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Functioning of 17th Lok Sabha

  • Published
    12th Feb, 2024
Context

The average annual sitting days of the first Lok Sabha, with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as the leader of House, was 135 days, and the 17th Lok Sabha, which concluded recently only for 55 days on average in a year. 

The Data

The data is based on a statistical study of the Parliament between June 2019 to February 2024 by the non-profit PRS Legislative Research.

  • The 17th Lok Sabha held 274 sittings and the four previous Lok Sabhas, all of which were dissolved before the stipulated five-year period, had fewer sittings.
  • Out of the five years, Parliament sat for the lowest number of days (33 in total) in 2020.
  • Less discussion, more bills: According to the study, 58% of Bills were passed within two weeks of their introduction.
    • The J&K Reorganisation Bill, 2019 and the Women’s Reservation Bill, 2023 were passed within two days of their introduction.
    • 35% of Bills were passed with less than an hour of discussion in Lok Sabha. The corresponding figure for Rajya Sabha was 34. 
  • Less bills for scrutiny: Only 16% of the Bills were referred to Standing Committees for Parliamentary scrutiny.
  • Private Members’ Bills (PMB): In all, 729 PMBs were introduced in the 17th Lok Sabha, which is higher than all the previous Lok Sabhas except the 16th. However, only two of them were discussed.
    • During the same period, 705 PMBs were introduced in Rajya Sabha, and 14 were discussed.
    • Till date, only 14 PMBs have been passed and received assent. None have been passed in both Houses since 1970.
  • No Deputy Speaker: The 17th Lok Sabha was the first ever to function without a Deputy Speaker, a constitutionally mandated position.

Article 93 of the Constitution requires that the Lok Sabha elect a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker as soon as possible.

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