Less Parliament

Aug 28 2013, 01:10 IST
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SummaryIf Parliament has been extended to pass the food and land Bills, a shorter tenure may have been better

Given how Parliament seems to be achieving less and less each year, it looked a good idea to extend the tenure of the present session by a week. While the first Lok Sabha passed 333 Bills, the average for each Lok Sabha subsequently has been 317. The 15th Lok Sabha, in its fifth year, by contrast, has passed just 151 Bills so far.

Problem is, given the Bills that are being given priority—food and land—it may have been a better idea, even if it made Parliament look that much less serious, to let the MPs go home without passing Bills. In the case of the food Bill which will extract a heavy toll in terms of fiscal discipline, the sad part is after MPs like Sharad Yadav outlined why the Bill was going to be nothing but an expensive boondoggle, they supported the Bill. The land Bill, similarly, will deal a crippling blow to industrialisation, so the longer it is kept in abeyance, the better. It is a telling commentary that our MPs pass the very Bills they should have rejected.

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