New Delhi: The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on Tuesday expressed readiness to have at least 26 weeks of Parliament sittings in a year, if the opposition parties cooperate.
The suggestion was made by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the leader of the Lok Sabha, at the Speaker’s chamber when leaders of political parties assembled there to thank Speaker Meira Kumar for conducting first session of the 15th Lok Sabha.
The Lok Sabha session that began on 1 June was adjourned sine die on Tuesday. According to a UPA leader, who was present inside the chamber, Mukherjee also told opposition leader L.K. Advani that the budget session, likely to begin on 29 June, could extend till mid-August.
There has been widespread criticism against curtailing the number of sittings of the Lok Sabha.
The 14th Lok Sabha had only 332 sittings in five years. In his concluding remarks on the final day of the last Lok Sabha, then speaker Somnath Chatterjee had said that the Lower House had “spent a total of 1,738 hours and 45 minutes on actual sittings and wasted 423 hours” but the time wasted in disruptions and adjournments due to disorderly scenes amounted to a total of about 24% of the time of the House.