New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu urged the Members of the House to ensure a productive Budget Session as it was taking place at the confluence of the historic 75th year of Independence and 70 years of electoral journey of free India.
During his observations in the House today, Naidu highlighted the significance of the context of this session and urged all sections to ensure the best performance of the House during this session by reminding the Members of 93.50 per cent of productivity during the Budget Session last year.
Informing the Members that there will be a 13-hour debate on Motion of Thanks to President for his address to Members of both the Houses (from today) and more than 11-hour debate on the Union Budget, Naidu stressed that "These two important overarching discussions enable Members to raise any and every issue while adhering to the spirit of the Rules and Conventions of the House".
He urged the Members to make the most out of the opportunities during these debates.
Stating that this Budget Session is taking place at the mid-point of the 75th year of Independence fought and won for 'Swaraj' by the people, Naidu urged the Members to reflect on the functioning of the House during this historic year.
He reminded that the House lost 52.10 per cent of functional time during the last winter session, the first in the 75th year of freedom and a high of 70.40 per cent during the monsoon session last year.
The Chairman said, "This trend of disruptions is highly disturbing. I refer to the same with a fervent hope that we all reflect on the same and conduct in a manner befitting the historic time that we are passing through".
The Vice President noted that the 50 per cent increase in voter turn out from 45 per cent in the elections to the first Lok Sabha during 1951-52 to the highest ever of over 67 per cent in 2019 is a clear demonstration of the continued faith of citizens of the country in democracy.
He expressed disappointment saying, "However, our legislatures and elected representatives of the people do not seem to be reciprocating in equal measure with the functioning of legislatures declining over the years."
The Chairman urged the 5,000 MPs, MLAs and MLCs to resolve in this historic year to return to the people the favour they have doing by relentlessly nurturing the democracy over the last 70 years. He further said: "The only way of doing so is to conduct themselves (the 5,000) in a manner befitting the trust the citizens still have in our parliamentary democracy".
Marshalling evidence Naidu sought to dispel the perception that the special allowance of 25 per cent of airfare allowed to MPs till April 1, 2018 and discontinued thereafter, had a bearing on their participation in the meetings of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committees. He cited findings of the research undertaken by the Secretariat in the impact of this allowance on attendance in the meetings of the 8 committees of Rajya Sabha.
Referring to the commendable achievement regarding anti-Covid vaccination in the country, Naidu placed on record the appreciation of Rajya Sabha to all stakeholders.
Naidu fervently appealed to all sections of the House to ensure a safe and productive Budget session keeping in mind the spirit of the occasion.
Rajya Sabha would meet from 10 am to 3 pm, the Lok Sabha would sit from 4 pm to 9 pm from today onwards.
The debate on the motion of thanks will be held for 12 hours and the Union Budget will be debated for 11 hours in Rajya Sabha. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's reply is expected on February 8 and that of Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 11.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled Union Budget 2022-23 on Tuesday.
The 2022 Budget Session of the Parliament commenced on January 31 with President Ram Nath Kovind's address. The first part of the budget session is being held from January 31 to February 11 and the second part will take place from March 14 to April 8.