ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Credibility at Stake

The moral credibility of Parliament and the legislatures needs to be restored.

Are the institutions of representative democracy – Parliament and the state legislatures – the working bodies (framing laws and public policy) that they are supposed to be or have they degenerated into bickering shops, with sittings having to be adjourned because of unruly behaviour? Vice-president and chair of the Rajya Sabha, Mohammad Hamid Ansari’s recent statement that “the single most important issue of concern today is the decreasing credibility of our legislatures as effective institutions capable of delivering public good and contributing to effective formulation of laws and public policy” is significant.

Ansari’s speech at the 14th all-India conference of party whips expressed dissatisfaction at the disruptions and adjournments in Parliament and the state legislatures that were eating away at the time meant for deliberations on government policies and lawmaking. In the 11th Lok Sabha (LS), 5 per cent of working time was lost due to adjournments caused by disruptions, in the 12th the figure was 11 per cent, in the 13th it was 19 per cent, while in the current LS, it stands at 21 per cent, and this, even as the number of working days has gone down. Parliament also worked fewer days than its scheduled target last year in both the budget and monsoon sessions. According to an autonomous research body, the PRS Legislative Research, last year Parliament worked for the least number of days and lowest number of hours since 2000, excluding 2004 which was an election year. Similarly, it saw the lowest number of bills introduced and passed since 2000 (again, barring 2004), the number being 56 and 46, respectively.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top