As the ruling party & opposition spar over convening the winter session of parliament, the proposed 14 sittings during the upcoming winter session is the shortest in the last 20 years.
After a lot of accusations & counter accusations about holding the winter session of parliament, the session for the year 2017 has finally been summoned. This year’s winter session will begin on 15th December 2017 and end on 05th January 2018. As per the provisional calendar uploaded on the Lok Sabha website, there will be 14 sittings during the proposed winter session. Data available on the Rajya Sabha website indicates that 14 sittings is the lowest for any winter session since 1999.
2017 will see the lowest number of sittings during Winter Session since 1999
Data available on the Rajya Sabha website indicates that the 14 sittings proposed during the upcoming winter session is the lowest since 1999, the year from which the data is available on the website. Next in the list is the year 1999 during the first NDA regime when only 15 sittings were held. In the rest of the 4 years during NDA-1, the parliament convened for at least 20 sittings during winter session every year. During UPA-1, the number of sittings was less than 20 in 2004, 2007 and 2008. During UPA-2, the number of sittings during the winter session was 24 in each of the years 2009, 2010 and 2011. The year 2012 was the only occasion during UPA-2 when the number of sittings was less than 20. During NDA-2, the number of sittings during the winter session was at least 20 in each of the first 3 years (2014, 2015 & 2016).The average number of sittings during the winter session was the same during both NDA-1 and the two terms of UPA. The average during NDA-1 and 10-year UPA regime was both 21 sittings per session. During NDA-2, it dropped to an average of 19 sittings per session mainly on account of 14 sittings proposed during the upcoming session. The average during the first five years of UPA was only 19 which increased to 23 during their second term.
Budget Session – Average number of sittings during NDA-1 was highest
If the number of sittings during the budget session are taken into account, NDA-1 was better than both UPA and NDA-2. During the first NDA government, average number of sittings during the budget session was 37 which was down to 34 during the UPA regime. During the first 3 years of the NDA-2 regime, the average number of sittings during the budget session is 32. It has to be noted that the election years (2004,2009 & 2014) were excluded from this analysis since the budget sessions are usually shorter during an election year because of vote-on-account budget. As far as number of sittings during monsoon session are concerned, the NDA-1 was best with an average of 24 sittings per session. During UPA’s term, the it was down to 21 sittings per session on average. The average during the current government is also at 21 sittings per session for the monsoon session.