Vice President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday took up some administrative issues of the House and stressed on the importance of clearing pending Bills, the need for the government and Opposition to have regular interactions and the possibility of increased scrutiny of Bills by Parliamentary Committees.
Naidu said that Congress leaders and the Leader of the Opposition had spoken about the need for Parliamentary scrutiny of Bills by committees and assured the House that he was looking into the matter. “I am examining it. Some figures have been given. I am going through it. I will be discussing the need for parliamentary scrutiny with the ministers concerned also,” he said.
Naidu, however, said that “we should not send this message to the people that the Bills are being delayed on one pretext or the other” and the House needs to “strike a balance between these two”.
He said that once a committee has decided on a Bill, “there should not be a practice of again and again referring it to different committees”. The House is Supreme, he said, but “we must follow some practice to see that we expedite the functioning” as “people want results”.
There are a number of Bills that are pending for years, the Chairman said, asking the House what could be done. “If the government wants to withdraw them, I think we should come to an understanding that we should allow the government to withdraw those Bills,” he said.
“The reason is that the backlog of 32-33 Bills pending in the Rajya Sabha is not sending a positive image”.
In his quintessential style, Naidu said that there should be an “endency” of “pendency” of Bills and the members should, “in a meaningful manner, come to a conclusion as to how to tackle 32-33 pending Bills”.
Earlier in the day, the Vice President congratulated the members for a successful week, and said that he was happy after he had received people’s feedback that the House had raised and discussed people’s issues.
But some members complained that the government does not give enough time for all members before a Bill is moved and taken up, providing a copy of it either the same morning or the previous evening.
Jairam Ramesh of the Congress also asked the Chairman to “tell the government to not declare Bills as Money Bills” to avoid discussion in the Upper House.