The Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs & Water Resources Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal said that the government is very keen on passing of the Lokpal Bill the earliest possible. He was addressing a Press Conference on the conclusion of the Budget Session- 2012 in New Delhi today. The Budget Session of the Parliament which commenced on 12th March 2012 has been adjourned sine die on 22nd May 2012.
During the Budget Session, 21 Government Bills were introduced in Lok Sabha and 5 Bills were introduced in the Rajya Sabha. In all, 21 Bills were passed by Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha, which included one Ordinance replacing Bill. Some of the important Bills passed were the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2012; the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2012; the Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2012; the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012; the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Second Amendment) Bill, 2012; the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Amendment Bill, 2012; the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development Bill, 2012; the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2012; the Anand Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2012; and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2012.
During the Session, 34 sittings of both the Houses of Parliament were held. Of these, 14 sittings were held in the first part and 20 sittings were held in the second part of the Session.
The first part of this Budget Session commenced on 12 March, 2012 with the Address by the President to the members of both the Houses assembled together in Central Hall. Both the Houses were in recess from 31st March, 2012 to 23rd April 2012 to enable the Standing Committees to examine the Demands for Grants of various Ministries/Departments and submit their Reports thereon. The second part of the Budget Session commenced on 24 April, 2012, after the recess.
Both the Houses discussed the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address, a copy of which was laid on the Table of the House on 12 March, 2012. Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address was adopted in the Lok Sabha on 19 March, 2012. In Rajya Sabha also it was discussed and adopted after a debate during the first part of the session.
The session was mainly devoted to transaction of the financial business. The Budget (Railways) and Budget (General) for the year 2012-13, were presented on 14th and 16th March, 2012 respectively.
After a combined discussion on the Budget (Railways) for 2012-13, Demands for Grants on Account (Railways) for 2012-13, Supplementary Demands for Grants (Railways) for 2011-12 and Demands for Excess Grants (Railways) for 2009-10, the Demands were voted and the related Appropriation Bills were passed by the Lok Sabha. The Demands for Grants (Railways) for 2012-13 were discussed in the 2nd half of the session on 25th and 26th April, 2012. The demands were voted in full and the related Appropriation Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha and returned by the Rajya Sabha.
The two Houses also held a combined discussion on the Budget (General) for 2012-13, Demands for Grants on Account (General) for 2012-13, the Supplementary Demands for Grants (General) for 2011-12 and Demands for Excess Grants (General) for 2009-10. The Demands were voted and the related Appropriation Bills were passed by the Lok Sabha and later returned by the Rajya Sabha.
During the second part of the session in the Lok Sabha, the Demands for Grants for 2012-2013, in respect of the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare, Urban Development, Home Affairs and Commerce and Industry, were discussed before being voted in full. All the other outstanding Demands for Grants in respect of Budget (General) for 2012-2013 of the remaining Ministries were submitted to the vote of the Lok Sabha on 3rd May, 2012 and voted in full and the related Appropriation Bill was passed and subsequently returned by the Rajya Sabha. During this period, the Rajya Sabha discussed the working of Ministries of (i) Labour and Employment (ii) Coal and (iii) Defence.
The Lok Sabha also discussed the Finance Bill, 2012 on 7 and 8 May, 2012. The two houses considered the Finance Bill, 2012 before it was passed/ returned.
The Lok Sabha had debates on matters of Public Importance under Rule 193 on (i) the situation arising out of widespread discontentment among the working class due to faulty Government policies; (ii) need to bring comprehensive policy changes in the Civil Aviation sector due to large scale mismanagement in the affairs of national carrier, i.e., Air India and also some other private carriers and need to look into the problems being faced by the workforce engaged in the civil aviation sector; (iii) steps taken by the Government to protect the river Ganga from pollution and the Himalayas from ruthless exploitation. The Ministers concerned replied to the debates. Two discussions on situation arising out of faulty policy for procurement of food grains and inadequate facilities for their storage and Centre-State relations remained part-discussed. In the Rajya Sabha three short duration discussions were held under Rule 176.
During the session, five important matters were raised by way of Calling Attention, namely the (i) situation arising out of incident of child separation of an Indian couple by the Norway authorities; (ii) need to include Bhojpuri language in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution; (iii) situation arising out of non-implementation of wage revision of Industrial Development Bank of India employees; (iv) situation arising out of severe drought in Karnataka; and (v) situation arising out of shortage of Drinking Water in the Country, particularly in Jhunjunu and Churu Districts of Rajasthan. In response to the two Calling Attentions, the Ministers concerned made a statement each and also replied to the clarifications sought by the members. As many as 56 statements were made by the Ministers on various other important subjects, including five statements by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs on Government Business.
Members of both the Houses of Parliament had a Special Sitting on Sunday, the 13 May, 2012 to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the First Sitting of Parliament of India. The Houses discussed the topic “Sixty years Journey of the Indian Parliament”. A resolution was unanimously passed by both the Houses at the conclusion of the discussion solemnly reaffirming total and binding commitment of the Parliament to the ideals cherished by the founding fathers of the Constitution.