Agreements and disagreements on issues should be reflected in debates, not in disruptions: Om Birla

New Delhi: The Seventh Session of the 17th Lok Sabha that commenced on 29th November, 2021 was adjourned sine die on 22nd December, 2021.

Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla, while interacting with the media in Parliament House Complex today, said that agreements and disagreements on issues may be reflected in debates and not through disruption. Emphasing that democracy in India is a way of life, Shri Birla called upon the leaders of political parties and Members to work in the direction of strengthening democracy and democratic institutions. Noting that smooth conduct of the House is the responsibility of all stakeholders, the Speaker said that House must be run in accordance with the collective will and consensus. Speaking on differences of views of political parties on several issues, Shri Birla said that such differences are natural in a functional democracy but they need to be reflected in the form of healthy debates. He appealed the Members not to resort to disruptive tactics in the House.

Speaking about the Business transacted in the House during the Winter Session of Parliament, 2021, Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla informed that 18 sittings were held and Lok Sabha sat for 83 hours and 20 minutes. Lok Sabha lost 18 hours and 48 minutes to interruptions. The House sat late for 18 hours 11 minutes to complete listed Business during the Session. The productivity of the House during the Session was 82 per cent. Productivity during the first seven sittings of the Session was 102 per cent. The performance of the House on 2nd December, 2021 was 204 percent,  informed Shri Birla. The Lok Sabha Speaker also informed that 12 Bills were introduced and 09 Bills were passed during the Session. Some of the important bills which were passed during the Session are: The Agricultural Laws Repeal Bill, 2021; The Central Vigilance Commission Bill (Amendment), 2021; The Delhi Special Police Establishment Bill (Amendment), 2021; and The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The discussion and voting on Supplementary Demands for Grants-Second Batch for the year 2021-22 passed on 20th December, 2021 lasted for 04 hours and 49 minutes.

Shri Birla also informed that 91 starred questions out of 360 were orally answered in the House during the Session. Answers to 4140 Unstarred Questions were laid on the Table of the House, said Shri Birla. On 20 December 2021, all 20 Starred Questions were listed for the day were covered, the Speaker added. Besides, 380 matters of public importance were raised under Rule 377. Expressing satisfaction on use of information technology by Members, Shri Birla said that 94.68% e-notices were received as compared to 93.5% during the previous Session.

Shri Birla also informed that 563 matters of urgent public importance were also raised in the House during Zero Hour. On 9 December, 2021, 62 Members, sitting late in the House, placed their subjects before the House during Zero Hour. Of these, 29 were women members. Zero Hour was held for a total of 8 days and averaged 1 hour 51 minutes per day.

Speaking about other Business in the House, Shri Birla highlighted that Standing Committees presented 45 reports to the House and 50 Statements, including 03 Statements of the Parliamentary Affairs on Business of the House, were made to the House during the Session. A total number of 2658 Papers were Laid on the Table of the House.

Shri Birla also informed that two Short-Duration discussions, one pertaining to ‘COVID-19 global pandemic’ and another on ‘Climate change” were held during the Session. The Short Duration Discussion on Climate Change will continue during the next Session, informed Shri Birla.  A total of 99 Members participated in the 12 hours 26 minutes discussion on “Covid-19 Global Pandemic. 61 Members participated in the Short Duration Discussion on Climate Change. So far, the discussion has lasted for 6 hours 26 minutes.

Talking about Private Members business, Shri Birla informed that during the session, 145 Bills on various subjects were introduced by private members. Further, discussion on the ‘Compulsory Voting Bill, 2019’ by Shri Janardan Singh ‘Sigriwal’ continued on 3rd December, 2021, which could not be completed. Similarly, the discussion on the resolution of non-official members with regard to ‘Welfare Measures for Anganwadi Workers and Anganwadi Helpers’ by Shri Ritesh Pandey continued on 10th December, 2021 and could not be completed.  

As a step towards capacity building of the Members of Parliament, 05 Briefing Sessions were organized on various important Bills which were considered by the House.

Shri Birla informed that 03 programmes for Members of Parliament were also organized by PRIDE during the Session. Parliamentary Delegations from Mongolia, Vietnam and Tajikistan also visited during the session. Additionally, the centenary year celebrations of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) were also organised. The launch of a Mobile App for the use of the MPs was also announced by Shri Birla while chairing the Question Hour on 21 December 2021. Shri Birla also informed that a health camp for the benefit of the MPs was also held at the Parliament House Annexe during the session. 

Shri Birla informed that the construction of New Parliament Building is going on full swing and every effort is being taken to ensure that New Parliament Building gets ready by the Winter Session next year.