Rajya Sabha at 46% efficiency in winter session
The Rajya Sabha clocked an abysmal 46% efficiency during the winter Session of 2015. Chairman Hamid Ansari asked members to to desist from approaches that demean the stature of the Rajya Sabha. The winter session has had 20 sittings, and has lost over 47 hours on political issues such as V K Singh's dog remark and Mohan Bhagwat's comments on Ayodhya, among others.
The Rajya Sabha was supposed to function for 112 hours during the winter session which began on November 26. In this session, there were 20 sittings of the Rajya Sabha, which spent 10 hours on legislation and nearly 47 hours on non-legislative matters. There were 68 bills pending before the session started and there are 65 bills pending at the end.
In the winter session, the Lok Sabha, where the BJP has a comfortable majority, worked for 115 hours, an hour more than the scheduled 114 hours. 14 bills were passed in this session. 50 hours were spent on non-legislative business while 37 hours were spent on legislation. In the last four sessions, the average productivity of the Lok Sabha has been at 97%.
Data on Parliament's efficiency is provided by the PRS Legislative Research service from the office of the Economic Advisor. The efficiency of the house is calculated by comparing the number of hours that the house is scheduled to function for, and the number of hours it actually worked. This ratio is compared with statistics including time spent on Q&A and disruptions to calculate efficiency.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu blamed the opposition parties for "cheating the people" and disrupting parliament over political debates. The Congress stalled Rajya Sabha proceedings for various reasons, including the court summons to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul in the National Herald case and the DDCA row involving the Finance Minister. The Lok Sabha Chair Sumitra Mahajan called the obstructions a "tyranny of the minority".
According to PRS data, the cost of running each House is Rs.29,000/minute and the loss of hours in the Rajya Sabha has resulted in losses of nearly Rs.10 Crore to the exchequer.