Home General Knowledge GENERAL KNOWLEDGE BOOSTER : COMMITTEES OF PARLIAMENT
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE BOOSTER : COMMITTEES OF PARLIAMENT
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Friday, 12 December 2014 04:30

 

 



GENERAL KNOWLEDGE BOOSTER

COMMITTEES OF PARLIAMENT

Parliamentary Committee means a Committee which is appointed or elected by the House or nominated by the Speaker and which works under the directions of the Speaker and presents its report to the House or to the Speaker and the Secretariat.

The need for Committees arises out of two factors, the first one being the need for vigilance on the part of the Legislature over the actions of the Executive, while the second one is that the modern Legislature these days is over-burdened with heavy volume of work with limited time at its disposal. It thus becomes impossible to study every matter thoroughly and systematically scrutinized and considered on the floor of the House.

In a Committee, the matter is deliberated at length, views are expressed freely, the matter is considered in depth, in a business-like manner and in a calmer atmosphere. In most of the Committees, public is directly or indirectly associated when memoranda containing suggestions are received, on-the-spot studies are conducted and oral evidence is taken which helps the Committees in arriving at the conclusions.

Parliamentary Committees are of two kinds: Standing Committees and Ad hoc Committees.

Standing Committees are permanent and regular committees which are constituted from time to time in pursuance of the provisions of an Act of Parliament or Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha. The work of these Committees is of continuous nature. The Financial Committees, DRSCs and some other Committees come under the category of Standing Committees.

Ad hoc Committees are appointed for a specific purpose and they cease to exist when they finish the task assigned to them and submit a report. The principal Ad hoc Committees are the Select and Joint Committees on Bills, Railway Convention Committee, Joint Committee on Food Management in Parliament House Complex, etc.

Some important Parliamentary Committees are:

Committee on Estimates

The first Estimates committee in the post independence era was set up in 1950 on the recommendations of John Mathai. Originally it had three 25 members but in 1956 its membership has raised to 30.

Presently this Committee consists of 30 members who are elected by the Lok Sabha every year from amongst its members. A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The term of the Committee is one year. The chairman of the committee is appointed by the Speaker from amongst its members and he is invariably from the ruling party.

The main function of the Committee on Estimates is to examine the estimates included in the budget and suggest economies, improvements in organization, efficiency, or administrative reform in order to bring about efficiency and economy in administration.

The Committee also examines matters of special interests which may arise or come to light in the course of its work or which are specifically referred to it by the House or the Speaker.

Committee on Public Undertakings

The Committee on Public Undertakings was created in 1964 on the recommendations of the Krishna Menon Committee. Presently it consists of 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members from the Rajya Sabha.

A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The term of the Committee is one year. The chairperson is appointed by the Speaker from amongst its members who are drawn from the Lok Sabha only.

The functions of the Committee on Public Undertakings are—(a) to examine the reports and accounts of Public Undertakings; (b) to examine the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the Public Undertakings; (c) to examine in the context of the autonomy and efficiency of the Public Undertakings whether the affairs of the Public Undertakings are being managed in accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices; and (d) such other functions vested in the Committee on Public Accounts and the Committee on Estimates in relation to the Public Undertakings as are not covered by clauses (a), (b) and (c) above and as may be allotted to the Committee by the Speaker from time to time.

The Committee does not, however, examine matters of major Government policy and matters of day-to-day administration of the Undertakings.

Committee on Public Accounts

This committee was set up first in 1921 under the provisions of the Government of India Act of 1919. Presently consists of 22 members, 15 members from the Lok Sabha and 7 members from the Rajya Sabha.

A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The term of the Committee is one year. The chairman of the committee is appointed by the speaker from amongst its members and since 1967 the chairman of the committee is selected invariably from the opposition.

The main duty of the Committee is to ascertain whether the money granted by Parliament has been spent by Government "within the scope of the Demand". The Appropriation Accounts of the Government of India and the Audit Reports presented by the Comptroller and Auditor General mainly form the basis for the examination of the Committee. Cases involving losses, nugatory expenditure and financial irregularities come in for severe criticism by the Committee. The Committee is not concerned with questions of policy. It is concerned only with the execution of the policy laid down by Parliament and its results.

 


 

 


Last Updated on Friday, 12 December 2014 04:35
 

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