The recently concluded Budget session was the least productive in four years for the Lok Sabha, where four in five hours stipulated for business were lost due to interruptions, according to an analysis by PRS Legislative Research, a think tank. The 2015 Budget session was the most productive for the House, when it conducted business for 122 per cent of the stipulated time.
The Rajya Sabha conducted business for 31 per cent of the stipulated time; its most productive session was in 2014 when the house worked for 106 per cent of the time.
The Lok Sabha had 29 sittings in two phases — January 29 to February 9 and March 5 to April 6 — during the Budget session 2018. While business was conducted for 34 hours and 5 minutes, according to a report by the Lok Sabha secretariat, 127 hours and 45 minutes were lost to interruptions–the highest of all sessions of the 16th Lok Sabha elected in 2014.
Accusing the Congress of resorting to negative politics, MPs belonging to the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) announced on April 4 that they will forego their pay for the 23 days wasted during the second phase of the Budget session.
Loss to the exchequer
About Rs 1.98 billion of taxpayers’ money was lost due to disruptions during the 14th session of the current Lok Sabha. This includes Rs 1.92 billion for running the House and Rs 60 million for salaries and perks paid to MPs.
Each minute of running Parliament costs the exchequer Rs 250,000, then parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had said in September 2012.
So, for the 127 hours and 45 mins lost to interruptions in Lok Sabha during budget session 2018, an estimated Rs 1.92 billion was lost.
The Indian taxpayer paid nearly Rs 1.77 billion in salaries and other allowances to Lok Sabha MPs during 2015-16, according to the Economic Survey, 2017-18. This is excluding travel and daily allowance in June 2015 since data were unavailable.
That means, a monthly expense of nearly Rs 270,000 on each Lok Sabha MP. MPs get a daily allowance of Rs 2,000 each when Parliament is in session.