Parliamentary Committees

Introduction

  • Parliamentary committees in India play a crucial role in the legislative process, oversight of the executive branch, and examination of various issues.
  • These committees are essential for the effective functioning of the Indian Parliament.

Types of Parliamentary Committees

1. Standing Committees

  • Permanent committees that are constituted for the duration of a parliamentary session or a year.

2. Ad Hoc Committees

  • Temporary committees formed for specific tasks and disbanded once their work is completed.

3. Financial Committees

  • Specialized committees that examine financial matters, including budgets and expenditures.

4. Departmentally Related Standing Committees (DRSCs)

  • Standing committees that focus on specific government departments and ministries.
  • There are currently 24 DRSCs in the Indian Parliament.

5. Select Committees

  • Temporary committees formed to scrutinize and report on specific bills.
  • These committees are usually formed in the Rajya Sabha.

6. Joint Committees

  • Committees formed with members from both houses (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) to examine certain issues or bills.

7. Advisory Committees

  • Committees that provide advice and recommendations but do not have legislative or executive authority.

Functions and Roles of Parliamentary Committees

1. Examination of Bills

  • Committees examine bills in detail, solicit inputs from experts and stakeholders, and make recommendations for amendments.

2. Financial Scrutiny

  • Financial committees like the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Estimates Committee review government expenditure and financial matters.

3. Oversight of Executive

  • Committees monitor the performance of government departments and ministries, ensuring accountability and efficiency.

4. Investigative Functions

  • Committees, such as the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), investigate specific issues, scandals, or irregularities.

5. Policy Analysis

  • Committees analyze policies and their impact, making recommendations for improvement.

6. Reports and Recommendations

  • Committees prepare reports that are presented in Parliament and form the basis for discussions and decisions.

Importance of Parliamentary Committees

1. In-Depth Examination

  • Committees provide a platform for detailed examination and discussion of issues, which may not be possible in the plenary sessions of Parliament.

2. Expertise and Specialization

  • Members of committees often have expertise in specific areas, enhancing the quality of analysis and recommendations.

3. Executive Accountability

  • Committees play a crucial role in holding the executive branch accountable for its actions and decisions.

4. Transparency

  • Committee meetings and reports are generally open to the public, promoting transparency in government.

5. Efficiency

  • Committees expedite the legislative process by examining bills and issues in parallel with the functioning of the main Parliament.