The attendance of these parties in committee meetings had fallen from 40% in the last year to 27.60% this year, the Rajya Sabha Chairman informed the House
The low participation of non-Congress, non-BJP members in the meetings of the standing committees is a worrying trend, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said while giving an account of the overall working of the Parliamentary panels during the three-week recess to analyse the government’s budget proposals.
Mr. Naidu informed the House on Monday that among the non-BJP and non-Congress parties, the attendance in committee meetings had fallen from 40% in the last year to 27.60% this year. There are a total of 20 Parliamentary Standing Committees for dealing with specific Ministries or subjects. Eight of these are headed by Rajya Sabha members.
“The eight committees of Rajya Sabha have spent 12% more time this year on examination of Demands for Grants of 18 Ministries over that of last year. These committees have held 21 meetings for a total duration of 70 hours 27 minutes this year as against 20 meetings for a duration of 63 hours last year,” Mr. Naidu said. The participation of Rajya Sabha members in other 12 committees has also gone up from 52% last year to 58 % this year. Though the Lok Sabha members have not been equally active, their overall attendance has gone down from 46.37 % to 31.86 %.
Mr. Naidu urged the chairmen of the committees to ensure a longer duration of the meetings given the time, energy and costs involved in organising them. He also exhorted the members to pay a visit to the Parliamentary library where the footfall has been reducing. It has a collection of 14 lakh books besides hundreds of journals in several languages.