Absent parliamentarians will likely lose their place on the standing committee

NEW DELHI: The persistence of standing committees related to the department can cost parliamentary members their place. This was the general consensus that emerged during a meeting of the presidents of the permanent committees related to the department (DRSC) with President M Venkaiah Naidu Thursday morning.

At the meeting, Naidu expressed concern about the functioning of the parliamentary committees and shared the details of poor assistance with everyone's presidents. Fifteen of the 16 presidents who head the 20 committees of Rajya Sabha attended the meeting.

Last month, only four of the 29 parliamentarians in a parliamentary panel showed up for a discussion on pollution in Delhi. The deputy of East Delhi, Gautam Gambhir, who was among the absent, raised a controversy by being out for his cricket commitments.

At Thursday's meeting, the DRSC presidents attributed the low attendance, so far, to the political obligations and commitments of parliamentarians in their constituencies, one member said there was a general consensus at the meeting that regular absentees should be removed of the committees after they were duly warned about Naidu's concerns about the effective functioning of the DRSCs, and especially if the performance of the committees does not improve even after the warning.

Naidu is also likely to discuss the issue of low attendance with Lok Sabha President Om Birla for similar action on standing committees with Lok Sabha parliamentarians as members.

Eight DRSC with Rajya Sabha have held 41 meetings since their reconstitution in September this year. However, instead of the 80 members of Rajya Sabha represented in the eight DRSCs with the House, only 18 parliamentarians attended all meetings.

Twenty-eight parliamentarians from the total of 248 members of the DRSC have not attended any DRSC meetings so far, while 100 members have skipped two or more successive meetings of the respective committees.

in the committees it has been even lower. Only 18 of the 168 members of Lok Sabha on the eight committees attended all meetings of the respective committees.

The average attendance at meetings of the 8 DRSCs of Rajya Sabha has been 48.54%, with attendance ranging from a minimum of five to a maximum of 25.

In his meeting with the committee chairs, Naidu suggested that meeting times should be set well in advance for members to attend. He also asked the presidents to keep records of the authorization of absence of members, indicating the reasons for their absence.