Due to the considerable volume of work, Parliament distributes its responsibilities to a body formed by it called the committee. Standing Committee is appointed every year or periodically and their work continues on a regular basis. It comprises of the Members of the Parliament. It examines the expenditure of the government and the policies formed by the Government. The Executives are not answerable to the Committee. The Chairman of the Committee may have an informal talk with the Minister concerned to apprise him of any matters of policy which the Committee does not fully agree. The Standing Committee comprises of many Committees with different functions like Estimates Committee, Public Accounts Committee etc.
The members of the Estimates Committee are entirely from the Lower House and consist of 30 members. The policies formed by the government require monetary resources for its successful implementation. Parliament cannot refuse these policies without reflecting on them and this has to be done in a very short span of time. Hence the Parliament sets up an Estimate Committee to scrutinise the expenditure of the Government with respect to the policies and examine the estimates.
The Estimate Committee reports to the House as to the type of administrative reform in effect and the policies underlying the estimate. It suggests alternative policies in order to bring efficiency and economy in administration. It examines whether the money is well laid out within the framework of the policy. It lays its views before the members of the House and has an influence in making of the policies in the coming year as it checks the estimates made by the Government.
Public Accounts Committee
Public Accounts Committee consists of 15 members of the House of which 7 are from the Upper House. The report laid by CAG is examined by Public Accounts Committee. It scrutinises the finance accounts of the Government and submits its report to the Lower House so that irregularities may be discussed by the Parliament. It ensures that public money is spent in accordance with the Parliament’s decision and calls attention to cases of misuse, waste and loss of expenditure.
Committee on Subordinate Legislation
This committee which consists of 15 members scrutinises and reports to the House whether the power of Delegated Legislation given to the Executive is performed in accordance to the law or not. It scrutinises the rules and sub rules made by the Executive. The Committee considers these rules to be a subordinate authority which is required to be laid before the House. The Committee also examines the Bills which seek to delegate powers to make rules and sub-rules or amend earlier Acts delegating such powers.
Committee on Assurances
This committee which consists of 15 members of Lok Sabha who are not Ministers, scrutinises and reports to the House whether the assurances and promises made by the Ministers on certain issues have been fulfilled within the minimum time necessary for the purpose. The assurances are normally given at the time of answering questions in the House or during discussions on Bills.
Significance of Debate in Parliament
Debates are necessary in Parliament. Debates serves as a check on the decisions taken by the executive, the policies made by the legislatures and the policies implemented by the executives. Any policy not efficiently implemented and have not achieved the desired results is subjected to arise as one of the topics in debate. The essence of debate is to showcase the inefficiency of the executives to implement the policies.
The bills introduced by Ministers or by a private member are subjected to be debated. Through debates bills can be scrutinised and viewed microscopically so that its pros and cons can be discussed. Debates can be constructive. It can serve as a mode of suggestion to any drawbacks in the bill. At the same time debates can be destructive as members might deliberately oppose the bill to oppress the opposite party.
It is extremely important that the debates be telecasted. This makes the operations of the parliament transparent and instils faith in the people. This has a tremendous influence on the voters. The drawbacks of the government are showcased as well as efficiency of the government is showcased. The sincerity of the opposition or mere cunningness of the opposition is showcased. In both the cases people of the county gets a clear image as to who their leaders are or going to be.
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