With the Winter Session of Parliament set to start from November 29, vice president M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday voiced concern over the persistent disruptions during House sessions and the steep fall in the productivity of the Rajya Sabha.
In his address during a Constitution Day event in Parliament, Naidu referred to the recently concluded Monsoon Session of Parliament, during which he said the Rajya Sabha lost 70 per cent of its functional time.
“During the 254th Session of Rajya Sabha, the productivity has further slipped to 29.60 per cent which means that the Rajya Sabha has lost about 70 per cent of the functional time. All concerned need to ponder over the fact of rendering legislature so dysfunctional,” he said.
Stressing the need to spend the time allocated for the Parliament session fruitfully, Naidu said the Rajya Sabha secretariat maintained statistics regarding the productivity of the house since 1978.
“For 16 years from 1979 to 1994, the annual productivity of the house has been over 100 per cent. In the next 26 years since 1995, the productivity of the Rajya Sabha has been more than 100 per cent. Only twice in 1998 and 2009, a broad declining trend in productivity is evident and it touched the lowest ever 35.75 per cent in 2018, a year before the general elections in 2019,” he noted.
“Clearly, we need to have more meaningful productive use of our time in our Parliament. We need to recognise the exalted place that Parliament occupies in people’s perception. It is indeed this sacred place where people’s voices are articulated and heard, where their hopes and fears are debated, where laws protecting them, foster their growth and enable fast-tracked national development are formulated,” he added.
The comments from the vice president came after opposition parties staged widespread protests in both Houses, during the Monsoon Session held between July and August, against the Pegasus row, the farm laws and rising fuel prices.
Notably, Naidu did not deliver his valedictorian address and also broke down at the last session due to the behaviour of some parliamentarians.
“Parliament, the apex legislature of our country, is regarded as the temple of democracy. The Table area where the officers, the secretary general and the presiding officer are seated is considered the holy sanctum sanctorum of the House. A certain degree of sacredness is attached to this place,” he said.