Parliamentary Committees – Their functions & Role
The main aim behind establishing Parliamentary so that all matters that cannot be handled by Legislature. The Parliamentary Committees can broadly be divided into two types-
Standing Committees- They are of permanent nature
Ad Hoc Committees- They are constituted for a particular purpose and cease to exist once the task is completed.
The Standing Committees perform various functions and they can be divided on the basis of the task they perform into 6 categories-
- Financial Committees
- Committees to Inquire
- Committees to scrutinise and control
- Committees relating to the to-day business of the ouse
- House Keeping committees
- Departmental Standing Committees
The Financial Committees is one of the most important committees and has three committees under it-
- Committee on Estimates
- Committee on Public Undertakings
- Committee on Public Accounts
We will discuss bout these 3 committees in details:
Committee on Estimates
- Origin can be traced to 1921.
- First Estimates Committee was constituted in 1950 on the recommendation of John Mathai
- It consists of 30 memberswho are elected only from the Lok Sabha every year from among its members.
- A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee.
- Chairman is selected by the Speaker from amongst the members, he is invariably from the ruling party.
- Term- One year.
- The main function is to examine the estimates in the budget and how to bring efficiency in public expenditure.
- Described as‘Continuous Economy Committee’
Committee on Public Undertakings
- Created in 1964 on the recommendation of Krishna Menon Committee.
- It has 22 members- 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members of Rajya Sabha.
- A Minister cannot be a part of this Committee.
- Term- one year.
The functions of the Committee are—
- to examine the reports and accounts of Public Undertakings.
- To examine the reports, if any, of the Comptroller and Auditor General 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 and as may be allotted by the Speaker from time to time.
It does not look into matters of major Government policy and matters of the day -to- day administration of the Undertakings.
Committee on Public Accounts
Set up first in 1921 under the provisions of the Government of India Act of 1919.
This Committee consists of 22 members- 15 members elected from Lok Sabha and 7 members from Rajya Sabha.
A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee.
Term- one year.
Chairman appointed from amongst its members.
The Committee looks at the ic expenditure from the point of view of the economy prudence, loss etc.
It also examines the Appropriation Accounts of the Government of India and the Audit Reports presented by the CAG- Comptroller and Auditor General.
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