Both Houses of Parliament adjourned sine die today, bringing the 2023 Budget Session to a close. In this session, Lok Sabha functioned for 33% of its scheduled time (46 hours) and Rajya Sabha for 24% (32 hours). However, the functioning time dropped in the second part of the Budget Session when Lok Sabha worked for 5% and Rajya Sabha worked for 6% of its scheduled time.
Here are a few highlights from our Vital Stats document:
Only one Bill, the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2022, was passed during this session (not counting Finance and Appropriation Bills). Since the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha when 38 Bills were introduced and 28 Bills were passed, the number of Bills introduced and passed has declined. Fewer than 10 Bills have been introduced or passed in each of the last four consecutive sessions.
The 17th Lok Sabha may turn out to be the shortest full term Lok Sabha since 1952. Entering the final year of its term, the 17th Lok Sabha has functioned for 230 sitting days so far. Of all the Lok Sabhas that completed the full five-year term, the 16th Lok Sabha had the lowest sitting days (331). With one more year remaining in the term, and 58 average sitting days a year, the 17th Lok Sabha is unlikely to sit for more than 331 days. This could make it the shortest full term Lok Sabha since 1952.
This session also saw the least amount of time spent on questions in the current Lok Sabha. Question Hour functioned for 19% of scheduled time in Lok Sabha and 9% in Rajya Sabha. Only about 7% of starred questions were answered in either House.
In the final week of the Budget Session, the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was introduced in Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to decriminalise offences under the 2005 Act in order to promote ease of doing business. It also tweaks the operational procedures of Coastal Aquaculture Authority to make it more responsive to the needs of the stakeholders. Private Members’ Business was listed in both Houses today but was not taken up.
Numbers to Note
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change informed Lok Sabha that against the sanctioned posts of 577, 193 posts are vacant in the Central Pollution Control Board. Similarly, 5,454 posts remain vacant against the sanctioned strength of 11,103 in State Pollution Control Boards across India.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation informed Rajya Sabha that out of the 1,418 Central Sector Infrastructure projects costing Rs.150 crore & above, 823 projects are delayed and 346 projects have reported cost overrun (as on March 1, 2023). In terms of sectors, water resources projects have seen a cost overrun of 196%. [Unstarred Question No. 3674]