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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 08:00 AM
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19. south asia: Indian despair at parliamentary circus

BANGALORE - In the world's largest democracy, parliament doesn't work.

Almost half of the winter session of parliament has gone by with not a single day's work being transacted.

Since the start of the winter session a fortnight ago, parliamentary proceedings have been repeatedly adjourned with the opposition protesting rising prices and the decision to allow foreign equity in the retail sector.

The winter session is due to end on December 22 and parliament has 12 sittings left in which to debate and pass 31 bills, including the Lokpal Bill to create an anti-corruption ombudsman. There are few signs that any work will get done in the coming weeks.

Even if a log jam over issue related to foreign investment in the retail sector is cleared and parliament begins work in the next few

days, it is feared that disruptions will continue. Like the 2010 winter session - deadlocked over a probe into a scandal over 2-G mobile phone spectrum licenses - this too could be a washout.

"In the last winter session <2010>, zero bills were passed, in the budget session five bills were cleared, and in the monsoon session, a total of 10 bills sailed through," said M R Madhavan, head of research at PRS Legislative Research, an independent research initiative in Delhi that aims at strengthening the legislative process.
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