Tk 22.8 crore lost to quorum crisis in the 11th parliament

The Daily Star  September 30, 2020
Star Online Report

At least 19.26 hours and Tk 22.8 crore were lost to quorum crisis in the first five sessions of the 11th parliament, Transparency International Bangladesh said in a study today.

TIB revealed the study titled “Parliament Watch (first to fifth session) of 11th Jatiya Sangsad” through a webinar.

A total of 17.3 percent of the total time in the first five sessions was lost to quorum crisis in 2019, TIB said.

The average quorum crisis per working day was 19 minutes. There were 61 working days in the five sessions.

There are 350 MPs in the Jatiya Sangsad and it requires at least 60 MPs to complete the quorum. Otherwise, the House cannot go into sitting.

In the study, TIB said it took 32 minutes on an average to pass a bill in the parliament. It was 31 minutes in the 10th parliament.

In his reaction at the programme, TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman said they think that the possibility of a change in power through a peaceful and normal democratic electoral process in the country has been ruled out.

“The root of the problem in the eighth and ninth parliaments was the culture of boycotting parliament,” Iftekharuzzaman said.

While the boycott and walk-out culture is absent in the 11th parliament, it took a high price to stop this, he added.

“We do not see the expected role of the parliament in making the law, accountability of the government and representation of the people,” he said.

The current parliament went into its maiden session on January 30, 2019. BNP got eight total seats.

In the report, TIB observed that the absolute majority of the ruling party in the “questionable” 11th parliamentary elections has further strengthened the exercise of monopoly power in parliamentary activities, especially in law-making, budget formulation and parliamentary standing committees.

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