New Delhi : The budget-cum-monsoon session of Parliament adjourned sine die on Thursday with the government taking pride that more work was done and more hours were devoted to the business compared to the similar post-poll budget sessions in 2004 and 2009. The session was more productive ever, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said.
In support, he reeled out the statistics of 27 sittings this session compared to 24 in 2004 and 26 in 2009, 20 Bills introduced compare to eight in 2004 and 16 in 2009, 12 Bills were passed by both the Houses compared to six in 2004 and eight in 2009. With the Apprenticeship Bill passed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, the House had a better record of 13 Bills cleared as compared to 12 in the Rajya Sabha.
There were disruptions in both the House resulting in loss of time, but they were compensated by both the Houses clocking more hours by sitting extra time. The Lok Sabha lost 14 hrs 23 minutes, but gained 27 hrs and 10 minutes to compensate the loss. The same with the Rajya Sabha that lost over 21 hours, but compensated with sitting late for more than 38 hours.
Rajya Sabha leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad claimed the better productive session’s credit goes to the Opposition as it practiced constructive opposition as compared to the BJP while in the opposition just not allowing Parliament to function year after year. For that matter, Venkaiah Naidu also thanked the entire opposition for the cooperation.
INSURANCE BILL: Venkaiah Naidu admitted the first setback the government got on the insurance bill when the Opposition made it clear that it is in a minority and can’t get any bill passed without the opposition’s cooperation. The Opposition was insisting on referring the Bill that envisages higher FDI in the insurance sector from 26 to 49% to the Select Committee of the House.
The government finally gave in, referring it to the select committee on the last day on Thursday, but with
a rider that it must give
its report by the end of the first week of the next
session to get the law passed in that session.
The biggest achievement for the government was the passage of the twin Bills for replacing the Collegium system for appointment of the Supreme Court and High Court judges with the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) in the last two days of the session and that too unanimously in both the Houses.
Venkaiah Naidu thanked the Congress in particular for turning around from initial hints of blocking the Bills to support them without reservation. Azad said that magic came from Sonia Gandhi’s decision that the Congress should not block own Bills that were scuttled by the BJP as the credit will go to the Congress for its initiative behind the exercise.
Venkaiah Naidu, however, won’t agree. The Congress-led UPA government kept dithering and it is because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to clear all pending old business and then make more moves that the two Bills could be pushed, he said. Modi believes in walk the talk and the Parliament session is a demonstration of his method of purpose, he said.