In what comes as a welcome revelation, PRS Legislative Research, a famous think tank, has reported that the ongoing session of the Lok Sabha, under Speaker Om Birla has been the most productive in the last 20 years. As such, the lower house of Parliament has recorded a whopping 128% productivity. The Lok Sabha has been working overtime and has also sat till midnight on a couple of occasions in order to ensure completion of its legislative business. The think tank said, “This session, the Lok Sabha has been working for more than its scheduled time. Till July 16, 2019, the Lok Sabha’s productivity is at 128 per cent which is the highest for any session in the past 20 years.” The Rajya Sabha, has also recorded high productivity. It registered a productivity of 98 per cent. This figure can be considered relatively high as per the PRS Legislative Research.
Productivity is calculated by considering the number of hours for which the House actually functioned as against the number of hours for which it was supposed to function as per the official schedule. The present session of the Parliament had started on June 17 and will end on July 26. The official working hours of the Lok Sabha are from 11 am to 6 pm. There is also an hour-long break between 1 pm to 2 pm.
The newly-appointed Lok Sabha speaker, Om Birla, deserves credit for ensuring that the lower house functioned smoothly without any major interruptions. Barely a week into his election as the Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla had shown that the BJP leadership did not err by nominating him as the Lok Sabha Speaker. Ever since he assumed the office of Lok Sabha speaker, he has made certain significant changes in the functioning of the Lower House of Parliament and if this is any indication of how his tenure is going to be, it seems that the house would no longer witness repeated interruptions by MPs and unnecessary adjournments.
As such, Birla has been trying to ensure that the Lok Sabha does not merely go through the motions, but actually holds fruitful discussions and substantially performs the functions which it is supposed to perform. He has already started sitting through longer hours of proceedings and often delays lunch so that first-time MPs can raise matters of importance. He has also shown dexterity when it comes to handling disruptions and has shown no signs of succumbing to pressure due to interruptions in the proceedings of the House.
As such Birla has not only brought about changes, but he has also brought about better results. Lok Sabha is performing beyond what is expected out of it with Birla managing the affairs of the House as the Lok Sabha speaker. High productivity of the lower house corroborates the hard work put in by Birla.