‘Number of sittings in Parliament down over yrs’
New Delhi: Indian Parliament might have come of its age and celebrating 60 years of its existence on Sunday but figures regarding its sittings and law making show that this 'temple of democracy' is not what it used to be once.
According to a study by PRS Legislative Research, Lok Sabha met for an average 127 days in the 1950s and Rajya Sabha for 93 days but it has drastically gone down to 73 days for both the Houses in 2011.
This is despite the All India Conference of presiding officers, chief ministers, minister of parliamentary affairs and leaders and whips of parties held in 2001 demanding that Parliament should meet for a minimum of 110 days every year.
In Parliament, concern over repeated disruptions and need for introspection dominated the debates as it today celebrated the 60th year of its first sitting in independent India.
However, the study says, it must be noted that Departmentally Related Standing Committees were instituted in 1993 and since then Parliament refers many bills to these committees. This work happens outside Parliament sittings.
The study also pointed out that the first Lok Sabha passed an average of 72 bills each year but this has decreased to 40 bills a year in the 15th Lok Sabha.
The highest number of bills passed in a year was 118 in 1976 during Emergency. The lowest number of bills was passed in 2004 when only 18 bills were passed in Parliament.
The study also pointed out that till date, Parliament has passed 14 private members' bill and six of these were in 1956 alone.
In the current Parliament, 264 private members bills have been introduced in Lok Sabha and 160 in Rajya Sabha. Of these only 14 in Lok Sabha and 11 in Rajya Sabha have been discussed.
The study also pointed out that there are fewer under- matriculates and more post graduates in Lok Sabha these days compared to the initial years.