New Delhi, Mar 21: In what could be termed as a major boost to the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, the first part of the recently concluded Budget Session has been a very productive one even as an united opposition tried to stall proceedings of the Parliament.
Lok Sabha registered a whopping 123 per cent productivity while Rajya Sabha too worked for 107 per cent of the scheduled time, its second best performance after 2009.
"Productivity of Lok Sabha has been 123.45 pc while Rajya Sabha has worked for 106.79 pc of the scheduled time. Lok Sabha sat beyond the scheduled business hours on 11 days while the Upper House did so on 9 days," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said.
Productivity is considered on the number of hours the House sits as compared to the number of hours scheduled.
The erstwhile, UPA I and II government was criticised for recording poor productivity in its tenure of 10 years. The lowest productivity was registered in Winter Session of 2010 when the lower house worked for merely 6% of the time and RS worked for a paltry 2% of the scheduled time.
Terming the first part of budget session as "productive", Naidu informed that Lok Sabha has passed 14 Bills while Rajya Sabha cleared 7 and both the Houses passed a set of 7 Bills. Naidu also said the first part of the session has been the most significant and rewarding of the four sessions of Parliament since the Government assumed office in May 2015.
Naidu further said that, government does not stand on prestige on the contentious Land Acquisition Bill on which the entire opposition stood united against it.
"Parliament has enabled the beginning of a new era of transparent governance in the country by ending government's discretion in allocation of minerals which has come to be a cesspool of corruption and malpractices," he said on the passing of Mines and Minerals, and Coal Mines bills replacing respective Ordinances.
"I would rate these two legislations at the top of the major outcomes of the Budget session so far," he said, adding that passing of the Insurance Bill hiking FDI in insurance sector is the next major outcome. "I thank Congress for their support."
"I would like to have these two legislation passed unanimously. But our friends in some parties had different ideas. They in effect, wanted us to ask the states if they wanted to end or not the discretion in allocation of minerals and the attendant corruption. I am happy that this contingency has been averted," he noted.
On the Land Bill, he said it was a collective demand of states who wanted changes in the Land Acquisition Act of 2013 to enable land acquisition with less hurdles and keeping practicality in view like in the case of the number of years after which the land acquired is to be returned to owners if it was not used.
The NDA government succeeded in getting some of its crucial agenda, including bills to replace five of six ordinances, passed in Parliament in the first half but was forced to defer passage of land bill in the Rajya Sabha in the face of stiff opposition.
The session, which began on February 23, saw opposition parties target the government on a range of issues including release of separatist Masrat Alam on orders of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. The Bharatiya Janata Party is part of ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir.
(With inputs from agencies)