Winter Session of Parliament enters final lap



Winter Session of Parliament enters final lap; Rajya Sabha still to decide on crucial Bills Lok Sabha’s productivity rises to 105% while that of Rajya Sabha declines to 68% Lok Sabha so far clears a record 17 Bills and Rajya Sabha only 11 Introduction of GST Bill in Lok Sabha, passing of labour reform Bills mark the high points of session





                The current Winter session of Parliament enters the final lap with only two scheduled sittings left next week even as the Rajya Sabha which is passing through a stalemate is still to take up crucial Bills relating to facilitation of auction of coal blocks, enhancing FDI limit in the capital starved insurance sector and enabling extension of  Delhi Special Provisions Act that expires by the end of this month.

                Marking a sharp contrast in the functioning of the two Houses of Parliament during the first four weeks of the Winter session, Lok Sabha functioned for over 126 hours during the stipulated 20 sittings with a productivity of over 105%. As against this, the productivity of Rajya Sabha has been only 68%. During this period, Lok Sabha has passed 17 Bills as against only 11 by the Upper House.

                Lok Sabha has lost only 2 hours and 10 minutes so far due to interruptions. The Lower House witnessed interruptions during five of the 20 sittings losing time in the range of 12 to 55 minutes on each of these days. The House however, worked over time on eight days for a total additional duration of 8 hours 36 minutes with a net gain of additional working hours of 6 hous 26 minutes.

                Rajya Sabha on the other hand witnessed interruptions during 15 of the 19 sittings (for which data is available) losing a total time of 44 hours 09 minutes. Time lost on each day of such interruptions ranged from 45 minutes to 323 minutes (5 hours 23 minutes). However, members of the Upper House worked over time on seven days making up 8 hours 46 minutes. The net loss of time on account of interruptions in Rajya Sabha has been 35 hours 38 minutes.

                Lok Sabha has already set up a record in terms of number of Bills passed and productivity vis-à-vis the last Budget session of this year and the Winter session of last year. The Lower House has so far passed 17 Bills during the current Winter session so far as against 12 Bills during the last Budget session and 17 Bills passed during last year’s Winter session. Productivity of Lok Sabha during the current session so far has been 105% as against 104% during the last Budget session this year.

                On the contrary, productivity of Rajya Sabha so far during the current winter session has been 68% as against 106% during the Budget session this year. The Upper House passed 12 and 17 Bills respectively during this year’s Budget session and last year’s Winter session.

                The remaining two sittings as per the schedule assumes importance as the Rajya Sabha is still to consider some crucial Bills, passed by Lok Sabha. These include : The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2014 that seeks to facilitate auction of coal blocks further to the Supreme Court striking down allocation of over 200 coal blocks, holding the allocation process arbitrary and illegal. The Upper House  is also to take up the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Amendment Bill, 2014. This Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha seeks to extend the validity of an Act that gives protection to unauthorized constructions and which is to expire by the end of this month. Consideration and passing of the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, pending since 2008 in the Rajya Sabha  has been held up on account of the prevailing stalemate in the House.

Details of Bills passed during the first four weeks of winter session are as below:
S.No
Bill
Lok Sabha
Rajya Sabha
1.
The Companies(Amendment) Bill, 2014
Passed
-
2.
The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Amendment Bill, 2014

Passed
-
3.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2014
Passed
-
4.
Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2014
Passed
 -
5.
The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2014
Passed
-
6.
The Payment and Settlement Systems (Amendment) Bill, 2014
Passed
-
7.
The Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill, 2014
Passed
-
8.
The Appropriation (No.4) Bill, 2014
Passed
Passed
9.
The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2014
Passed
Passed
10.
The Labour Laws (Exemption from furnishing returns and maintaining registers by certain establishments) Amendment Bill, 2014
Passed
Passed
11.
The Textile Undertakings (Nationalisation) Laws (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2014
Passed
Passed
12.
The Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Bill, 2014
Passed
Passed
13.
The Merchant Shipping (Second Amendment) Bill, 2014
Passed
Passed
14.
The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2014
Passed
Passed
15.
The School of Planning and Architecture Bill, 2014
Passed
Passed
16.
The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2014
Passed
Passed
17.
The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Bill, 2014
Passed
Passed
18.
The Apprentices (Amendment) Bill, 2014
Passed during last Budget session
Passed during current Winter session



  Six Bills withdrawn by the Government from the Rajya Sabha include: The Higher Education and Research Bill, 2011, The Protection and Utilisation of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill, 2008, The Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2000, The Delhi Hotels (Control of Accommodation) Repeal Bill, 2014, The Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and The Anti-Hijacking (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

                Introduction of the 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill, 2014 in the Lok Sabha seeking to introduce Goods and Services Tax (GST) with the aim of ‘One Nation, One Market, One Tax’, described by the Government as the most far reaching tax reform since Independence, passing of two labour reform laws by both the Houses, passing of The Companies(Amendment) Bill, 2014 that seeks to enhance the ease of doing business by the Lok Sabha and introduction in Lok Sabha of The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014 that seeks to infuse competition among power suppliers have been some of the high points of the Winter Session so far.
Winter Session of Parliament enters final lap Winter Session of Parliament enters final lap Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 6:18 PM Rating: 5

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