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Wasted winter session cost nation staggering Rs.171 crore

Monday December 13, 2010 09:38:59 PM, IANS

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Parliament adjourned sine die

Both the houses of parliament were Monday adjourned sine die on the last day of the winter session amid a continued din over the opposition demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the 2G spectrum 

Introspect, Hamid Ansari urges Rajya Sabha member

17 days of parliament deadlock costs nation Rs.132 crore

Rajya Sabha sat for 2 percent of scheduled time

New Delhi: The washed out winter session of parliament, stalled daily for 22 consecutive days due to opposition protests and adjournments, has translated into a loss of a staggering over Rs.171 crore to the nation.

The amount is worked out with the expenditure for each day of a session calculated at Rs.7.8 crore.

Opposition parties, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), stalled parliamentary proceedings over the controversial 2G spectrum allocation that is alleged to have caused a colossal loss to the national exchequer.

But the logjam of parliament over the opposition demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) has also proved costly.

Barring the first day of the winter session that began Nov 9, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha did not function normally for even one full day to transact legislative business.

According to official figures, the total budget of the two houses of parliament and the ministry of parliamentary affairs for 2010-11 is nearly Rs.535 crore.

In a year, parliament meets thrice, for the budget, monsoon and winter sessions. In the past five years (2005-2009), there have been an average of 68 sittings per year. That means, the expenditure for each day of a session is nearly Rs 7.8 crore.

Thus, for the 22 days rendered unproductive during this winter session, the loss is calculated to be Rs.171.6 crore.

Though parliament's establishment works round the year, the expenditure per day has to be worked out according to the number of sittings, because the entire staff, logistics and other expenses are incurred solely for the institution to conduct its legislative business. Otherwise, there would be no need to have the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha secretariats and their sprawling offices.

As the winter session was adjourned sine die Monday, the 23rd working day also ended without transaction of any business.

This earned this winter session a dubious record of being the least productive ever - with only seven of the scheduled 138 hours of business conducted.

The ruling and opposition parties blame each other for the stalemate and the consequent loss of time and public money.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said an "obdurate" opposition led to the wash out of the session.

"Never before in the history of the Indian Parliament has a complete session been washed out without transacting any business. This is violative of all rules of business and ethics, it is rather criminal. Even question hour and private members' business have been made a casualty," he observed.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said the Congress "is squarely to blame for the non-functioning of parliament".


 


 

 

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