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Lok Sabha saw record productivity, attendance in past 3 years: Speaker Om Birla | India News

On completing three years in office,Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, in an exclusive interview with TOI’s Akhilesh Singh, spoke about House productivity, disruptions, the new Parliament building, and more. Excerpts from the interview
You’ve completed three years in office. How has the experience been so far?
The journey has been serviced to strengthen our democracy. The members were able to well-voice their desires to the government and the results are good. The past three years have witnessed record levels of productivity, attendance, and participation during bill discussions. We have broken many records. With an emphasis on digital technology, we have saved over Rs 668.8 crore in past three years.
The number of disruptions dropped when you took over, but have increased lately. Why?
In the first session of my tenure, Lok Sabha’s productivity was 125%. A record number of bills were passed. Sure, there was a little disturbance in the first session but maximum sessions have been highly productive. During Covid too, the productivity was 61%.
What needs to be done to ensure smooth functioning of the House?
We tell members that the House is a place to have dialogues. Even during the presiding officers’ conference, we resolved to have long sessions, no disturbances and maintain high decorum. Speakers before me have also made concerted efforts and that is why the Parliament is in a good state today.
What do you think of the view expressed by the Supreme Court that lawmakers often make laws without thinking through the consequences and the complications in their enforcement?
The SC has said laws must have correct execution. It is the House’s job to make laws after constructive debates. On various issues, members have spent more than the stipulated time to present their ideas. So this adeptness is a step toward making better laws.
Do you think that the Speaker should resign from his party after becoming the Presiding Officer?
Whether they resign or not is another issue but they must be neutral and beyond doubt. I don’t think there has ever been any untoward disrespect of the seat of the Speaker.
You must be keeping a watch on the construction of the new building of Parliament. How do you see the functioning of the Lok Sabha once it has moved into the new building?
The process of constructing the new parliament is currently going on. We are trying to have the winter session in the new building. We are expecting possession of the new building by October 30 after which trial runs will be done before conducting the winter session.
But there is no central hall in the new building?
The joint session will be held in the Lok Sabha house. Moreover, the members will have adequate space.

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