Various Sessions of the Parliament in India
A stormy budget session over Land Acquisition Bill has once again garnered attention for wrong reasons. Frequent disruptions of parliament and loss of business hours have often been highlighted as a major concern. On this note, let us find out what do these sessions of parliament actually mean for the country. To start with the obvious, around 790 members of the supreme legislative body in India meet thrice a year. The period during which the parliamentarians convene and conduct the business of each House is referred to as session. Every year, the Parliament of India conducts three sessions – Budget, Monsoon and Winter.
Budget session, which is conducted from February to May, is considered highly crucial for the matters it deals with. Much importance is attached to this session of the Parliament as government tries to pass as many bills as possible to take forward its reform agenda. The budget session opens with the presentation of the Railway Budget. While the rail budget is presented sometime in the third week of February, the General Budget is presented on the last working day of February. The MPs get an opportunity to discuss budgetary provisions and proposals pertaining to taxation.
It is often seen that the budget session is split into two periods with a gap of one month in between. The standing committees related to various ministries utilise the intervening period to discuss and consider the Demands for Grants made by the ministries. The timeframe between the prorogation of the Parliament and its reassembly is known as recess.
After a brief hiatus of around two months, both the Houses of the Parliament resume business in July and continue till September. Unlike the preceding session, the monsoon session is dedicated largely to discussions on matters of public interest. It is during the monsoon session that the members of the Parliament, including the ministers, can bring forward the legislative proposals in the form of a Bill.
The government can move a resolution or a motion to get approval or opinion of the House on policy-related issues and matters of grave concern. Similarly, the MPs can also move a resolution in order to draw the attention of the House on specific problems and initiate discussions on matters of urgent public importance.
It is the shortest session that spans over a period of one month generally between mid-November and mid-December. It takes up the issues that could not be deliberated upon and makes up for the lack of legislative business during the second session of the Parliament. The MPs not only debate on administrative policies on the floors of the Parliament, but also make sure that the government gets the drift and becomes aware of its lapses.
All the three sessions of the Parliament are uniform in their purpose and the functions they are expected to perform. For example, the proposal for amending a certain Act within the Constitution of India can be initiated in any of the three sessions and either House of the Parliament.