The Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die Monday, nearly two weeks ahead of the schedule in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, after approving and returning the Finance Bill to Lok Sabha.
The Upper House passed 12 government bills during the session including six bills on Monday, while 17 Private Members' Bills were introduced.
Before adjourning the proceedings of the Upper House sine die, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu emphasised the need for social distancing by the MPs while they go to their constituencies to be available to the needs of the people in this hour of pandemic.
"All of you would appreciate the reasons for which this Budget session of Parliament is being adjourned sine die ahead of the schedule which is up to the third of next month. As against the total 31 sittings scheduled between January 31st to April 3rd, we are constrained to conclude after 23 sittings," Naidu said.
This Budget session is primarily meant for charting the right course of action for economic growth and development for the financial year 2020-21 through the Budget proposals made by the government and approved by the parliament, he said.
"Ironically, the global outbreak of coronavirus with its origins in China is set to play havoc with the global economic outlook with our country being no exception. The challenge before the world is to minimize the damage caused by the Corona outbreak both to the health and wealth of the people across the globe. Our country is a spirited partner in the collective global efforts to contain the spread of this deadly virus. I fondly hope that collectively this battle would be won," the Rajya Sabha Chairman said.
He stressed: "With the adjournment of the House ahead of the schedule, I expect all the members to work with the people in respective states in our fight against the coronavirus."
He said the House so far functioned for a total of 90 hours and 30 minutes against the total scheduled time of 118 hours 52 minutes during these 23 sittings.
"This, in effect, means that the productivity of the House including both the parts of this Budget session has been at 76.13 per cent," he said, and stressed that members have "certain right to discuss and debate any issue in the House but not the right to disrupt the proceedings as claimed by some. Full and proper exercise of the right to discuss and debate would have resulted in 100 per cent productivity... I hope that we move forward in the right direction hereafter."
While the productivity of the first part of this session between January 31 and February 11 has been 97 per cent, the productivity of the second part that began on March 2 comes to above 64 per cent, he said.
The House clocked a high productivity of 106 per cent during the third week of the second part of this session as against a low of 9.50 per cent during the first week," he said.
Naidu said a total functional time of 38 hours 23 minutes of the House has been lost on account of disruptions during this session which included 32 hours 51 minutes lost during the second part of the session.
As against this loss, the House sat beyond the scheduled time on 9 days for a total of 9 hours 59 minutes.
"Passionate and quality debates on the Motion of Thanks to the President Address and the General Budget and the over four hour Short Duration Discussion on the violence in East Delhi have been the highlights of this session," he said and informed members that 14 hours and 56 minutes were spent on the discussion on the Government Bills and 22 per cent of the total functional time of the House has been spent on legislative business.
Functioning of Ministries of Railways, Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises and Law & Justice had been discussed for 11 hours and 24 minutes which came to 13.20 per cent of the total functional time of the House.
"Members raised a total of 249 issues of urgent public importance through 170 Zero Hour and 79 Special Mentions. A total of 79 Starred Questions have been orally answered on 11 days. Nine Hours and three minutes have been spent seeking answers from the Government through these Starred Questions which comes to 10.50 per cent of the total time. About 48 per cent of the total 165 Starred Questions listed have been orally answered," he said.
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