Rajya Sabha recorded productivity of 84% during the just concluded second week of the ongoing Winter Session. Even though events relating to government formation in Maharashtra pulled down the productivity of the House during the week, the Upper House turned out important business during the week that led the Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu and the Members of the House complimenting each other for the good work during the other four working days of the week.
During the second week, members of Rajya Sabha availed a total of 22 hours and 15 minutes transacting different kinds of business. Of the scheduled available time of 26 hours 29 minutes, 5 hours and 45 minutes were lost due to disruption over political developments in Maharashtra on the first working day of the second week. The members, however, made up 1 hour 30 minutes by sitting beyond the scheduled time.
During the second week of the ongoing winter session, all the listed 15 starred questions were orally answered twice, setting a new record. Of the total 60 starred questions listed for four working days, a total of 43, accounting for 71.66 % of the total, were orally answered. The Question Hour on the first day of the week could not be taken up as the House had to be adjourned by the Chairman with the opposition insisting on a discussion on the Maharashtra Governor’s role. Question Hour was not scheduled on the second day of the week on account of a Joint Sitting of members of both Houses to commemorate 70th anniversary of adoption of the Constitution of India.
Members of Rajya Sabha also made a record 51 Zero Hour submissions and 30 Special Mentions on various issues of public importance. All the admitted Zero Hour and Special Mentions were made on the last working day of the week with the Members complimenting the Chairman for the same.
The House also discussed the economic situation in the country for four and a half hours, though, as per Rules only two and a half hour discussion is allowed under the instrument of Short Duration Discussion. Keeping in view the importance of the issue and request of opposition leaders for more time, the Chairman allowed more time. In a meeting of leaders, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu complimented the spirited discussion and the reply by the Finance Minister even as he urged the opposition not to disturb any minister’s speech during the reply. The House also took up the Pegasus spyware issue under Calling Attention Notice.
In the week gone by, Rajya Sabha passed two Bills – The Transgender (Protection of Rights) Bill and The Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill. Discussion on the bill seeking to replace the Ordinance banning e-cigarettes remained inconclusive.
The Upper House is likely to take up next week the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Merger Bill and the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies Bills, all passed by the Lok Sabha.
At the end of the first half of the ongoing winter session, Rajya Sabha has reported productivity of 89% for the first two weeks combined. Of the total available time of 55 hours and 06 minutes, the House availed a total time of 49 hours 15 minutes. A total time of 8 hours and 28 minutes was lost on account of disruptions while the members made up 2 hours and 37 minutes by sitting late resulting in a net total loss of 5 hours and 51 minutes during the first half of this session. Three Bills including the Jalianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bills were passed during the first half of the winter session.