LS speaker constitutes 5 parliamentary committees

LS speaker constitutes 5 parliamentary committees

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. PTI file photo

The Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, has been formally appointed Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, that keeps a close eye on the government expenditure as sanctioned by Parliament.

Lok Sabha member Meenakshi Lekhi (BJP) will be the Chairman of Committee on Public Undertakings that examines whether state-run companies are managed in accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices.

Former Maharashtra minister and first-term Lok Sabha member Girish Bapat has been appointed as chairman of the Estimates Committee that is tasked with making suggestions about alternative policies to bring about efficiency and economy in administration.

These three panels comprise the financial committees that are considered as “trustees” of Parliament in keeping a strict watch over the public expenditure.

Besides, the Lok Sabha speaker also constituted the Committee for Welfare of SC/ST with BJP member Kirit Solanki as its chairman. The committee examines the reports submitted by the National Commission of Scheduled Castes and National Commission on Scheduled Tribes and ensure representation of such communities in services and posts under government control.

Senior BJP leader Ganesh Singh has been appointed as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Welfare of Other Backward Classes.

However, the speaker is yet to constitute the department related standing committees that are tasked with examining the budgetary allocations and bills related to different ministries.

The delay in the setting up of the committees is understood due to wrangling between the government and Opposition parties. It is learnt that the Congress is keen on greater representation for its members on certain committees such as defence, petroleum, finance and railways.

According to its strength in the Lok Sabha, 52 members, Congress can get to nominate two members on each of the committees, the same representation it had in the previous Lok Sabha when it had 44 members in the House. The main Opposition party argues that since it has eight more members in the 17th Lok Sabha, it is entitled to greater representation.