Average working hours of Parliament less than 50 pc in 2000-07

April6, 2009 The Economic Times: As India prepares to elect a new Parliament, a latest study shows that only 173 MPs in the 14th Lok Sabha actually spoke on legislative issues while the House passed nearly 40 per cent of the bills with less than one hour of debate.

NEW DELHI: As India prepares to elect a new Parliament, a latest study shows that only 173 MPs in the 14th Lok Sabha actually spoke on legislative issues while the House passed nearly 40 per cent of the bills with less than one hour of debate. The 'Citizen's Report on Governance and Development 2008-09', collated by National Social Watch Coalition -- a conglomerate of civil society groups -- also brings out that between 2000-2007, the average hours of working of Parliament was not even 50 per cent of the total time. It noted that slogan-shouting, walkouts, boycotts and adjournments were increasing over the years.

The 11th Lok Sabha lost 5.28 per cent of its time due to pandemonium while the same was 22 per cent in the 14th Lok Sabha. Each minute of Parliament costs the exchequer Rs 26,035. "There is not a single session of Parliament during 2008 and 2009 that has not lost valuable man-hours on account of unruly incidents. The year 2008 even witnessed the virtual abrogation of a whole session of Parliament," John Samuel, Convenor of the Coalition, said. The report also found increasing absenteeism among MPs. On examining the attendance records of the 11th and 12th sessions of the 14th Lok Sabha, it was seen that more than 75 per cent of the MPs were below the median point of 16 or more days of attendance, according to the report.

 

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