The Big Picture – Budget Session: Hits and misses
The parliament session recently ended. This was the first full fledged budget session of the new
government and it had lot of expectations and speculations. With the passage of some of crucial bills,
the government seems to have been successful in its tasks. However, the session was not free from
With the passage of five bills, five ordinances have been converted into acts. Currently, the only
challenging bill remaining before the house is the Land Bill. The government is evolving some
strategy to get this Land Bill passed. The land acquisition bill was successfully passed in the Lok
Sabha with nine amendments. But it was not brought up in the Rajya Sabha. The failure has been
mainly because of the politicization of the issue. However, the government is hopeful of getting it
passed in second half of the budget session.
The opposition parties were not very happy regarding the ordinances passed. And the dissent of the
opposition was shown through the amendments made to the motion of thanks. The record of the
Opposition parties, given its abysmally low numbers in the Lok Sabha, and differences in its ranks
was not that bad either.
The discussions in this half session also dealt with the farming crisis in the country. The Lok Sabha
debated the Agrarian situation in the country and the Rajya Sabha discussed Losses suffered by
farmers due to recent rains in various parts of the country”and Problems being faced by farmers of the
country. Unfortunately for the government, the Land Bill has coincided with unseasonal rains that
have destroyed crops, the hike in the prices of urea and the government’s failure to increase the MSP
for various crops.The government, therefore, needs to change the optics on the Land Acquisition Bill
before taking the next step.
The data compiled by independent think-tank, PRS Legislative Research, reveals that this LS session
surpassed the monsoon session in 2005 that worked for 110% of the time, while the highest
productivity for RS has been in the 2009 budget session that worked for 113% of the scheduled time.
Productivity is considered on the number of hours the House sits as compared to the number of hours
scheduled. Lok Sabha members worked harder than their predecessors in the last decade with the
just concluded budget session registering productivity of 121%. Despite disruptions and adjournments
the House of Elders also did not fare too badly notching productivity of 109%, only second to the 2009