The Winter Session of Parliament adjourned four working days ahead of its schedule, making it the 8th consecutive session to be adjourned ahead of schedule in the current Lok Sabha. With this, Parliament has had 56 sittings this year. Our Vital Stats document breaks down the Session in numbers. Highlights:
- Lok Sabha functioned for 88% of scheduled time (of actual sitting days), while Rajya Sabha functioned for 94%. Both Houses saw some disruptions and repeated adjournments on the penultimate day, when opposition members wanted to raise a discussion on the India-China issue.
- Seven Bills were passed in this Session. Two of these were introduced in the same session. So far, in the 17th Lok Sabha, 72% of the Bills (94 of 130) have been introduced and passed in the same session.
In the third week, two Bills were introduced in Lok Sabha. The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2022 seeks to decriminalise minor offences and rationalise monetary penalties across multiple laws. It was referred to a Joint Committee immediately after its introduction. The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2022 seeks to repeal 65 laws that are obsolete or that have been made redundant by other laws. The Bill did not come up for discussion.
The Multi-State Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was also referred to a Joint Committee which is expected to submit its report in the second part of the Budget Session.
The Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill, 2019 was passed in both Houses after discussion.
During the session, four Bills were introduced to amend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 (relating to Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh). Lok Sabha passed all four while Rajya Sabha passed two (relating to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka).
Our Session Wrap document gives details about the status of legislative business at the end of the Winter Session.
Besides legislative business, Lok Sabha also discussed the problem of drug abuse in the country and steps taken by the government to address it. During the discussion, a member urged the government to increase the number of rehabilitation centres in the country and introduce a Bill that treats drug consumers as people with illness rather than criminals. In his reply, the Home Minister apprised the House of initiatives taken by the ministry and highlighted the need for a joint effort by Central and state governments to curb drug abuse in India. After the discussion was concluded, the Speaker, on behalf of the House, made a resolution to curb drug abuse in the country.
Rajya Sabha discussed and returned an Appropriation Bill which approves the first Supplementary Budget for 2022-23.
Taking note of the global rise in Covid cases, the Health Minister made a statement on the emerging COVID scenario across the globe. The Minister informed Parliament that states have been advised to conduct genome sequencing of all positive cases to identify emerging variants.
Numbers to Note
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy informed Lok Sabha this week that a capacity of around 725 MW of grid connected rooftop solar PV systems is installed in various government buildings in the country.
The Ministry of Jal Shakti informed Lok Sabha this week that 10.75 crore (55.5%) rural households out of the total 19.36 crore have tap water supply in 2022. This number stood at 3.23 crore (17%) in August 2019.
The Ministry of Rural Development informed Lok Sabha this week that 8.06 crore households across India demanded employment under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in 2021-22. This number stood at 6.17 crore in 2019-20 and 8.55 crore in 2020-21.
In the 17th Lok Sabha, election to the post of Deputy Speaker has not been conducted even after three and a half years since it first convened. The post has remained vacant for 1308 days.