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HOW can India's Parliament function better?
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HOW can India's Parliament function better?

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AskHow's analysis of the Indian Parliament's performance, the reasons for bad performance and the possible solutions.

AskHow's analysis of the Indian Parliament's performance, the reasons for bad performance and the possible solutions.

Published in: News & Politics
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  • 1. HOW can Parliament function better? ! ! ! The Analysis Data Source: PRS Legislative Research
  • 2. A Better Parliament The Job of a Member of Parliament 1. Making Laws 2. Examining the Government's! expenses and budgets 3. Representing their! Constituencies’ interests The Analysis 4. Being the Government’s Boss!
  • 3. A Better Parliament The Job of a Member of Parliament 1. Making Laws Inadequate discussion: in terms of time, and knowledge scope! Voice Voting, hence limited motivation! ‘Party Whip’ compulsion, means cannot vote as per conscience! 2. Examining the Government's! expenses and budgets ! ! Not enough time for discussion and debate on Expenses and Budget! ! ! 3. Representing their! Constituencies’ interests ! Constituents unaware of MPs performance, as few metrics are recorded! ! The Analysis
  • 4. A Better Parliament The Job of a Member of Parliament ! 4. Being the Government’s Boss! HOW the Boss could have been better in the last 10 years …! ! Example 1) 2G Spectrum Allocation Standing committee on telecom looked at spectrum management in 2005 but did not recommend a policy for allocation.  ! Recommendation could have prevented the 2008 “scam”. The Analysis After CAG report, two committees examined the issue. PAC did not submit report, JPC report split along party lines.! Parliament’s view on spectrum allocation, still not known.
  • 5. A Better Parliament The Job of a Member of Parliament ! 4. Being the Government’s Boss! HOW the Boss could have been better in the last 10 years … Example 2) Information Tech Act ! Under the Info Tech Act it is a crime to post something on-line that “offends” other people. Not a crime if done off-line.! Could parliament have prevented this contradiction? The Analysis Example 3) Demands & Grants ! This year, all Demands and Grants amounting to Rs. 16.6 lakh crores were sanctioned without discussion. ! No scrutiny of government’s proposed expenses by the BOSS!
  • 6. A Better Parliament The Parliament’s Functioning Back in the 50s Average Number of Days ! Parliament sat for: 600 The Analysis Average Number of Hours ! Parliament sat for: 3700 Average Number of Hours Budget ! was discussed for: 123
  • 7. A Better Parliament The Parliament’s Functioning The present … Average Number of Days ! Parliament sat for in the 50s: 600 Average Number of Days ! 15th Lok Sabha sat for: 335 The Analysis Average Number of Hours ! Parliament sat for in the 50s: 3700 Average Number of Hours ! 15th Lok Sabha sat for: 1329 Average Number of Hours Budget ! was discussed for in the 50s: 123 Average Number of Hours Budget ! was discussed for in 15th Lok Sabha: 39
  • 8. A Better Parliament The Parliament’s Functioning The decline in Parliament’s functioning is not just bad when compared historically …! ! Number of Bills passed! 13th Lok Sabha! ! ! ! ! ! 297! 14th Lok Sabha! ! ! ! ! ! 248! 15th Lok Sabha! ! ! 162 ! … it does not keep pace with even the recent past! The Analysis
  • 9. A Better Parliament The Parliament’s Functioning And apart from quantity restriction, even the quality of discussion suffers because of lack of time!! ! ! ! ! ! 35% of Bills passed are debated for less than an hour! And one striking example! The Analysis Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at the Work Place ! Bill passed by Lok Sabha ! without debate in under 20 minutes!
  • 10. A Better Parliament The End Result The Job of a Member of Parliament! Being the Government’s Boss! The But Government decides the Agenda! Boss, especially if in Opposition, has little control ! Analysis leads to frustration … leading to disruptions
  • 11. A Better Parliament The 3 Possible Solution Areas 1 HOW can disruptions be limited? Opposition MPs should decide agenda for 1 day/week. (UK reserves 20 days) The Analysis Strict and prompt action against offending MPs.
  • 12. A Better Parliament The 3 Possible Solution Areas 2 HOW can number of sitting days be increased?! Instead of Government deciding to convene the Parliament on an ad hoc basis … Days when Parliament must sit should be pre-decided The Analysis Certain number of opposition MPs should be able to ask for a sitting / topic of discussion
  • 13. A Better Parliament The 3 Possible Solution Areas 3 HOW can MPs be made more effective? Record and publicise performance so Constituents can support performing MPs The Analysis Staff & Experts, for Research Support Staff Budget: India Rs 3.6 lakhs US: $ 3mn, UK: 87,000 GBP Limit compulsory whip voting only to vote threatening survival of the Government
  • 14. IN CONCLUSION! “A e A sk sk H Ho ow w An ww I aly w. nd As kH ia” sis ow on ple Ind ia. Fa as or ce e s g bo ea ok rch HOW will the ! Parliament be a better Boss ! to the Government? ! Please Ask your Lok Sabha candidate HOW will the ! Parliament sit for more number of days? for m or HOW will the ! Parliament disruptions ! be minimised?

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