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Parliament's Winter session adjourned a week earlier

DECCAN CHRONICLE | dc correspondent

Published on: December 23, 2022 | Updated on: December 24, 2022

In both the Houses, opposition members pressed for discussion on the border issue with China, which was turned down by presiding officers. (Representational Image)

New Delhi: Parliament adjourned sine die on Friday, a week ahead of schedule. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said the decision to curtail the Winter Session ahead of schedule was taken during the meeting of the floor leaders of all parties. The Session began on December 7 and was scheduled to end on December 29. However, the members, citing the festive season and New Year celebrations, requested the government and the presiding officers of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha to end the proceedings early.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended a customary meeting held at the end of the Winter Session. Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Congress MP Sonia Gandhi, and leaders of parties in Parliament House attended the meeting that was called by the Lok Sabha Speaker on Friday.

"In the Business Advisory Committee meeting of Lok Sabha, there was consensus among floor leaders of all political parties to cut short the Session," Mr Birla said. His remarks come against the backdrop of several Opposition leaders alleging that the government has been curtailing Parliament Sessions.

Mr Birla added: "Agreements and disagreements on issues should be reflected in debates and not through disruptions."

The productivity of the Lok Sabha in the Winter Session was 97 per cent. The House held 13 sittings during which seven bills, including the supplementary demands for grants and the Maritime Anti-Piracy Bill, were passed.

The Rajya Sabha's productivity during the Session was 102 per cent. The Upper House held 13 sittings totaling 64 hours and 50 minutes.

The 2022 Winter Session is the eighth consecutive session to be adjourned early. The Session was for 13 days and was one of the shortest in the 17th Lok Sabha, the other being the 2020 Monsoon Session (10 days) held during the Covid pandemic.

In this Winter Session, the Lok Sabha functioned for 88 per cent of its scheduled time, while the Rajya Sabha functioned for 94 per cent of its scheduled time, according to the think tank PRS Legislative Research.

Both the Houses saw disruptions and repeated adjournments on the penultimate day when the Opposition members insisted on a discussion on the India-China border dispute issue. Seven bills were passed in this session, and seven were introduced. Four bills to amend the list of Scheduled Tribes in various states were introduced, of which two were passed. Two of the bills introduced -- the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Bill 2022 and the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill 2022 -- have been referred to the Joint Parliamentary Committees.

The Lok Sabha spent a total of 7.7 hours or around 11 per cent of its time, in Question Hours, while the Rajya Sabha spent 9.8 hours, around 15 per cent, of its scheduled time on questions, according to PRS Legislative.

Legislative business took around 16 hours or 24 per cent of the Lok Sabha's time; financial business took around 10.9 hours or 16 per cent of the total time; and non-legislative business, such as debates and matters of urgent public importance, took around 48 per cent of the Lok Sabha's time.

In Rajya Sabha, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said the productivity of the House was 102 per cent. The House held 13 sittings totaling 64 hours and 50 minutes. Here, legislation took around 21 hours or 32 per cent of the total time; financial business was held for around nine hours; and non-legislative and other business took around 38 per cent of the Upper House's time.