1. With the help of suitable examples, explain the significance of parliamentary committees for the effective functioning of the legislature. (10 Marks)
उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से विधायिका के प्रभावी कार्यकरण के लिए संसदीय समितियों के महत्व की व्याख्या कीजिए।
Candidates need to write about Parliamentary committees and it’s constitutional role. Also as question demands highlight the role of PSC for effectively functioning of the legislature with suitable examples.
The Parliamentary committees are established to study and deal with various matters that cannot be directly handled by the legislature due to their volume. They monitor the functioning of the executive branch and provide legislature with various policy input, playing an important role in Indian democracy.
Significance of parliamentary committee for effective functional of legislature:
- Ensures all parties voice their opinion: All committees have MPs representing different parties, in roughly the same proportion as their strength in Parliament
- Feedback from multiple stakeholders: When bills are referred to these committees, they are examined closely and inputs are sought from various external stakeholders, including the public. They help in reshaping institutions which may not be functioning as required . For example Parliamentary committee on Medical Commission of India.
- Less burden of populist posture: By virtue of being closed-door and away from the public eye, discussions in committee meetings are also more collaborative, with MPs feeling less pressured to posture for media galleries. For example, the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, overhauling the 1986 law. An earlier version of the Bill had been examined by the Committee on Food and Consumer Affairs.
- Put pressure on government: Although committee recommendations are not binding on the government, their reports create a public record of the consultations that took place and put pressure on the government to reconsider its stand on debatable provisions.
- Scrutiny of public funds: The Public Accounts Committee scrutinize the government accounts and the report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India. Thus reduce chance of misspending and also validate government’s spending statistics. For example JPC formed on the 2G scam, Coal scam have helped assess violations made by the executive.
- Ensure answerability: The Committee on Government Assurances committee scrutinize the various assurances, promises, undertakings, etc., given by ministers, from time to time report on the extent to which such assurances have been implemented. They verify the promises made in parliament by the executive to their actual course of action eg. Committee on Government Assurances.
- Expertise: Committees allow use of input and suggestions of various expertise on subject matter of law thereby helping to formulate better policies and laws. For example, the Committee on Health and Family Welfare studied the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016.
Committees have substantially impacted Parliament’s efficacy in discharging its roles, their performance affects the Parliament as an institution that makes laws, holds the Government accountable, and gives sanction for public spending, still there is scope for strengthening the Committee system for overall effectiveness of Indian parliamentary system.