Dignity of the House and its Chair is an important aspect of the parliamentary system, said Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla as he stressed that it is the duty of all members to respect the highest values that our democracy represents.
Birla's observations come close on the heels of eight opposition members creating an unprecedented ruckus in Rajya Sabha following which they were suspended. The opposition had also brought a no-confidence motion against RS Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh.
Birla said that both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are the images of India's democracy and extensive debates and discussions were held in both the Houses of Parliament during the session.
He added that with the help of all political parties and Members, the productivity of Lok Sabha was at a historic 167 per cent. He also informed that despite the threat of COVID-19, the average attendance of Members of Parliament, during this Session was very high, which sends a very positive message and strengthens peoples' faith in the democratic institutions.
Birla proudly asserted that the Lok Sabha sat for 60 hours instead of the allotted time of 37 hours. In fact, despite the curtailment of the Session due to COVID-19, the Lok Sabha was able to function optimally with minimal loss of productivity.
Referring to recent reports on Question Hour, Birla said that members were given regular opportunities to raise matters concerning peoples' welfare. Birla also informed that 2,300 answers to Unstarred Questions were tabled in the Lok Sabha and 25 Bills were passed.
On a query on the demands of Members for the restoration of the MPLAD Scheme, Birla said that the matter was raised by Members across the political spectrum and hoped that the Government and other stakeholders would examine the issue as per merit.
Birla, while answering a question said that the work on the construction of the new Parliament building has started and that it would be completed within 21 months.