Amid Pegasus row, LS rushes 5 bills in 44 mins
The Monsoon Session of Parliament has seen repeated disruptions amid protests by the Opposition over the Pegasus spyware controversy. These disruptions have greatly impacted the productivity of the Parliament that has seen very little business since the commencement of the Monsoon Session on July 19. However, amid the ruckus, both Houses of Parliament have managed to hurriedly pass several bills.
Lok Sabha 14% productive this session
According to data compiled by PRS Legislative, the productivity of the Lok Sabha (the Lower House in India's bicameral Parliament) has come down to 14%. The House has passed five bills in less than an hour this session. In comparison, each bill passed by the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session earlier this year was discussed for an average of 2.5 hours.
Rajya Sabha's productivity stood at 22%
The productivity of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) stood at 22%, according to data compiled by PRS Legislative. During the Budget session, the Rajya Sabha discussed each bill for an average of two hours before passing it.
Lok Sabha passes 5 bills in 44 minutes
July 26: The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2021; and the National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019 passed in 13 minutes, 14 minutes, and six minutes, respectively. July 28: The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021 passed in five minutes. July 29:The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 passed in six minutes.
Rajya Sabha passes 3 bills in 72 minutes
The Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021 was paased in 40 minutes on July 27. Notably, only seven MPs had participated in the discussion of this bill. The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was cleared in 14 minutes on July 29. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021 was passed in 18 minutes on July 28.
Monsoon Session sees repeated disruptions over Pegasus
Proceedings of both Houses have faced repeated disruptions as the Opposition parties have launched protests demanding discussions on Pegasus spyware. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government, on the other hand, claims that the Opposition's protests are blocking discussions on Pegasus. BJP members are also stalling meetings of the Parliamentary IT panel on the matter.
What is the Pegasus spyware issue?
Pegasus is a highly-rated spyware—developed by the Israeli company NSO Group—which is only made available to vetted government clients. It was also in the news in 2019 for its use by various governments to track individuals. Earlier this month, a global consortium of media houses revealed the names of 50,000 potential surveillance targets including 300 Indians (journalists, Opposition leaders, ministers, activists, etc.)