- The Constitution of India makes a mention of these committees at different places
- But it didn’t make any specific provisions regarding their composition, tenure, functions, etc.
- All these matters are dealt by the rules of two Houses.
- Accordingly, a parliamentary committee means a committee
- Is appointed or elected by the House or nominated by the Speaker / Chairman
- Works under the direction of the Speaker / Chairman
- Presents its report to the House or to the Speaker / Chairman
- Has a secretariat provided by the Lok Sabha / Rajya Sabha
- The consultative committees, which also consist of members of Parliament, are not parliamentary committees as they do not fulfill above four conditions.
- A minister cannot be elected as a member of any committee.
- Parliamentary committees are of two kinds
- Standing Committees – permanent (constituted every year or periodically)
- Ad Hoc Committees – temporary
- On the basis of the nature of functions can be classified into six categories
- Financial Committees
- Public Accounts Committee – 22 (15+7)
- Estimates Committee – 30, 0
- Committee on Public Undertakings – 22 (15+7)
- Departmental Standing Committees (24) – 31 (21+10)
- Committees to Inquire
- Committee on Petitions – 15, 10
- Committee of Privileges – 15, 10
- Ethics Committee
- Committees to Scrutinise and Control
- Committee on Government Assurances – 15, 10
- Committee on Subordinate Legislation – 15, 15
- Committee on Papers Laid on the Table – 15, 10
- Committee on Welfare of SCs and STs – 30 (20+10)
- Committee on Empowerment of Women – 30 (20+10)
- Joint Committee on Offices of Profit – 15 (10+5)
- Committees Relating to the Day-to-Day Business
- Business Advisory Committee – 15, 11
- Committee on Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions – 15, 10
- Rules Committee – 15, 16
- Committee on Absence of Members from Sittings of the House – 15, 0
- House-Keeping Committees or Service Committees
- General Purposes Committee
- House Committee
- Library Committee – 9 (6+3)
- Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members – 15 (10+5)
Ad Hoc Committees
- Ad hoc committees can be divided into two categories, that is, Inquiry Committees and Advisory Committees
- Inquiry Committees are constituted by two Houses on a motion adopted in that behalf, or by the Speaker / Chairman, to inquire into and report
- Committee on Draft Five-Year Plan
- Committee on Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)
- Joint Committee on Stock Market Scam
- Advisory Committees include select or joint committees on bills, which are appointed to consider and report on particular bills.
- Select or Joint Committee considers the Bill clause by clause just as the two Houses do.
- Amendments to various clauses can be moved by members of the Committee.
- After the Bill has thus been considered, the Committee submits its report to the House.
- The members are elected by the Parliament from its members
- Term is 1 year
- Elected by proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
- All parties get due representation in it.
- The chairman of the committee is appointed from amongst its members by the Speaker.
Public Accounts Committee
- It is the oldest committee, set up in 1921 under Government of India Act of 1919
- It consists of 22 members (15 from the Lok Sabha and 7 from the Rajya Sabha)
- Since 1967 the chairman of the committee is selected from Opposition.
- Committee examine the annual audit reports of the (CAG), which are laid before the Parliament by the President.
- The CAG submits three audit reports to the President,
- audit report on appropriation accounts
- audit report on finance accounts
- audit report on public undertakings.
- It also examine the money spent on any service during a financial year in excess of the amount granted by the Lok Sabha for that purpose
- The origin of this committee can be traced to the standing financial committee set up in 1921
- first Estimates Committee in the post-independence era was constituted in 1950
- Recommended by John Mathai, finance minister
- In 1956 its membership was raised to 30.
- All the thirty members are from Lok Sabha only.
- It suggests about economic improvements in organisation, efficiency and administrative reform, alternative policies, examine whether the money is well laid out.
- Its recommendations are advisory and not binding on the ministries
- Its work is in the nature of a post-mortem.
Committee on Public Undertakings
- This committee was created in 1964 on the recommendation of the Krishna Menon Committee.
