“With a heavy heart I have to say that this short but important Budget session of Rajya Sabha turned out to be yet another wasted opportunity. This only reinforces the ‘dysfunctional pattern’ that has been evident over the last few years which is a matter of serious concern as it poses a serious threat to parliamentary democracy,” Naidu said in his customary remarks at the end of the session. During this session, productivity of the House has been 4.79%, he said. Rajya Sabha passed five bills during the Budget session, all of which were passed on the last day. Six bills have also been introduced and only 16 Zero Hour submissions were made. No special mention could be made at all.
Of the 18 sessions in the last five years, the productivity of Rajya Sabha was below 60% in eight sessions. One of the main reasons of low productivity of the Upper House was the belligerent attitude of the opposition, which was in majority since the government came to power.
As per official data, since June 2014 when the BJP-led government came to power, Rajya Sabha passed only 149 bills during 18 sessions and 329 sittings – less than a bill in two sittings. This compared to 188 bills passed during 2009-14 with less number of sittings, and 251 bills in 2004-2009.
Naidu said only one bill was passed in the winter session of 2016 and budget session of 2018, while the monsoon session of 2015 passed two bills. Maximum number of 14 bills each were passed during monsoon sessions of 2016 and 2018.
Declining productivity and legislative output is a matter of deep concern, Naidu said, citing pendency of large number of bills in the House. In last five sessions under his chairmanship, Rajya Sabha passed 28 bills – less than a bill in three sittings. He also said he has set up a two-member committee to examine existing provisions for their adequacy to enable smooth functioning of the House.