Rajya Sabha annual productivity drops to 59%

The lowest was reported in 2018 with 36% productivity.

Rajya Sabha reported the second lowest annual productivity at 59% in 2021 since its inception. The silver lining in the otherwise bleak picture is above average performance by the Parliamentary Standing Committees under the upper house.

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu this week commissioned a study to further recommend ways of improving performances of these Parliamentary panels.

According to the Rajya Sabha secretariat, 2021 with 59% of annual productivity was second lowest for the upper house. The lowest was reported in 2018 with 36% productivity. So far, with the BJP not enjoying a clear majority in Rajya Sabha it remains an arena of confrontation between the opposition and the government. The year 2021 saw passage of many controversial legislations which resulted in continued disruptions in the upper house.

In contrast, the eight department related Standing Committees have significantly improved their performance during September, 2020 to September, 2021 in terms of duration of meetings and attendance of members over that of 2017-18.

The latest review of the performance of these eight Committees revealed that while only two Committees on Transport, Tourism and Culture and Health Family Welfare reported average duration of over two hours per meeting in 2017-18, six Committees — Transport, Health, Education, Home Affairs, Science & Technology and Commerce met for over two hours per meeting during 2020-21.

While no Committee has reported attendance of 50% in 2017-18, three Committees on Transport, Education and Law & Justice have reported attendance of more than 50% during 2020-21 with six of the eight Committees improving average attendance in the meetings during this period.

Mr. Naidu, this week commissioned a study to recommend ways of improving the performance of these Committees. In a meeting on the last day of the Winter Session, opposition leaders urged the Chairman to review the 2018 decision to withdraw special allowance that the MPs used to get to attend these Committee meetings.

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