The budget session of Parliament was postponed indefinitely on Thursday and during this period, 114 per cent of the work was done in the Lok Sabha and 90 per cent in the Rajya Sabha. It was a completely new experience for the Parliament to pass the General Budget during the Kovid-19 epidemic as the two Houses met at different times during the session and the seating arrangement of the members was also taken into consideration by the Kovid guidelines. It was placed in In the second phase of the session, the meetings of the two houses started at the same time.
The session commenced with the President’s address to the joint sitting of the two Houses. However, some opposition parties, including the Congress, boycotted the presidential address to support the ongoing peasant movement in protest against the three new agricultural laws.
In the first phase of the budget session, the motion of thanks to the President’s address was discussed, which was answered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the session, the Appropriation Bills related to Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry were discussed and passed along with the General Budget.
Important Bills were passed during this period in both Houses, besides Finance Bill, Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2021, Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order Amendment Bill, 2021, Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Delhi National The Capital Territory Governance (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Maritime Assistance to Navigation Bill, 2021 are the main ones.
There were 24 Lok Sabha meetings in the budget session which lasted for a total of 132 hours. Presiding Speaker Bhartrihari Mahtab said that as per the instructions of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and with the cooperation of the members of the House, the record work was done in the budget session like other sessions of the 17th Lok Sabha. 114 per cent of the work was done during this session.
Significantly, Lok Sabha Speaker Birla was not conducting the proceedings of the House for the last few days due to being infected with the corona virus. Mehtab said that the meeting sat for 48 hours and 23 minutes to discuss various important topics in this budget session.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Congress President Rahul Gandhi were also present in the House at the time of adjournment of the meeting in Lok Sabha indefinitely.
Presenting an account of the work done during the budget session in the Rajya Sabha, Naidu said that 90 per cent of the work was done in the house during the session while around 21 hours were wasted due to the disruption. He said that in the first phase of the session, the performance was 99.6 per cent while in the second phase it was 85 per cent. He said that a total of 19 Bills including Finance and Appropriation Bills were passed during this period.
Naidu said that since June 2019, there has been an increase in the functioning of the House. As a result, 94 percent of the total work was done during the last four sessions. He thanked the members for this and said that this was not possible without their cooperation.
On this occasion, the Chairman also mentioned the absence of members in the committee meetings and urged the leaders of all the parties to ensure the presence of the members and to take the meetings of the committee seriously.
The meeting of the second phase of the budget session was proposed by April 8 and during this time a total of 33 meetings were to be held, but the session ended before the scheduled time. During this, a total of 23 meetings were held. It is noteworthy that the budget session started with the President’s address on 29 January and the General Budget was presented on 1 February. The first part of the budget session was to be concluded on 15 February but in the Rajya Sabha it was concluded on 12 February. The first phase of the budget session in the Lok Sabha was concluded on 13 February.
The second phase of the budget session began on 8 March and was to last until 8 April, but it was adjourned indefinitely today. During the session, the Opposition introduced three new agricultural laws in both houses, rising prices of petroleum products and the national capital. There was a lot of uproar on various issues such as the bill related to the area, due to which the proceedings were interrupted.