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The 17th Lok Sabha: A Review of its Performance and Achievements


The 17th Lok Sabha, which held its sessions between June 2019 and February 2024, was a remarkable one in many ways. It witnessed several historic events, such as the move to a new Parliament building, the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill, the repeal of the three Farm laws, and the introduction of new Bills to reform criminal laws. It also faced unprecedented challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the border tensions with China, and the economic slowdown.

How did the 17th Lok Sabha perform its legislative and oversight functions in these five years? What were its key achievements and shortcomings? This article attempts to answer these questions by analyzing some vital statistics and trends related to the functioning of the 17th Lok Sabha.

Sittings and disruptions:

The 17th Lok Sabha held 274 sittings, the fewest among all full-term Lok Sabhas. Only four previous Lok Sabhas had fewer sittings, all dissolved before completing the five-year term. The fewest sittings in this Lok Sabha were held in 2020 (33 days), amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 11 out of the 15 sessions held during this Lok Sabha were adjourned early, resulting in the loss of 40 scheduled sittings (13% of scheduled sittings). The first and last sessions were extended by seven sittings and one sitting respectively.

The 17th Lok Sabha functioned for 88% of its scheduled time, while the Rajya Sabha worked for 73%. During this Lok Sabha, MPs were suspended on 206 instances, across both Houses of Parliament, for serious misconduct in the House. In Winter Session 2023, 146 MPs were suspended, and several key legislations were passed after their suspension.

Bills and Committees:

The 17th Lok Sabha passed 179 Bills (excluding Finance and Appropriation Bills), the highest among all Lok Sabhas. The Ministries of Finance and Home Affairs piloted the highest number of Bills (15% each), followed by Law and Justice (9%), and Health and Family Welfare (9%).

Key Bills passed include the Women’s Reservation Bill, 2023, the J&K Reorganisation Bill, 2019, the Appointment of CEC Bill, 2023, three Labour Codes, the Digital Data Protection Bill, 2023, and three Bills replacing the IPC, 1860, the CrPC, 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Most Bills introduced during the term of the 17th LS were passed. 58% of the Bills were passed within two weeks of their introduction. The J&K Reorganisation Bill, 2019, and the Women’s Reservation Bill, 2023 were passed within two days of introduction.

35% of Bills were passed with less than an hour of discussion in Lok Sabha. The corresponding figure for Rajya Sabha was 34%. Only 16% of Bills were referred to Committees for detailed scrutiny, the lowest among all Lok Sabhas. Four Bills were referred to Joint Parliamentary Committees, and one (the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019) to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee. 50% of reports on Bills were presented within 115 days.

The Joint Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 took the longest time, meeting 78 times over more than two years. Four Bills are set to lapse with the dissolution of this Lok Sabha, the lowest number among all Lok Sabhas.

Bills that will lapse include the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022. The latter two Bills were referred to Committees, and their reports are awaited.

Discussions and statements:

About 31% of the total functioning time in Lok Sabha and 32% in Rajya Sabha was spent on discussions other than legislation and budgets. These include discussions on the President’s Address to Parliament, matters of public importance, and trust votes. Special discussions were held on 75 years of Parliament, and India’s achievements in space.

Only one half-an-hour discussion was held in Lok Sabha (on beneficiaries of a rural housing scheme). 13 short duration discussions were held in Lok Sabha, covering issues such as climate change, price rise, promotion of sports in India, and the situation in Ukraine.

During the same period, 14 short-duration discussions were held in Rajya Sabha. In August 2023, a no-confidence motion was moved and discussed in Lok Sabha. The discussion lasted 20 hours. No adjournment motions were taken up either in the 16th or the 17th Lok Sabha. Two such motions were discussed in the 15th and seven in the 14th Lok Sabha. Ministers make suo-motu statements in the House regarding matters of public interest.

During the 17th Lok Sabha, 28 such statements were made by Ministers in Lok Sabha, compared to 62 in the 16th, and 98 in the 15th Lok Sabha. These statements covered issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, developments at India’s borders in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, and India’s foreign policy.

Questions and budget:

During the 17th Lok Sabha, Question Hour functioned for 60% of the scheduled time in Lok Sabha and 52% in Rajya Sabha. 24% of questions listed for oral response were answered by Ministers in the House in Lok Sabha and 31% in Rajya Sabha. Question Hour was cancelled in the Monsoon Session 2020, due to the pandemic. However, members could ask unstarred questions, which received written responses. No questions were allowed in the Special Session 2023.

Over the years, the time spent on budget discussions in Lok Sabha has reduced. The 17th Lok Sabha discussed the annual budget for 35 hours on average (in the Lower House). Between 2019 and 2023, about 80% of the budget has been voted on without discussion. In 2023, the entire budget was passed without discussion. This has happened twice in the last decade – in 2018 and 2013.

Private Members’ Business:

Private Members’ business refers to Bills and resolutions introduced by individual MPs. 729 Private Members’ Bills (PMBs) were introduced in the 17th Lok Sabha, which is higher than all previous Lok Sabhas, except the 16th. However, only two PMBs were discussed. During the same period, 705 PMBs were introduced in the Rajya Sabha, and 14 were discussed.

To date, only 14 PMBs have been passed and received assent. None have been passed in both Houses since 1970. 14% of PMBs introduced in Lok Sabha relate to home affairs, followed by law and justice (11%), health (8%), and education (8%). 16% of these Bills have sought to amend the Constitution. 11 private member resolutions were moved in Lok Sabha, of which three were discussed, and none were adopted. Over the years, fewer private member resolutions have been adopted. Only two have been adopted since 1999.

The 17th Lok Sabha was productive and eventful but also faced some challenges and criticisms. It passed several important and controversial Bills, some of which were challenged in the courts or met with public protests. It also saw a decline in the quality and quantity of legislative scrutiny, as most Bills were passed without adequate discussion or Committee examination. It witnessed frequent disruptions and suspensions of MPs, affecting the smooth functioning of the House. It also failed to elect a Deputy Speaker, as required by the Constitution.

On the other hand, it also showed some positive signs, such as the high attendance of MPs, the use of technology to enable virtual sessions, the adoption of the Women’s Reservation Bill, and the timely presentation of Committee reports. The 17th Lok Sabha has left behind a mixed legacy, which will be remembered and evaluated by the people and the future generations of parliamentarians.


  • Vital Stats – Functioning of the 17th Lok Sabha, published by PRS Legislative Research on February 10, 2024. (
  • Loksabha – Digital Sansad (

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