Increased Parliament efficiency, but far fewer bills sent to Panels

While unveiling 76 multistorey flats for MPs that have been built on the site where eight MP bungalows used to stand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the increased efficiency in the functioning of Parliament since he came to power in 2014.


This is not inaccurate. The 16th Lok Sabha passed 15 per cent more Bills than the previous one, he said, adding that in these five years, 60 per cent of the passed Bills have been debated for at least 2 hours. The productivity of the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha was 135 per cent and that of the Rajya Sabha was 100 per cent. This is the best performance of Parliament in two decades, according to him.


According to PRS Legislative Research, the 16th Lok Sabha, which held its sessions between June 2014 and February 2019, passed 133 Bills and promulgated 45 Ordinances. This was 15 per cent higher than the 15th Lok Sabha under UPA II when 151 Bills and Ordinances were tackled Parliament.


The 15th Lok Sabha had been among the least productive in 10 years with reduced time spent in legislation and oversight. Frequent disruptions were witnessed by agitations over allocations of 2G spectrum, coal blocks, Telangana statehood, and the Commonwealth Games. It passed the least number of Bills by any full-term Lok Sabha and 68 Bills lapsed after its dissolution.


The 16th Lok Sabha passed a majority of bills related to the financial sector, including GST Bill, Bankruptcy Code, Insurance Amendment Bill, Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, etc. The 16th Lok Sabha also saw a larger proportion of Bills being discussed for a longer time — 32 per cent of the bills were discussed for more than 3 hours and 28 per cent were discussed for between 2 and 3 hours. Far fewer bills were passed within 30 minutes of being introduced - it decreased from 26 per cent in the previous session to 6 per cent.


However, it is also true that the 16th Lok Sabha referred far fewer Bills to Committees. Only 25 per cent of the Bills in the 16th Lok Sabha were introduced to committees compared to 71 per cent and 60 per cent in the 15th and 14th Lok Sabha, respectively.

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