Over 47 hours of productive time was wasted due to interruptions and protests in the monsoon session of the Rajya Sabha that concluded on Monday even as business was conducted for more than 35 hours in its 16 sittings.
Taking note of the disruptions, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, in a statement, said the interruptions were a sad reflection on the functioning of the Upper House of Parliament.
Naidu, in his last speech in the Rajya Sabha as its Chairman, said the session was characterised by regular and continuous disruptions, which deprived Members of the opportunity to discuss matters of urgent public importance and seek the accountability of the executive through questions.
The Vice President, who completes his term on August 10, made these remarks while announcing the end of the session, which commenced on July 18. Out of the 235 Starred Questions admitted, only 61 could be answered orally and Question Hour could not be taken up on seven days, Naidu further said.
“Only 25 matters could be raised by Members with the permission of the Chair and only 60 special mentions could be made, during the entire Session,” said the Chairman.
The House discussed the issue of rising prices of essential items in the form of a Short Duration Discussion which lasted for over four hours in which 33 Members participated in the debate, he said.
Only four government Bills were considered and passed during the Session, said Singh adding 27 Private Members’ Bills were also introduced and only one regarding ‘Right to Health’ could be partly discussed during the entire Session.
“No Private Members’ Resolutions could be taken up.” Naidu thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh, Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the House Piyush Goyal and leaders of various parties and groups and some members for offering their good wishes on completion of his tenure as the chairman of the House.
He also thanked the Leader of the Opposition, the Leaders of various parties and groups and the Members for the cooperation extended by them in the overall conduct of proceedings functioning of the House.