Demonetisation demolishes winter session of Parliament
The storm over demonetisation issue virtually demolished the month-long Winter Session of Parliament which concluded today as a washout, with negligible business being transacted.
The Lok Sabha lost 92 hours due to the disruptions caused ever since the session began on November 16. The Rajya Sabha had a similar fate even though the excact loss of time was not immediately known.
The session hardly saw any legislative action except for the passage of the Rights of Persons with Disability Bill by both the Houses. Significantly, this legislation was cleared today after a brief debate with a rare bonhomie, similar to the one witnessed in the Rajya Sabha on it two days back.
During the session, the Lok Sabha also passed the Income Tax Amendment Bill without any debate amid din but it could not be taken up for consideration in the Rajya Sabha.
The only other legislative action was the approval of the Supplementary Demands for Grants.
While adjourning the two Houses sine die, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari expressed pain and anguish over the repeated disruptions.
Ansari said "all sections" of the House need to introspect on the distinction between dissent, disruption and agitation.
"Regular and continuous disruptions characterised this Session. The symbolism of dignified protests, so essential for orderly conduct of Parliamentary proceedings, was abandoned," he lamented.
The Lok Sabha Speaker regretted that 21 sittings of the House lasted only 19 hours which saw 50 of the total 440 starred being answered on the floor and members raising 124 issues of urgent public importance.
She said though a discussion on demonetisation of currency notes was on the agenda under 193 that does not entail voting, but only partial debate could take place.