Parliamentary Committees

 

Parliamentary Committees

  • Constitution of India makes a mention of these committees at different places.
  • It didn’t make any specific provisions regarding their composition, tenure, functions, etc.
  • All these matters are dealt by the rules of two Houses.
  • 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.

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Parliamentary Committees

Parliamentary Committees

Classifications of Parliamentary Committees

  • Parliamentary committees are of two kinds
    • Standing Committeespermanent and constituted every year or periodically.
    • Ad Hoc Committees – temporary.

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Standing Committees

  • 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 Committee15, 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)

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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.

 

 

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Financial Committees

  • 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.

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Public Accounts Committee

  • It is the oldest committee, set up in 1921 under Government of India Act of 1919.
  • Public Accounts Committee consists of 22 members
    • 15 from Lok Sabha
    • 7 from 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.
  • CAG submits 3 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

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Estimates Committee

  • 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.

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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.
  • Chairman selected from Lok Sabha only by the Speaker.

 

 

Parliamentary Committees

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

Parliamentary Committees

 

 

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

 

Ethics Committee

  • 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

Parliamentary Committees

 

 

Committees to Scrutinise & 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.

Parliamentary Committees

 

 

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 exofficio chairman

 

Committee on Private Members’ Bills & 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.

 

Rules Committee

  • 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.

Parliamentary Committees

 

 

House-Keeping Committees

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

Parliamentary Committees

 

 

Consultative Committees

  • 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

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Note

  • Speaker is the chairman of the Business Advisory Committee, the Rules Committee and the General Purpose Committee

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