In Charts: Which States Assemblies Passed The Most Bills In 2020
Indian traffic police officers wearing protective masks stands guard next to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

In Charts: Which States Assemblies Passed The Most Bills In 2020

Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh passed the most bills in 2020—a year mired with challenges for state assemblies due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On average, state assemblies have passed an average of 22 bills each, excluding the appropriation laws, according to a report by PRS Legislative Research. Karnataka was the highest with 61, followed by Tamil Nadu (42) and Uttar Pradesh (37).

On the other hand, Delhi passed only one bill. It was followed by West Bengal and Kerala with two and three each.

59% of these bills were passed in one day. Only 9% of these bills took more than five days to be passed. Not all bills passed may have been enacted as legislation yet as they require the Governor's assent.

PRS' analysis also did not include Appropriation Bills passed as they are only used for sanctioning government expenditure which is already approved through demands of each state department.

These state assemblies also promulgated, on average, 14 more ordinances than last year. Ordinances are used by governments to enact laws when the assembly is not in session. They are in force until six weeks after the next meeting of the assembly, unless they are repealed.

The higher number of ordinances in 2020 has been skewed almost exclusively by Kerala.

While Kerala passed fewer bills, it did take the ordinance route for enacting a number of its laws. The southern state promulgated 81 ordinances this year. Nearly half of these were ones that were re-issued after intervening sessions.

When it cames to enacting laws, taxation, education and local government-related legislations were the most prominent subjects in 2020. They accounted for more than a third of the total laws that were enacted.

Laws related to public institutions and housing had the lowest share.

With significant portions of the year spent in lockdowns, many states also saw fewer number of sitting days of their assemblies.

In 2020, 19 states for which data was available met for an average of 18 days. Between 2016 and 2019, these states had met for an average of 29 days a year.

Karnataka assembly met for the highest number of days, followed by Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. Some states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu also used alternative means to enable their meetings amid the pandemic.

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