The Budget Session, 2020 of Parliament which commenced on 31st January, 2020 has been adjourned sine die today i.e. Monday, the 23rd of March 2020. In between both the Houses also adjourned for recess on Tuesday, the 11th February, 2020 to reassemble on Monday, the 2nd March, 2020 to enable Departmentally related Standing Committees to examine and report on the Demands for Grants relating to various Ministries/Departments.
In a statement on Budget Session, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi informed here today that the first part of the Budget Session yielded a total of 9 sittings of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. He added that in the second part of the Session there were 14 sittings of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. “During the entire Budget Session, 2020 there were in total 23 sittings in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha”, Joshi said.
Speaking about the second part of the Session, the Minister stated that the Session has been curtailed after having consensus across party lines keeping in view the situation arising out of the spread of COVID -19 across the world including in India.
This being the first Session of the year, the President addressed both Houses of Parliament assembled together in terms of Article 87 (1) of the Constitution, on 31st January, 2020. Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address in Lok Sabha was moved by Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma and seconded by Ram Kripal Yadav. This item engaged the Lok Sabha for 15 Hours 21 minutes against allotted 12 Hours. In Rajya Sabha it was moved by Bhupender Yadav and seconded by Dr. Sudhanshu Trivedi. This item engaged the Rajya Sabha for 14 Hours 33 minutes against allotted 12 Hours. Motions of Thanks were discussed and adopted by the two Houses during the first part of the Session.
The Union Budget for 2020- 21 was presented on Saturday, the 1st of February, 2020. General Discussion on the Union Budget was held in both Houses in the first part of this Session. This engaged the Lok Sabha for 11 Hours 51 minutes against allotted 12 Hours and Rajya Sabha for 11 Hours 36 minutes against allotted 12 Hours.
In Lok Sabha, Demands for Grants relating to Ministry of Railways, Social Justice and Empowerment and Tourism were discussed and adopted individually. Thereafter rest of the Demands for Grants of the Ministries/Departments were put to the vote of the House on Monday, the 16th March, 2020. The related Appropriation Bill was also introduced, considered and passed on 16.03.2020. Appropriation Bills relating to Supplementary Demands for Grants for the year 2019-20, Supplementary Demand for Grant in respect of the State of Jammu and Kashmir for 2019-20, Demands for Grants in respect of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the year 2020-21 and Demands for Grants in respect of the Union Territory of Ladakh for the year 2019-20 after their adoption were also introduced, considered and passed. The Finance Bill, 2020 was passed by Lok Sabha on 23.03.2020. Rajya Sabha also returned all the Appropriation Bills, and the Finance Bill, 2020 on 23.03.2020. As such the entire Financial Business was completed before 31st March, 2020.
During this Session a total of 19 Bills (18 in Lok Sabha and 01 in Rajya Sabha) were introduced. 15 Bills were passed by Lok Sabha and 13 Bills were passed by Rajya Sabha. Total number of Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament is 12. Further, 2 Bills were withdrawn in the Rajya Sabha. A list of Bills introduced in Lok Sabha/Rajya, Bills passed by Lok Sabha, Bills passed by Rajya Sabha, Bills passed by both Houses and withdrawn in Rajya Sabha are attached in Annexure.
Some important Bills, passed by Houses of Parliament are as under:-
• Social Justice and Educational Reforms – Certain Bills to further strengthen Social Justice and Educational Reforms in India were passed during this Session. The Constitution Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2020 amends Part VI of the Order which specifies the Scheduled Tribes in Karnataka. The Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2020 intends to upgrade the three Deemed to be Universities in Sanskrit, namely, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Delhi, Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi and Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Triputi into Central Sanskrit Universities in order to give a boost to Post Graduate, Doctoral and Post Doctoral education and Research in the field of Sanskrit and Shastraic education. It would help in getting better faculty, attract foreign students, Sanskrit scholars, foreign faculty of international repute and help in international collaborations with global Universities across the world.
• Economic Sector/Ease of doing Business measures –Some important legislations to address the economic sentiment in the country were passed during the current session. The Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 intends to facilitate seamless transfer of all valid rights, approvals, clearances, licenses and the like for a period of two years to a new lessee in case of minerals other than coal, lignite and atomic minerals. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2020 intends to give the highest priority in repayment to last mile funding to corporate debtors to prevent insolvency, in case the company goes into corporate insolvency resolution process or liquidation, to prevent potential abuse of the Code by certain classes of financial creditors, to provide immunity against prosecution of the corporate debtor and action against the property of the corporate debtor and the successful resolution applicant subject to fulfilment of certain conditions, and in order to fill the critical gaps in the corporate insolvency framework. The Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020 proposes for resolution of pending tax disputes by not only generating timely revenue for government but also the tax payers who will be able to deploy time, energy and resources saved by opting for such dispute resolution towards their business activities.
Short Duration Discussion under Rule 193 in Lok Sabha and under Rule 176 in Rajya were held on ‘Recent law and order situation in some parts of Delhi’.
Shri Joshi informed, “The productivity of Lok Sabha was approx. 94% and that of Rajya Sabha was approx. 96% during the first part. During the second part of the Budget Session, 2020, the productivity of Lok Sabha was approx. 88% and that of Rajya Sabha was 62%. The productivity for the complete Budget Session, 2020 of Lok Sabha was approx. 90% and that of Rajya Sabha was 74%.”