New Delhi: A total of 25 Bills were passed by both Houses of Parliament during the three sessions in the calendar year 2022. Despite differences between the government and the opposition over a variety of issues, which resulted in several protests, disruptions and walkouts, both Houses were still able to transact a substantial amount of business.
Productivity of both Houses dipped in Monsoon Session
It may be recalled that the opposition had vehemently opposed the Budget, describing it as anti-people and anti-poor during the Budget Session. It had also protested against the Union government’s refusal to allow a discussion on the issue of price rise and inflation for several weeks during the Monsoon Session, and against its reluctance to allow a discussion on the China border issue during the Winter Session.
Yet, the productivity of the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session 2022 was approximately 129% and that of the Rajya Sabha was 98%; in the Monsoon Session, this dropped sharply to 48% in the Lok Sabha and 44% in the Rajya Sabha. However, the Winter Session saw a return to higher levels, with the productivity of the Lok Sabha approximately at 97% and that of the Rajya Sabha was nearly 103%.
Both Houses passed 11 Bills during Budget Session
Several important Bills were also passed during the year. As per government data, in the Budget Session, a total of 13 Bills (12 in the Lok Sabha and 1 in the Rajya Sabha) were introduced. While 13 Bills were passed by the Lower House, 11 Bills were passed by the Upper House. The total number of Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament was 11. Some of the major Bills passed were:
The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022: It authorised the taking of measurements of convicts and other persons for the purposes of identification and investigation in criminal matters.
The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022: It sought to (i) unify the three municipal corporations into a single, integrated and well-equipped entity; (ii) ensure a robust mechanism for synergised and strategic planning and optimal utilisation of resources; (iii) bring about greater transparency, improved governance and more efficient delivery of civic service for the people of Delhi.
Five Bills passed by both Houses in Monsoon Session
During the Monsoon Session, six Bills were introduced and seven were passed in the Lok Sabha, while five Bills were passed by the Rajya Sabha. Apart from this, five Bills were passed by both Houses of Parliament during the session. Some of the major Bills passed were:
The Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2022: This Bill sought to amend the parent Act to provide for the establishment of Family Courts in Himachal Pradesh with effect from February 15, 2019 and in Nagaland with effect from September 12, 2008; and for insertion of a new section 3A to retrospectively validate all actions under the parent Act taken by these state governments.
The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022: This Bill sought to (a) prohibit financing of any activity in relation to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems; (b) empower the Union government to (i) freeze, seize or attach funds or other financial assets or economic resources for preventing such financing; (ii) prohibit making available funds, financial assets or economic resources for any prohibited activity in relation to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
The Indian Antarctica Bill, 2022: The Bill provided for national measures for protecting the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems and to give effect to the Antarctic Treaty, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The National Anti-Doping Bill, 2021: It provided for the constitution of the National Anti-Doping Agency for regulating anti-doping activities in sports and to give effect to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation International Convention against doping in sport, and compliance of such other obligations and commitments thereunder and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Nine Bills passed by both Houses during the Winter Session
In the Winter Session, nine Bills were passed by both Houses. Overall, nine Bills were introduced and seven Bills were passed in the Lok Sabha; nine Bills were passed by the Rajya Sabha.
Some of the major Bills passed by both Houses during the Session were:
The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022: It sought to increase the species protected under the law, and implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
The Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022: This Bill sought to (a) mandate the use of non-fossil sources, including Green Hydrogen, Green Ammonia, Biomass and Ethanol for energy and feedstock; (b) establish Carbon Markets; (c) bring large residential buildings within the fold of Energy Conservation regime; (d) enhance the scope of Energy Conservation Building Code; (e) amend penalty provisions; (f) increase members in the Governing Council of Bureau of Energy Efficiency; and (g) empower the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions to make regulations for smooth discharge of its functions.
The Maritime Anti-Piracy Bill, 2022: It proposed to make special provisions for the repression of piracy on high seas and to provide for punishment for the offence of piracy.
Parliament also passed three Constitution (ST) Order Amendment Bills during the Winter Session.
The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022 was passed by both Houses. It sought to include the Narikoravan and Kurivikkaran communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes in Tamil Nadu.
The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2022 led to the inclusion of Betta-Kuruba as a synonym for the Kadu Kuruba community in the list of STs in Karnataka.
The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022 was also passed by both Houses. It provided for including the transfer of the Gond community from the list of SCs to STs and the inclusion of Dhuria, Nayak, Ojha, Pathari and Rajgond in the list of STs of Uttar Pradesh in the four districts of Sant Kabir Nagar, Kushinagar, Chandauli and Bhadohi.