Rajya Sabha sees productivity of over 90% in first week of Winter Session

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In the first week of Parliament's Winter Session, the Rajya Sabha reported productivity of more than 90 per cent, its secretariat said on Saturday.

This is the 250th session of the Upper House.

Based on the discussions that Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had with leaders of various parties, the Rajya Sabha is likely to discuss the state of the economy and the Pegasus spyware issue next week, according to the statement.

The House has availed 25 hours and 54 minutes of the available time of 28 hours and 37 minutes during the first five working days, it said.

Two hours and 43 minutes were lost due to forced adjournments for some time on two days, the statement said.

"Continuing with the spirit of the highly productive last monsoon session, the Rajya Sabha has reported productivity of 90.50 per cent during the first week of the ongoing Winter Session which is the landmark 250th session of the Upper House," the Rajya Sabha secretariat said.

The House discussed the issue of pollution for three hours under a calling attention notice admitted by the chairman, it said.

This is the longest such discussion in the last 43 sessions and after 13 years, according to the statement.

Besides passing the Jalianwala Bagh Memorial National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019, 27 starred questions were orally answered and 33 'Zero Hour' submissions and 22 'Special Mentions' were made during the first week of the session

The Winter Session of Parliament started on November 18 and is scheduled to conclude on December 13.

The statement said a quality marathon discussion was held on the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, leading to it being referred to a 23-member Select Committee of the House.

The week started with a discussion on 250th session of the Rajya Sabha with members making 83 suggestions for better functioning of the House during the special debate on the 'Role of Rajya Sabha in Indian Polity and Way Forward'.

As directed by Chairman Naidu, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat compiled the suggestions made by him, the prime minister and 28 members of the House during the special discussion.

Several members suggested changing the composition of the Rajya Sabha for truly reflecting the federal nature of the polity either by ensuring equal representation in the House for all the states as in the case of the US Senate or providing for representation for states and union territories that are not represented in the House now, the statement said.

Many also called for increasing the sittings of the House with some members suggesting a minimum of 100 sittings every year as against the present 60 to 70 sittings per year, it added.

Legislative business proposed by the government for the next week include consideration and passing of the Chit Funds(Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Dam Safety Bill, 2019 and the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which have been already passed by the Lok Sabha.

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