AIPO’s Conrence is a platform where we can learn from one another’s experiences:Meira Kumar
Srinagar June 20 (Scoop News) – The Speaker, Indian Lok Sabha, Ms. Meira Kumar today said said this Conference of Presiding Officers is a platform where we can learn from one another’s experiences in managing the affairs of our Houses more professionally. “I earnestly hope that this Conference will go a long way in further streamlining the working of our parliamentary institutions”.
Ms Meira Kumar was addressing at the inauguration of the 75th All India Presiding Officer’s Conference at the
Saying that the “Question Hour” has a special significance in the proceedings of the House, particularly in ventilating the grievances of the public in the matters concerning the administration and working matters, concerning the administration and working of the Ministers and their allied departments and organizations, the Speaker, Lok Sabha, Ms. Meira Kumar today said some key decisions have in the recent past been taken to increase the efficacy of the Question Hour which will be operative from the Fifth Session of the Fifteenth Lok Sabha. These procedural changes will meet the long felt need to regulate the Question Hour in the Lok Sabha more effectively, she added.
The Speaker, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Deputy Chairman, J&K, Legislative Council, S. Arvinder Singh Micky were also present on the occasion, besides Parliament Members of J&K, Mohammad Shafi Uri, Sharief-ud-Din Shariq, Secretary General of the Lok Sabha, P. D. T. Achary, Secretary General, Rajya Sabha, Dr. V. K. Agnihotri, Secretary, J&L Legislative Council, G. R. Mehboobi and Secretary, Legislative Assembly, Mohammad Ramzan.
Elaborating on the decision, s Meria Kumar said the hitherto minimum and maximum period of 10 and 21 days respectively, for giving notices by the Members for Questions has been done away with and a uniform period of fifteen days has been prescribed for giving such notices.
Secondly, the Speaker has now been vested with powers to direct answer to a Starred Question of a member who is absent in the House when his or her name is called.
Thirdly, a Member is now required to make a statement in the House correcting the reply given by him or her earlier, irrespective of the fact whether the reply given pertained to a Starred or Unstarred or a Short Notice Question.
Fourthly, the number of notices of Questions which a Member is entitled to give, both for oral and written answers in a day, has been limited to ten.
She said these procedural changes will meet the long-felt mud to regulate the Questions Hour in the Lok Sabha effectively. She said asking questions is an inherent right of members in our parliamentary democracy and emphasized “that the interest of the people can be better served by ensuring that the House runs in order.” “Question Hour being the very first hour, sets the mood of the House for the day. Its disruption adversely affects the proceedings of the entire day. In addition, whenever, the question hour is disrupted, people are deprived of a great deal of information on various aspects of the functioning of the Government. It blocks the flow of Information from the Executive to the Legislature and from the legislature to the people, thus causing a serious blow to the principle of accountability”, she added.
She said the Question Hour has sanctity of its own as the primary device available to Members to demand the Government to explain its acts of omission and commission and also its stand on a variety of subjects of public importance. It is, therefore, the duty of every Presiding officer, the Speaker said to maintain the inviolability of the Question Hour and hoped this Conference will discuss the relevant issues in their proper perspectives for evolving an effective solution to prevent frequent disruption of the Question Hour.
Ms Meria Kumar also referred the some business transacted during the Budget Session held on February 22 to May 7, 2010 and said the course of the Session, the Lok Sabha held 32 sittings spread over nearly 138 hours. During this period, the House transacted important financial, Legislative and other business, including the adoption of the Motion of Thanks on the Address by the President.
Coming to the topics of deliberation at this Conference, Ms Meria Kumar said “we will be discussing two subjects of enormous parliamentary importance, namely, Growing Tendency to Disrupt the Question Hour and the need to check it, and significance of the committee system in parliament and the need to strengthen it”.
She said with the increasing business and expanding functions of modern legislatures, there has been a corresponding increase in the use of Committees in almost all our Legislative Bodies. In fact, the committee system has been widely acclaimed as the best suited device for detailed scrutiny of the administrative actions for enforcing executive accountability to the legislature and, through it, to the people at large, she added.
Ms Meria Kumar conveyed deep appreciation to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Speaker, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Acting Chairman S. Arvinder Singh Micky, Deputy Speaker, Mohammad Sartaj Madni, Secretary and staff of the J&K Legislature Secretariat and all those associated with the meticulous planning and organization of this Conference and for the warm and generous hospitality extended to us. “It has added an altogether new dimension to the age old tradition of Athithi Devo Bhav”, she added. She hoped that deliberation of the Conference in the sublimely beautiful and invigorating state will prove significant in fortifying our democratic institutions adding that the Presiding Officer’s Conference in this breath taking beautiful place will indeed remain itched in the memory of all the participants.
Tags: Indian Lok Sabha , Speaker , Meira Kumar , Kashmir , Srinagar
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