In Charts: How The 16th Lok Sabha Fared
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democractic Alliance is nearing the end of its first term in power. The 16th Lok Sabha, which comprised a majority of Bharatiya Janata Party members, had its final Parliamentary session on Wednesday.
In the last five years, the Lok Sabha passed some key reforms, including the Goods and Services Act, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill and the Aadhaar Bill.
Being a clear majority government such legislation faced lesser scrutiny in the Lower House, according to an analysis of Lok Sabha data by PRS Legislative Research.
These charts show the how the 16th Lok Sabha fared from 2014 to 2019:
Fewer Work Hours
The 16th Lok Sabha had the second-lowest number of total hours of work done by any full-term government at 1,615 hours. The only worse full-term Lok Sabha was the 15th Lok Sabha where over a third of its scheduled time was lost due to disruptions. The 16th Lok Sabha’s working hours were also 40 percent lower than the average of all full-term governments.
There has been a general decline in the number of sitting days. The 16th Lok Sabha sat for 331 days. On average, full-term Lok Sabhas sat for 468 days.PRS Legislative Research
More Legislative Business
The 16th Lok Sabha also had the second-highest amount of its time spent on legislative business compared to all previous governments. “This Lok Sabha spent 32 percent of its time on legislative business, higher than the average of other Lok Sabhas (25 percent),” PRS Legislative Research said.
Only the first Lok Sabha, constituted in 1952, spent more time discussing legislation.
The 16th Lok Sabha spent 13 percent of its time on question hour, 10 percent on short-duration discussions, and 0.7 percent on calling attention motions.PRS Legislative Research
A majority in the Lower House meant that fewer bills had to be referred to committees for being passed.
The 16th Lok Sabha passed 180 bills—only one higher than the previous United Progressive Alliance-led government. Of the 180 bills passed, 47 were budget related and 133 were other bills.
Bills were also deliberated upon for longer periods with one-third being discussed for more than three hours in the Lok Sabha. That’s higher than the previous two Lok Sabhas.
While bills were discussed for longer periods, a “significantly lower proportion” were sent to committees for scrutiny. Only one-fourth of the bills introduced were referred to committees, much lower than 71 percent and 60 percent in the previous two Lok Sabhas, respectively.
“Due to time constraints, it is not possible for each MP to discuss and scrutinise all bills in the house,” PRS Legislative Research said. “Committees allow for detailed scrutiny of legislation, provide a forum for feedback from various stakeholders, and act as a consensus-building platform across political parties.”
Most Active Parties
Members of the regional Shiv Sena party were the most active in the 16th Lok Sabha, despite having only 3.45 percent of the seats. Among parties that had over 10 Parliamentarians, Shiv Sena members asked the highest number of questions and also participated in the highest number of debates.
Only 12.45 percent of Parliamentarians in the 16th Lok Sabha were female. However, when it came to posing questions, they were nearly on a par with their male counterparts. On an average, women MPs asked 292 questions, slightly lower than the male average of 302.
“While the average number of questions asked by them was similar to that of male MPs, their participation in debates was 20 percent lower than that of male MPs,” PRS Legislative Research said.