Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of the people chosen by direct election on the basis of adult suffrage.
The maximum strength of the House envisaged by the Constitution is 552 (530 members from the State, 20 represent the Union Territories and not more than 2 from the Anglo- Indian Community to be nominated by The President, if he feels that community is not adequately represented in the House)
Term of the House
The Lok Sabha operates for five years from the appointed date for the first meeting.
The House meets in the Lok Sabha Chambers of the Sansad Bhavan in New Delhi.
Lok Sabah has three sessions in a year.
- Budget Session – February to May
- Monsoon Session – July to September
- Winter Session – November to mid December
Lok Sabha holds its sittings usually from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Break from 1 p.m. to 2.p.m. The House may work during lunch hours and beyond 6 p.m. depending upon the business before the House.
The proceedings start with Question Hour and Zero Hour followed by Lunch. Post lunch proceedings involve government business. Government business includes debates on national issues , passing a bill, budget, etc. It is regulated by a committee called the Business Advisory Committee that is chaired by the Speaker and comprises of leaders of political parties.
Lok Sabha Proceedings and Procedures in brief
The first hour of a Lok Sabha sitting is dedicated to the Questions and this hour is called the Question Hour. During this hour a member can ask questions on every aspect of administration and Governmental activities (national and international policies). The concerned minister has to stand up and answer to the question raised in the House.
Four types of questions may be asked by a member-
- Starred Question – A starred question is the one in which a member desires an oral answer from the concerned Minister and the question need to be distinguished by the member with an asterisk. Supplementary questions can be asked. Only 20 starred questions can be listed for a day.
- Unstarred Question – An unstarred question is the one in which a member desires a written answer and is deemed to be laid on the table of the house by the Minister. No supplementary question can be asked. Only 230 unstarred questions can be listed for a day. In addition to this 25 more questions can be asked relating to the States under presidential Rule.
- Short Notice Question – A member may give a notice of question on a matter of public importance and of urgent in nature for an oral answer at a notice period of less than 10 days.
- Questions to Private Members – A question may also be asked to a Private Mmeber provided that the subject matter of the question relates to some Bill, Resolution or other matters concerning a private member
Notices of Questions
A member can give notice in writing addressed to the Secretary- General, Lok Sabha. The normal period of notice of a question is not more than 21 and not less than 10 days.
The time immediately following the question hour is known as Zero Hour. It starts at around 12:00 p.m. hence it is called Zero Hour. Members can ask questions after taking prior permission from speaker.
Business after Question Hour
The house takes up miscellaneous works before the main business of the day. These may consist of Adjournment Motion, Questions involving breaches of Privileges, Papers to be laid on the Table, Communication of any messages from Rajya Sabha, Intimations regarding President’s assent to Bills, Calling attention notices, matters under Rule 377, Presentation of Reports of Parliamentary Committee, Presentation of Petitions, miscellaneous statements by Ministers, Motion regarding elections to Committees, Bills to be withdrawn or introduced.
The main business of the day may be consideration of a Bill or financial business or consideration of a resolution or a motion.
Proposals in the form of a Bill can be brought forward by a Minister (Government Bill) or a private member (Private Members’ Bill).
Every Bill passes through three readings before it is passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and then assented to by the President.
The presentation and discussion of annual General and Railway Budgets, followed by Appropriations Bill and Finance Bill takes up majority of time of the House during its Budget Session each year.
Half – an- hour Discussions
The Speaker may allot half an hour on three sittings in a week for raising discussion on a matter of public importance which has been the subject of recent question, starred or unstarred. A member wishing to raise a matter need to give notice in writing to the Secretary- General, Lok Sabha three days in advance.
If more than two notices have been received, the Secretary- General holds a ballot with a view to draw two notices.
There is no formal motion before voting. The member who has given notice may make a short statement.
Discussion on Important Public matters
Members may discuss matters of important public importance with the permission of the Speaker. This may take place on two days in a week, No formal motion is moved in the House nor is there any voting on such discussions.
- The current Lok Sabha is the 16th Lok Sabha which was elected in May ,2014.
- There is no leader of opposition as the Indian Parliament rules state that a party must have at least 10 % if the total seats to be considered the opposition party.
- Leader of the House – Shri Narendra Modi, BJP
- Speaker of 16th Lok Sabha is Shrimati Sumitra Mahajan,BJP
- Deputy Speaker – M.Thambidurai, AIADMK
- Secretary General – Mr. Anoop Mishra