While deliberating on a private member’s legislation brought by Shiromani Akali Dal member Naresh Gujral, several Rajya Sabha MPs demanded that the Upper House should function for a minimum 120 days along with an increase in the working hours, The New Indian Express has reported.
Several members also called for a deduction in the salary and allowances of members that disrupt the house’s proceedings for that day.
The members were discussing the falling productivity of the Rajya Sabha which has seen successive governments cutting down on the number of days the house meets.
"Earlier, when Rajya Sabha started to meet in 1952 after independence, Parliament would meet for over 100 days and gradually with period of time, successive governments have made sure that the duration of the sessions gets reduced," Gujral said.
He also contrasted the trend with western democracies where Parliament meetings are held for at least six months every year adding that the Rajya Sabha too should meet for at least four or five months.
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh supported the move while adding that the the working hours of the house should be extended too. "Why should we start at 11 AM? Around the world, Parliament sitting starts at 9:30 or 10 AM. When the half of the day is over, we come to Parliament,” he said.
BJP MP Ashok Baijal supported the increase in working hours saying that reduction in the hours disallows newer members from raising issues in the house.
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