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Is the Indian Parliament working enough?

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The last three terms of the Lok Sabha have something in common: the wastage of the parliament’s stipulated working time.

Taking the case of the 16th Lok Sabha which started in 2014 and was dissolved in 2019 a total of 1,615 hours was the actual time the lower house, i.e., the Lok Sabha worked which is a staggering 40% lower than the average working time of Lok Sabha which is 2,689 hours.  A total of 16% of the time or the working hours were wasted due to obstructions like walkouts, etc. Coming to the Upper House, i.e., the Rajya Sabha we get to know that it also lost around 36% of its time due to such disruption. If we compare these disruptions to previous Lok Sabhas, we get to know that though the 16th Lok Sabha fared better than its predecessor the 15th Lok Sabha but fared poorly when compared to the 14th Lok Sabha. The 16th Lok Sabha sat for only 331 days which is significantly lower than the average of 468 days. Due to the massive NDA (National Democratic Alliance) majority in the 16th Lok Sabha it passed a total of 133 bills and 45 ordinances which is again more than its predecessor but less than the 14th Lok Sabha or the time of UPA (United Progressive Alliance). To add to this exiguous performance the Rajya Sabha was worse off than the Lok Sabha in terms of efficiency partly due to lack of NDA majority in Rajya Sabha. Even though there have been speculations and accusations that the NDA government made arbitrary decisions and was not discussing the bills enough but the data by PRS Legislative Research ( a prominent research institution based in New Delhi) tells us that more discussions were there in the 16th Lok Sabha as compared to previous assemblies.

In 2019, the Rajya Sabha worked at a distressingly low-efficiency rate of 7% whereas the Lok Sabha work was pegged at an efficiency rate of 77%, which though is more than its compatriot but way lesser than the average of the parliament during the monsoon sessions which normally is around 95%. These facts and figures show that nowadays political parties want to have an argument rather than a rational debate which just results in the delay of the government’s work and the citizens’ taxes. Even during the Question Hours of the parliament, the opposition tends to stick to its questions and not listen to the answers. It has been estimated that each working day of the Indian parliament costs the Indian taxpayers around Rs. 6,00,00,000 or Six crore rupees. The solution to this problem is not as simple blaming the other side for such disruptions rather it requires a sustained effort from the government’s side which should teach the MPs or the Members of the Parliament about the mannerisms under which they should conduct themselves in, as these are not mere politicians but elected representatives of more than 1.3 billion Indian Citizens who need to work tirelessly for the betterment of this nation.


To get a better perspective on the issue, we asked some students about their views on the problem. Khushi Malhotra of Maharaja Agrasen College, says, “Efficiency isn’t present there. These people make the decisions for our nation, but still, political propaganda is given more importance than actual decision making. Often the opposition just tries to avoid passing bills for the ruling party like the Prasar Bharati Bill, 1979”. Apart from this another student, Sriya Rane from Cluster Innovation Centre (DU), tells us, “The Indian Parliament only works for 75 days while in Britain the working days amount to 152. Even though absenteeism has now reduced but still the problem is there. In other countries, the MPs are paid according to their attendance but in India, the salary is on a monthly basis and thus the MPs aren’t motivated to come to the parliament itself. Thus, the productive output of the parliament isn’t optimum”.


 Feature Image Credits: Surbhit Rastogi for DU Beat

Aniket Singh Chauhan

[email protected]

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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