Quorum crisis ate up 152 hours and 17 minutes during its 18 sessions of the 10th parliament, causing a waste of about Tk 125.20 crore, according to a new study conducted by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB).
TIB revealed the study, titled ‘Parliament Watch’, on the operation of 14th to 18th session of the 10th national parliament at a press conference at TIB’s office in the city on Thursday.
The study report estimated that about Tk 1.63 lakh is needed to conduct a parliament session for one minute while 30 minutes were wasted on an average of each working day of the total 18 sessions due to quorum crisis.
According to the study, from the 14th to 18th session, average meeting time and members’ participation in each working day increased than that of 8th and 9th parliament, the quorum crisis remained almost the same.
On the other hand, percentage of time spent for legislation decreased than that of previous time, which is now 9 per cent of the total time spent from 14th to 18th session, said the report.
A total of 260 hours and 8 minutes were spent from the 14th to 18th session of the 10th parliament where the most part of it has been spent for discussing about budget.
Meanwhile only 35 minutes were spent for passing each bill whereas in Indian parliament the average time of it is 2 hour 23 minutes, according to the report.
According to the collected information during the study, it was observed that, the practice of not presenting international agreements through the president and practice of unconstitutional behavior and language in the parliament by both the government and opposition parties’ members violating rules of procedure 270 (6) were still visible.
According to the report, though the leader of main opposition party was found doing constructive criticism of various activities of the government in political forums of public meetings, her role in performing the same role in the parliament were not visible. Among 327 working days of the 18 sessions, she was present in 79 working days, which is 24 per cent of the total.
While presenting the report, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, parliament failed to perform expected role in ensuring good governance, democratic system through establishing accountability and resisting corruption. Both the government and opposition parties are responsible for the failure.
“Those who are presented or those who claims themselves as opposition party in the parliament are facing identity crisis, which they themselves confessed at the last year of the current government’s period”, he added.
Mentioning parliament as the main organization of democratic system, Advocate Sultana Kamal said, most of the time in parliament is being wasted in the acts of praising, condemnation, and confrontation.
TIB Advisor Professor Dr Sumaiya Khayer and Director of Research and Policy department Md Rafikul Hasan were also present in the programme.
In the conference, TIB also came up with 14-point recommendation to make the parliament effective.