There has been a decline in the performance of Parliamentary Standing Committees in recent times. What are the issues that have contributed to the decline and how these issues can be addressed?

The percentage of bills referred to Parliamentary Committees has witnessed a decline from 71% in the 15th Lok Sabha to 27% in the 16th Lok Sabha, and to only around 13% since 2019.

Issues contributing to the decline in performance:

  • The hasty passage of bills has meant that many bills are not sent to PSC for discussion and debate.
  • Lack of expert discussion in PSCs and politicization of discussion has reduced their effectiveness.
  • The work of PSCs is often considered as additional and not essential to the legislative process and given lower importance.

However, discussions in PSCs have contributed to important amendments like Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, Motor Vehicles Act 2020, etc.

Measures required to tackle the issue:

  • Mandatory provision to send bills to PSC for scrutiny and debate.
  • The PSCs must have experts associated from outside to provide unbiased and technical suggestions.
  • Depoliticisation of PSCs, it should become a platform for apolitical discussions.

As India celebrates its 75th year of independence with the ‘Amrit Mahotsav’, the decline of essential parliamentary procedures should no longer be ignored.

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