- In 1974, its membership was raised to 22 (15 from the Lok Sabha and 7 from the Rajya Sabha)
- It examine the reports and accounts of public undertakings
- It examine the reports of the CAG on public undertakings
- It examine the autonomy and efficiency of public undertakings
- It cannot take up the examination of more than ten to twelve public undertakings in a year.
Departmental Standing Committees
- On the recommendation of the Rules Committee, 17 Departmentally Related Standing Committees (DRSCs) were set up in 1993.
- In 2004, increased from 17 to 24
- The main objective of the standing committees is to secure more accountability of the Executive, particularly financial accountability.
- Assist the Parliament in debating the budget more effectively.
- The 24 standing committees cover under their jurisdiction all the ministries / departments of the Central Government.
- Each standing committee consists of 31 members (21 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha).
- They are nominated by the Speaker or Chairman
- 8 work under the Rajya Sabha and 16 under the Lok Sabha.
- It consider the demands for grants of the concerned ministries / departments before they are discussed and voted
- It consider annual reports of ministries / departments
- It consider national basic long-term policy documents presented to the Houses
COMMITTEES TO INQUIRE
Committee on Petitions
- This committee examines petitions on bills and on matters of general public importance.
- It also entertains on matters pertaining to Union subjects.
Committee of Privileges
- this committee are semi-judicial in nature.
- It examines the cases of breach of privileges and take action
- This committee was constituted in Rajya Sabha in 1997 and in Lok Sabha in 2000.
- It enforces the code of conduct of members of Parliament.
- It examines the cases of misconduct
COMMITTEES TO SCRUTINISE AND CONTROL
Committee on Government Assurances
- Examines the assurances, promises and undertakings given by ministers on the floor of the House
- It was constituted in 1953.
Committee on Subordinate Legislation
- Examines whether the powers to make regulations, rules laws delegated by the Parliament to the Executive are being properly exercised
- It was constituted in 1953.
Committee on Papers Laid on the Table
- This committee was constituted in 1975.
- It examines all papers tabled by ministers, comply with provisions of the Constitution, or the related Act or Rule.
- It does not examine statutory notifications and orders that fall under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation.
Committee on Welfare of SCs and STs
- It consider the reports of the National Commission for the SCs and the National Commission for the STs
- It examine all matters relating to the welfare of SCs and STs
Committee on Empowerment of Women
- This committee was constituted in 1997
- It considers the reports of the National Commission for Women
- It examines the measures taken by the Union Government to secure status, dignity and equality for women
Joint Committee on Offices of Profit
- It examines all committees and other bodies appointed by the Central, state and union territory governments
- It recommends whether a persons should be disqualified or not.
COMMITTEES RELATING TO THE DAY-TO-DAY BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Business Advisory Committee
- It regulates the programme and time table of the House.
- Lok Sabha committee includes the Speaker as chairman.
- Rajya Sabha, includes Chairman as its ex–officio chairman
Committee on Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions
- This committee classifies bills and allocates time for the discussion on bills and resolutions introduced by private members
- Only for Lok Sabha and includes the Deputy Speaker as its chairman.
- Same function in the Rajya Sabha is performed by the Business Advisory Committee of that House.
- It recommends necessary amendments or additions to the rules of the House.
- Committee includes Speaker and Chairman as ex-officio chairman
Committee on Absence of Members
- It considers all applications from members for leave of absence
- Check who have been absent for a period of 60 days or more without permission.
- Only for Lok Sabha
- In the Rajya Sabha and all such matters are dealt by the House itself.
General Purposes Committee
- This committee considers and advises on matters concerning affairs of the House, which do not fall within the jurisdiction of any other parliamentary committee.
- It consists of the presiding officer (Speaker / Chairman) as its ex-officio chairman
- Consultative committees are attached to various ministries / departments of the Central Government.
- They consist of members of both the Houses of Parliament.
- The Minister / Minister of State in charge of the Ministry concerned acts as the chairman of the consultative committee of that ministry.
- Provide a forum for informal discussions between the ministers and the members of Parliament on policies
- These committees are constituted by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
- Maximum member of a committee is 30 and minimum is 10
- These committees are normally constituted after the new Lok Sabha is constituted