Speaker Birla for action plan to increase sittings of legislatures

He also calls for drastic changes to functioning of standing committees, including changes to their rules

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday told an All-India Presiding Officers’ Conference here that there was need to prepare an action plan for increasing the sittings of legislatures.

He was addressing the valedictory session of the two-day conference.

“We should try to make a definite action plan to increase the number of meetings of the legislatures so that we can provide maximum time and opportunities to the members so that the people’s representatives can discuss the major issues of their state and country extensively,” he stated. He called for drastic changes to the functioning of standing committees, including changes to their rules.

Presiding officers should evaluate the work of parliamentary committees once a year and make them more accountable to people. The tradition of zero hour should be started in State legislatures to give members the chance to raise urgent matters pertaining to their constituencies, he noted.

Disruptions

Addressing the issue of increasing disruptions, he observed that the matter would be discussed with leaders of all political parties. The work of creating a single platform for all legislatures would be done by 2022.

Speaking earlier in the session, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said a law was as good or bad as its implementation. “Sometimes laws are passed, but the rules are not made for two or three years,” he pointed out.

The conference adopted a resolution that there should be no disturbance in the House during the President and Governor’s address and Question Hour.

“This will be discussed again with all the parties… It has been agreed in this conference that the smooth conduct of the legislatures is the moral responsibility of the presiding officers and all the MPs and MLAs,” the resolution said.

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