parliamentary committees

The important Parliamentary committees

The Parliament has to perform complex and varied kinds of functions. A committee is known as the Parliamentary committee if it is elected by the house or nominated by the Speaker or the Chairman. It includes a secretariat given by the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha secretariat. There are two types of Parliamentary Committees, a Standing Committees or an Ad hoc Committee. Standing Committees are permanent committees and are constituted for a fixed time. Ad hoc Committees are temporary committees that are appointed for a definite purpose and the committees end as the task given to them is finished. The Advisory Committees and Inquiry Committees are a part of Ad hoc committees. 

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The various standing committees of parliament are mentioned below:

Committee on public accounts:

Public accounts Committee contains 15 members, elected by the Lok Sabha. Seven members of the Rajya Sabha are also included in the committee. The election process is through the process of proportional representation. It is by means of the single transferable vote in both the houses of the parliament. The duration of the Committee is one year. The chairman is selected by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha from amongst the members of the committee. The fundamental purpose of the Committee is to decide whether the money granted by parliament has been spent by the government as per the demands.


Estimates committee

The Estimates Committee includes 30 members. The members are selected every year by the Lok Sabha from amongst its Members. The process of election is through proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote in both the houses. The duration of the estimate committee is 1 year. The fundamental aim of the estimate committee is to report economies, to suggest improvements in the specified organization, efficiency, or administrative reform, consistent with the policy underlying the estimates that may be affected.


Committee on public undertakings

The committee includes 22 members, which include 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 by the Rajya Sabha. The members of the committee are elected through proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote in both the houses. The fundamental aim of this committee is to examine the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on the public undertakings.  


Business advisory committee

The committee consists of 15 and 11 members from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively. The speaker of Lok Sabha acts as the chairman of the committee of Lok Sabha and the Chairman of Rajya Sabha is the ex-officio chairman of the committee of Rajya Sabha. The fundamental purpose of the Committee is to recommend to the government to bring forward specific subjects for discussion in the House and suggest allocation of time in the house for such discussions.


Committee on private members bill and resolutions

The primary aim of the Committee is to allot time to bills and resolutions introduced by private members. It is to be noted that the committee only exists in Lok Sabha and consists of 15 members. The chairman of the house is the deputy speaker. The Duration of the Committee is not more than a year.


Committee on government assurances

This committee studies the assurances, promises, undertakings, etc. stated by ministers from time to time and then report them to the respective house. They also look at whether the execution has taken place within a limited time period. . The committee includes 15 members in Lok Sabha and 10 members in Rajya Sabha.


Committee on subordinate legislation

The Committee studies and reports to the House to know whether the powers are making regulations, rules, sub-rules, by-laws, etc. . It checks whether these are properly exercised by the executive within the scope of the legislation. The committee in both the houses i..e Rajya sabha and Lok sabha consists of 15 members. 


Committee on the welfare of SCs and STs

The committee comprises 30 members that include 20 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 members from the Rajya Sabha. The main purpose of the Committee is to consider all matters concerning the welfare of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. The matters within the ambit of the union government and the union territories.


Committee on the absence of members

The committee considers all applications from members for leave of absence from the sittings of the Lok Sabha. It examines each and every case where a member has been absent for a period of 60 days or more, without permission, from the sittings of the house. The committee exists only in Lok Sabha and consists of 15 members.


Rules committee

It looks at matters of procedure and conduct of business in the House. After that, it recommends any amendments or additions to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the House. The Lok Sabha committee consists of 15 members including the Speaker who is the ex-officio Chairman. The Rajya Sabha committee consists of 16 members including the Chairman as its ex-officio Chairman.


General-purpose committee

The committee, in each House, consists of the presiding officer, Deputy Speaker (Deputy Chairman in the case of Rajya Sabha). It also contains members of the panel of chairpersons (members of the panel of vice-chairpersons in case of Rajya Sabha), chairpersons of all the departmental standing committees of the House, leaders of recognized parties and groups in the House, and such other members as nominated by the presiding officer. The primary purpose of the Committee is to consider and to advise on such matters concerning the affairs of the House. It may be done by referring to it by the guiding( one who presides) officer of the House from time to time.


Committee of privileges

The fundamental aim of the committee is to analyze a case. The case that involves a breach of privilege of the House or of the members of any committee referred to it by the House or by the Speaker and to make suitable recommendations in its report. The Lok Sabha committee and the Rajya Sabha committee include 15 and 10 members respectively.


Committee on petitions

It examines and reports on petitions on bills and on subjects of public importance introduced in the House. The Lok Sabha committee and the Rajya Sabha committee consist of 15 and 10 members respectively.   


The joint committee on offices of profit

It examines the composition and character of the committees appointed by the central and state governments and to put forward whether a person holding these offices should be disqualified from being elected as a member of parliament, under article 102 of the Constitution. It includes 15 members, 10 from Lok Sabha, and 5 from Rajya Sabha.


Committee on the empowerment of women

The committee comprises 30 members. It consists of 20 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 members from the Rajya Sabha. The function of the committee is to review and observe the measures taken by the union government for securing women equality, status, and dignity in all fields.


The joint committee on salaries and allowances of women

It sets rules for regulating the payment of salary, allowances, and pension to Members of Parliament. It also makes rules in respect of facilities like medical, housing, telephone, postal, constituency, and secretarial facility. The committee comprises 15 members that includes10 members from the Lok Sabha and 5 members from the Rajya Sabha. In addition to that, there are several other committees such as the house committee, ethics committee etc


Conclusion

The Parliamentary Committee System has gained importance. The committee is a valuable institutional mechanism of offloading responsibilities of the Parliament over the years of parliamentary democracy in India. The Committee System has showcased its importance in several ways across the world. But mainly in allowing the effective functioning of the legislature and ensuring governmental accountability to the Parliament.

References

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Sandra Joseph
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