The productivity of the houses in the 2016 winter

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The productivity of the houses in the 2016 winter session was 14%, while that of the Rajya Sabha was 20%, while each minute of running Parliament in sessions costs Rs. 2.5 lakh. Women representation: The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have not seen women MPs cross the 12% mark. In 2012, India ranked 20th from the bottom in terms of representation of women in Parliament. While the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments enabled the reservation of 33% of seats in local government, political representation by women candidates continues to be subdued. This needs to be changed dramatically, beginning with the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill (108th amendment) reserving 33% of all seats in Parliament and State legislatures for women . Anti-defection law: Currently, the Anti-Defection Act punishes MPs who deviate from their parties’ stated position, with the risk of losing their seats. The Anti-Defection Act needs to be recast, and used only in the most exceptional circumstances, while allowing MPs free rein on their self-expression. The U.K., for example, has the concept of a free vote allowing MPs to vote as they wish on particular legislative items. Enhanced role of Parliamentary Committees:
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7 | Page 9004418746 [email protected] Now, parliamentary legislation is often criticised for being hastily drafted and being rushed through Parliament in an ad hoc and haphazard manner. In 2008, for instance, 16 Bills were passed with less than 20 minutes of debate. We need a systematic approach to legislative engineering and prioritisation — the parliamentary committee can assume institutional importance in this process. Constitution committee: As highlighted by the Law Ministry, we require a constitution committee. Instead of constitutional amendments being presented to Parliament like ordinary pieces of legislation in the form of Bills, often at short notice, it would be desirable to have the committee conduct an appropriate priori scrutiny before the actual drafting of the proposal for constitutional reform. Budget scrutiny: We need an institutionalised process to raise the quality and rigour associated with the budget scrutiny processs. India needs a parliamentary budget office, akin to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, which can be an independent and impartial institution devoted to conducting a technical and objective analysis of any Bill with spending or revenue raising requirements Research: Even the individual voting record of MPs remains unknown. With no record maintained of the voting record associated with each MP, it is difficult to distinguish their individual progressive or conservative nature, let alone their leadership abilities . Parliament’s Library and Reference, Research, Documentation and Information Service (LARRDIS) currently has a sanctioned strength of 231 staffers but employs 176, about 8% of the total strength of the Lok Sabha secretariat.
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