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10th BD Parliament passed a bill in 31 minutes on average: TIB
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10th BD Parliament passed a bill in 31 minutes on average: TIB

Dhaka, Aug 28 – Only around 31-minute time was spent to pass a bill on an average while 71 per cent of the total bills were passed in previous 10th parliament in between one to 30 minutes, Transparency International, Bangladesh revealed this at a report.The TIB report titled ‘Parliament Watch’ on the other hand mentioned that in the House of Lords, 48 percent of the total time was spent to pass bills in the year 2017-2018 while in the 16th Lok Sabha in India around 32 percent time was spent to enact bills.
The report said though formulation of law is the main purpose of the parliament, the last parliament used only 12 per cent of its total time in enacting laws.
The 10th parliament that began its journey on January 29 in 2014 and continued till 2018 passed 193 bills during its 23 sessions, said the report which was released at a press conference at TIB office at MIDAS Centre in Dhanmondi on Wednesday.
According to report, in the eighth parliament, nine percent time was spent to enact bills (2001-2005) while in the ninth parliament (2009-2013), this time was eight percent only.
The TIB also revealed that an estimated financial loss in the 10th parliament stands at Tk 163,57,55,363 crore due to 194 hours and 30 minutes quorum crises. The average quorum crisis was 28 munities a day.
According to constitution, it needs presence of at least 60 lawmaker to meet the quorum to start the day’s sittings otherwise, it has to postpone or adjourn the sitting until the quorum is fulfilled.
The 10th parliament could not play expected role to ensure transparency and accountability of the government due to absence of an effective opposition as it was in existence crises due to its duel role both for treasury and opposition benches, said TIB executive director Dr Iftekharuzzaman told a questioner.
In fundamental criterion, the 10th parliament cannot be compared with 8th and 9th parliament. There were huge shortcomings of effectiveness of 10th parliament as there was not a real opposition, he said.
Khaleda Zia led BNP was outside parliament as her 20-party alliance and a number of opposition parties boycotted the January 5, 2014 elections. And Jatiya Party for the first time turned into a opposition and shared power with the government.
The TIB chief, however, mentioned that the opposition came out from the culture of boycotting parliament in the 10th parliament what he said ‘in exchange of huge cost.’
The TIB report also revealed that 59 per cent of parliament members were from the business community while 13 per cent lawyer and only 7 per cent were politicians and the rest 21 per cent from other professions.
According to the report, although the presence of female MPs in the parliament was higher compared to their male colleagues, their participation in formulating laws was lower.
The TIB prepared the report based on data collected from different sources from January 2014 to October 2018.
Nihar Ranjan Roy and Morsheda Akter, two deputy program managers of TIB, presented the report at the press conference.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Trustee Board Chairperson Advocate Sultana Kamal, Director Mohammad Rafiqul Hasan, Executive Management Adviser Dr Sumaya Khair, and Program Manager (research and policy) Juliet Rossetete were present at the press conference.
The TIB in its report put forward 11-point recommendations including brining amendment to the Article 70 of the constitution to allow all lawmakers to vote based on his/her conscious only except against its own party and budget, preparing a code of conduct for the lawmakers and ensuring effective participation of the opposition in parliament.
It put emphasis on playing an active role of the Speaker to giving ruling to stop using unparliamentarily languages and expunges those, placing all international agreements except those matters stat security before parliament through the President and releasing all bills placed in parliament for public opinion.
The TIB also recommended electing opposition lawmakers as head of at least five of the 10 parliamentary standing committees relating to financial affairs including standing committee on public accounts.
The average presence of lawmakers was 63 per cent of them, the present male lawmakers were 62 per cent and female lawmakers were 71 per cent. The presence of Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was 82 per cent while Leader of the Opposition Leader Raushan Ershad was 59 per cent. – Staff Reporter

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