Functioning of the 14th Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly (2014-2018)

Vital Stats

Functioning of the 14th Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly (2014-2018)

The elections for the 15th Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly are scheduled to be held on November 28, 2018.  In this context, we analyse data on the sittings and legislative work done by the 14th Assembly (January 2014 to June 2018).

The 14th Assembly sat for 135 days, passed 112 Bills

  Note: The 112 Bills passed do not include 28 Appropriation Bills.

·   Of the 112 Bills passed, 15 created new Acts, 95 amended existing Acts, and two repealed existing Acts.

·   The Finance and Taxation, and Higher Education Ministries piloted the maximum number of Bills.

·   Of the 34 Bills introduced by Finance and Taxation Ministries, 31 were Bills to amend Acts in relation to VAT, excise, the State Finance Commission, among others.  Three Bills enacted new Acts related to GST and cess on motor spirit and high speed diesel.

·   The Higher Education Ministry introduced 16 Bills.  Four Bills set up universities: Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Social Sciences University, the Pandit S.N. Shukla University, the Madhya Pradesh National Law Institute University, and the Madhya Pradesh Dharmashastra National Law University.  Another Bill established a Higher Education Council in the state.  The other 11 Bills amended existing Acts.

·   Some other important Bills included the: (i) the Madhya Pradesh Economic Assemblies and the Lower Income Group Housing Guarantee Bill, 2017, (ii) the Madhya Pradesh Private Schools (Regulation of Fees and Related Themes) Bill, 2017, and (iii) the Madhya Pradesh Industrial Security Force Bill, 2015.

19 Ordinances promulgated; Seven Ordinances in the areas of higher education and labour

·   The government promulgated 19 ordinances in the current Assembly. 

·   The ordinances in higher education were related to the establishment and functioning of private universities in Madhya Pradesh.

·   The ordinances brought in by the Labour Ministry were related to labour welfare fund, shops and establishments, and industrial planning.

89% of Bills passed within a week of introduction; not adequate scrutiny of Bills

·   9% of the Bills were passed on the same day as their introduction.  These included the Madhya Pradesh GST Bill, 2017, and the Madhya Pradesh Labour Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

·   A further 80% Bills were passed within seven days after their introduction.

·   Only 12 Bills were passed after more than a week of their introduction.  These amended Acts related to civil courts in the state, municipality law, punishment law, contingency fund, VAT, and leasehold rights to landless persons, among others.

39% of listed questions were answered on the floor of the house

·   Ministers are required to give answers to starred questions on the floor of the house.  Everyday, 25 starred questions are selected to be answered in the question hour.

·   On average, of the questions listed to be answered in a day, 10 were orally answered by Ministers on the floor of the house.

The 14th Assembly sat for lesser number of days than the previous Assembly

·   The current assembly sat for 135 days.  This was 32 days less than the total number of sittings (167) of the 13th assembly (2009-2013).  Note that the state government decides the duration for which its legislature should meet.

·   The primary functions of a state legislature include passing laws on subjects under the State list, such as land, education, and health; approving government expenditure; discussing matters of public importance; and questioning the government’s policies.  By convening for shorter durations, legislators may not have adequate time to perform these tasks effectively.

·   Between 2011 and 2016, the Madhya Pradesh Assembly sat for an average of 35 days in a year.  In this time period, 26 Assemblies sat for an average of 28 days in a year. 

Sources: Session end resume (2009-2018) and list of Bills passed (2014-2018) from Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly website; PRS.

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