Parliamentary Committees

Parliamentary Committees

The work done by the Parliament in modern times is considerable in volume and varied in nature. The time at its disposal is limited (3 sessions only) Hence, It cannot give close consideration to the details of all the legislative and other matters that come up before it. Hence Parliamentary Committees are necessary for detailed study on specific matters & serve following purpose:

 

Types of Parliamentary Committees

Based on purpose and duration
  • Adhoc Committee → appointed for a specific purpose and they cease to exist when they finish the task assigned to them and submit a report
  • Committees on Bills (Select and Joint).
  • Railway Convention Committee.
  • Committees on the Draft Five Year Plans.
  • Hindi Equivalents Committee.
  • Standing Committee (Advisory and Inquiry in Nature) → Standing Committees are permanent committees. Each House of Parliament has Standing Committees

 

  • Business Advisory Committee.
  • Committee on Petitions.
  • Committee of Privileges.
  • Rules Committee.

 

Based on composition
  • Select – Single House, ie either LS or RS.
  • Joint – Both Houses.

 

Committee on Estimates (Lok Sabha)

  • Consists of 30 memberswho are elected by the Lok Sabha every year from among its members
  • Ministers are not allowed to be part of this committee.
  • The main function is to report what improvements in organisation, efficiency, or administrative reform, consistent with the policy underlying the estimates may be affected.

 

Committee on Public Undertakings (PUC)

  • Consists of 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members of Rajya Sabha
  • A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee.
  • The term of the Committee is one year.
  • The functions of the Committee on Public Undertakings are:
  • to examine the reports and accounts of Public Undertakings.
  • to examine the reports of the CAG on the Public Undertakings.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Committee on Public Accounts (PAC)

  • Consists of 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members of the Rajya Sabha
  • A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee.
  • The term of the Committee is one year
  • 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.

 

Business Advisory Committee (Lok Sabha)

The Business Advisory Committee of Lok Sabha consists of 15 members including the Speaker who is the ex-officio Chairman.

  • The members are nominated by the Speaker. Almost all sections of the House are represented on the Committee as per the respective strength of parties in the House.
  • The function of the Committee is to recommend the time that should be allotted for the discussion of such Government legislative and other business as the Speaker, in consultation with the Leader of the House, may direct to be referred to the Committee.

 

The Committee, on its own initiative, may recommend to the Government to bring forward particular subjects for discussion in the House and recommend allocation of time for such discussions.

 

Committee of Privileges (Lok Sabha)

  • This Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker.
  • The function is to examine every question involving breach of privilege of the House or of the members of any Committee thereof referred to it by the House or by the Speaker.
  • It determines with reference to the facts of each case whether a breach of privilege is involved and makes suitable recommendations in its report.

 

Committee on Petitions (Lok Sabha)

  • The Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker.
  • A Minister is not nominated to this Committee.
  • The function of the Committee is to consider and report on petitions presented to the House.
  • Besides, it also considers representations from individuals and associations, etc. on subjects which are not covered by the rules relating to petitions and gives directions for their disposal.

 

Committee on Subordinate Legislation (Lok Sabha)

  • The Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker.
  • A Minister is not nominated to this Committee.
  • The Committee scrutinizes and reports to the House whether the powers to make regulations, rules, sub-rules, by-laws etc. conferred by the Constitution or delegated by Parliament are being properly exercised by the executive within the scope of such delegation.

 

Rules Committee (Lok Sabha)

  • The Rules Committee consists of 15 members including the Speaker who is the ex-officio Chairman of the Committee.
  • The members are nominated by the Speaker.
  • The Committee considers matters of procedure and conduct of business in the House and recommends any amendments or additions to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha that are considered necessary.
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