New Delhi: On conclusion of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla referred to various historic achievements of the session at the Parliament House today (September 25). 

On this occasion, Birla emphasised that the dignity of the House and its chair is an important aspect of the parliamentary system and it is the duty of all members to respect the highest values that our democracy represents.  

 

Birla said that both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are the images of our democracy and extensive debates and discussions were held in both the Houses of Parliament during the session.  He added that with the help of all political parties and members, the productivity of Lok Sabha was at a historic 167 percent. He also informed that despite the threat of COVID-19, the average attendance of members of Parliament, during this session was very high, which sends a very positive message and strengthens people’s faith in the democratic institutions. 

Birla also said that the Lok Sabha sat for 60 hours instead of the allotted time of 37 hours. In fact, despite the curtailment of the session due to COVID-19, the Lok Sabha was able to function optimally with minimal loss of productivity.

 

Observing that democratic traditions in India are deep-rooted, Birla said that since 1952 when the first Lok Sabha elections were held, the faith of people in the Parliamentary form of government has increased and continued efforts should be made on how to further strengthen the democratic institutions.

Referring to recent reports on question hour, Birla said that members were given regular opportunities to raise matters concerning people’s welfare.  He highlighted the enhanced participation of members in zero hour and other legislative business.  He reminded that members were allowed to express their views on important bills and they were always encouraged to participate in the discussions. Birla also informed that 2300 answers to unstarred questions were tabled in the Lok Sabha and 25 Bills were passed. He further said that all bills, including the contentious agriculture-related bills, were passed after comprehensive discussion in the House.

 He also added that the decision to curtail the duration of the session was taken with consensus in view of the COVID-19 scare. 

On a query on the demands of members for the restoration of the MPLAD Scheme, Birla said that the matter was raised by members across the political spectrum and hoped that the government and other stakeholders would examine the issue as per merit. 

Reacting to widespread praise of the arrangements made by the Secretariats of the two Houses during the Monsoon Session, Birla said that it was a matter of happiness that both physical and digital systems functioned flawlessly.   He thanked all members for their cooperation for the smooth conduct of the House. 

He also mentioned that all members of Parliament, media persons, and officials of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats underwent the COVID-19 test. In all, more than 8700 COVID-19 tests were administered during the session. He also said that the discussion on COVID-19 was long and fruitful and all members actively participated in the more than 5-hour long discussion.

In response to a query, Birla informed that the work on the construction of the new Parliament building has started and that it would be completed within 21 months.

Birla praised the media for their comprehensive coverage and effective dissemination of information relating to Parliamentary proceedings of both the Houses during the Monsoon Session.