Hon. Members, the 214th Session of Rajya Sabha comes to a close. I
have directed the Secretary-General to make available statistical
information regarding this Session. This has been a difficult year.
The nation has faced unprecedented and heinous terrorist attacks.
We also faced serious economic crisis, globally and nationally. 2008
would also go down in our Parliamentary history as the year when
the House had its lowest number of annual sittings– a mere 46
sittings for the calendar year. Yet, I am also grateful for the
immense cooperation that I have received from hon.
Members that has enabled the introduction of new initiatives for
the smooth conduct of House proceedings, specially the three-minute rule for
the Zero Hour.
Hon. Members, the raison d’etre of our existence is
enacting legislation after due deliberation and ensuring the accountability of
the Executive. While much legislative activity has taken place in
this Session, the passing of important legislative business in the din
does no credit to our Parliament. Apart from its inherent
undesirability, the absence of parliamentary debate would not help
future generations in ascertaining the legislative intent. The
contrast with the debates of the Constituent Assembly and
thereafter could not be starker. I thank the Leader of the House,
the Leader of the Opposition, leaders of various parties and groups
and all the hon. Members for the cooperation extended by them in
conducting the proceedings of the House. I also thank the Deputy
Chairman, Members of the Panel of Vice-Chairmen and the officers
and staff of the Secretariat for their help and cooperation. Before
we adjourn, may I extend to all of you my greetings and good
wishes for the forthcoming festivals and wish every one a Happy New