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Q. Winter session washout: Comment on near total washout this winter session of parliament.
Dec 20, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

The ongoing winter session of the Parliament is among the most unproductive in the last 15 years. Precious time, money and business is lost in the Lok Sabha as the Government and opposition failed to bring consensus organise a discussion around demonetisation.

Issues-

  • Both Rajyasabha and Loksabha have lost more than 80% of its time following a standoff between the Opposition and the government over the rule under which they should discuss the hardships faced by people following demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
  • According to the PRS Legislative Research, less than 1% of the 330 questions listed for Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha were answered orally. In Lok Sabha about 11% questions were answered.

Analysis-

  • Under normal circumstances, this was a session that should have carried the political consensus on to the passage of remaining bills enabling a scheduled rollout of the crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) reform. 
  • This was also a session that should have held a constructive discussion on demonetisation, the most radical reform step ever introduced in India to target black money and fake currency.
  • Near total washout of winter session gives a sense to the observer that neither ruling party nor opposition cared about the concerns of the general public who would have looked to the House for clarity on the issue, instead of a meaningless ruckus.
  • With members of both sides shouting down each other every time when they rise to speak on the issue, the public representatives have made a complete mockery of the Parliament and the high values democracy offers to citizens.
  • It appears that neither side actually wanted a productive discussion on the issue. Both sides are to shame the blame equally for the miserable failure of the Winter Session.

Conclusion-

Near total washout of winter session of parliament reflects the non seriousness of our political representatives towards the people. They lost the chance to pass bills critical to the April 1, 2017, deadline for the rollout of the GST. In upcoming session government and opposition should build consensus to carry out business of parliament, else people will lose faith in parliamentary debates.   

 


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