The Karnataka Assembly sat for the most days in 2020; Kerala tops list of ordinances
The Karnataka Assembly sat for the most days and passed the most laws in the country in 2020, a year marked by the Covid-19 lockdown, while Kerala topped the list of governments States with the highest number of prescriptions.
The 19-state PRS Legislative Research ‘Annual State Law Review for 2020’ report showed that assemblies met for 18 days on average, compared to 29 sessions on average per year between 2016 and 2019.
Karnataka topped the list with 31 sessions last year, followed by Rajasthan (29), Himachal Pradesh (25), Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat (23 each). The Kerala Assembly sat for 20 days.
If you take the average for 2016-19, Kerala is far ahead of the other states with 53 sitting days per year, followed by Maharashtra at 41. Karnataka, in this case, scored 32 days.
The year 2020 saw assemblies not being able to call meetings due to the Covid-19 situation and the lockdown that followed.
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With respect to the adoption of bills, the report indicates that states have adopted an average of 22 bills, excluding appropriation bills). Karnataka topped the list again with 61 bills, while the lowest was Delhi, which passed one bill, followed by West Bengal and Kerala, which passed two and three bills respectively. .
On average, according to the report, states issued 14 ordinances in the past year. This number was distorted by Kerala which issued 81 ordinances. Half of those 81 ordinances have been promulgated, according to the report.
Kerala was followed by Karnataka (24), Uttar Pradesh (23) and Maharashtra (21) in issuing prescriptions.
By analyzing the time required for the adoption of bills, 59% of laws were adopted on the same day they were introduced, while 14% were adopted within one day of their introduction. Only 9% of bills were passed more than five days after their introduction.
The states that passed most of the bills on the same day they were introduced are Punjab (26 bills out of 26), Haryana (34 bills out of 35) and Uttar Pradesh (32 bills out of 37).
Karnataka and Rajasthan passed the majority of their bills two or more days after they were introduced to the legislature. In both states, 37% of bills had a gap of at least five days between their introduction and their passage.
The report states that most states do not have committees to review bills such as standing parliamentary committees and that in the absence of a strong committee system and fewer working days, state legislatures hardly spend time examining the legislative proposals submitted to them.
He said Kerala has formed 14 thematic committees to review bills. In 2020, in some states like Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, select committees (ad hoc committees) were formed to consider important bills.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) 2020 bill was presented to the Karnataka Assembly in March 2020 and immediately referred to a joint select committee (of both chambers) for further consideration, he said.