The Lower House was found to be working late into evenings this session on most days—on a couple of occasions, even until midnight.
However, even if the MPs burnt the midnight oil—or, work for 13-straight hours each day including tonight—they’d still require a week’s extension.
There’s another problem, though: this mad rush to pass the bills means that there’s barely any time to scrutinise them. Now this is a democratic process wherein a Parliamentary Committee composed of MPs from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha go through each clauses of a Bill to lay down its merits and demerits.
That, however, is missing so far in all the eight bills that have been passed in the ongoing session of the parliament. The worrying factor is that fewer bills are being referred to parliamentary committees.
About 60 per cent and 71 per cent of the Bills were referred to the Standing Committee in the 14th and 15th Lok Sabha respectively; in the 16th Lok Sabha, the figure came down to 26 per cent.
Meanwhile, according to the PRS Legislative Research, the ongoing session of the 17th Lok Sabha has been the most productive in the last 20 years as it recorded 128 per cent productivity until Tuesday, July 16th.
Comparatively, the 16th Lok Sabha worked for a total number of 1,615 hours, 20 per cent more than the 15th Lok Sabha. However, this was 40 per cent lower than the average of all full term Lok Sabhas (2,689 hours). What’s more, question hours declined and 83 per cent of the Budget was passed without discussion.
Ordinances are temporary laws which can be issued by the President when the Parliament is not in session. It is done upon the advice of the Union Cabinet and allows the government to take immediate legislative action according to the circumstance.
Often, however, ordinances are used by governments to pass legislation which is currently pending in Parliament. According to media reports, the BJP 2.0 government plans to convert 10 ordinances, including the one to ban the practice of instant triple talaq, into law.