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Unravelling the 17th Lok Sabha’s Parliamentary Session

The 17th Lok Sabha conducted its sessions from June 2019 to February 2024, encompassing a five-year period. Throughout this duration, the Lok Sabha operated for 88% of its designated time, demonstrating a relatively high level of parliamentary activity. In comparison, the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament, recorded a working efficiency of 73% during […]

The 17th Lok Sabha conducted its sessions from June 2019 to February 2024, encompassing a five-year period. Throughout this duration, the Lok Sabha operated for 88% of its designated time, demonstrating a relatively high level of parliamentary activity. In comparison, the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament, recorded a working efficiency of 73% during the same period.
Fewest sittings amongst all full-term Lok Sabhas; Deputy Speaker not elected for the first time.

The 17th Lok Sabha held 274 sittings. Only four previous Lok Sabhas have had fewer sittings, all of which were dissolved before completing the five-year term. The fewest sittings in this Lok Sabha were held in 2020 (33 days), amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
11 out of the 15 sessions held during this Lok Sabha were adjourned early. As a result, 40 scheduled sittings did not take place (13% of scheduled sittings). The first and last sessions were extended by seven sittings and one sitting respectively.
Article 93 of the Constitution requires that Lok Sabha elect a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker ‘as soon as may be’. This is the first time Lok Sabha did not elect the Deputy Speaker for its entire duration.

During the 17th Lok Sabha, MPs were suspended on 206 instances, across both Houses of Parliament. In Winter Session 2023, 146 MPs were suspended for serious misconduct in the House. Several key legislations like the new Bills to reform criminal laws were passed after MPs were suspended.
Less than 10% of Bills passed with recorded voting; four Bills lapse
During the 17th Lok Sabha, the majority of Bills were passed without recorded voting. 9% of Bills were passed with at least one instance of recorded voting (including voting on amendments as well as passing of Bills).

Four Bills are set to lapse with the dissolution of this Lok Sabha. This is the lowest number among all Lok Sabhas so far. Bills that will lapse include the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022. The latter two Bills were referred to Committees, and their reports are awaited.
The Pesticides Management Bill, 2020, introduced in Rajya Sabha is still pending. 19 Bills introduced in Rajya Sabha during previous Lok Sabhas are also pending. The oldest of these is a Constitutional Amendment from 1992.

Lesser time spent discussing the budget; 80% of the budget passed without discussion on average
Over the years, the time spent on budget discussions in Lok Sabha has reduced. The 17th Lok Sabha discussed the annual budget for 35 hours on average (in the Lower House).
Between 2019 and 2023, on average, about 80% of the budget has been voted on without discussion. In 2023, the entire budget was passed without discussion. This has happened twice in the last decade – in 2018 and 2013.

Committees held around 1,700 meetings
During the 17th Lok Sabha, Parliamentary Committees (three Financial Committees and 24 Department-related Standing Committees (DRSCs)) held about 1,700 meetings. The average duration of a Committee meeting was about 2 hours.
Financial Committees examine various aspects of government finances and expenditure. DRSCs scrutinise sector-specific subjects and Ministry-wise budgets and submit reports on them. Parliamentary Committees also examine the extent to which the government has taken action on previous recommendations of the Committee (called Action Taken Reports or ATRs).
During the term of the 17th Lok Sabha, the three Financial Committees presented about 180 reports, and the 24 DRSCs presented about 1,100 reports. 19% of reports by DRSCs were on subjects other than Bills and budgets. About 50% of reports presented by Committees were ATRs.
Between 2020 and 2023, 32% of reports on the proposed expenditure were presented before the budget was passed.

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