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11th Parliament spent just 16.7% time for lawmaking: TIB

The Bangladesh Parliament spent only 16.7 percent of parliamentary proceedings time for formulating laws, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said in its latest "Parliament Watch" report.

The report, unveiled by TIB at its office this morning, also showed that in 2019-20, the UK parliament spent 49.3 percent time in legislative affairs while in 2018-19, it was 45 percent in the 17th Lok Sabha of India.

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TIB prepared the report based on the 11th Parliament's first to 22nd sessions between January 2019 and April 2023. During the period, a total of 744 hours and 13 minutes was spent in parliamentary proceedings.

Excluding the 12 budget-related bills, the total number of bills introduced was 108, and of them 96 -- 68 new bills, 26 amendment bills, and 2 repeal bills -- were passed in the House.

On average, it took nearly an hour and 10 minutes to pass a bill in parliament, where the minimum time was almost 28 minutes, and the maximum time was nearly 3 hours and 25 minutes.

The "Voter List (Amendment) Bill, 2020" was passed in the lowest time and the bill that took the longest time was the "Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Bill, 2022".

A total of 54 hours and 38 minutes were spent due to inadequate quorum, which is 6.5 percent of the total parliamentary proceedings time.

On average, 14 minutes and 8 seconds were lost due to quorum crisis per working day. The average cost per minute of running the Parliament is about Tk 2.72 lakh. Estimated financial value of the total time spent due to quorum crisis was nearly Tk 89.28 crore, the report said.

TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said that due to the overwhelming majority of the ruling party, a predominance of unilateral power practice in parliamentary activities is one of the major hurdles for having an effective parliament.

Jatiya Party as the main opposition party played a dual role in parliamentary activities, showing a shortfall in playing a significant role in making the parliament effective, he added.