Low attendance in Demand for Grants meetings an area of concern: Naidu
Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said low attendance of members of non-BJP and non-Congress parties in the meetings held for the scrutiny of Demands for Grants is an area of concern.
Addressing members of the Upper House, which resumed its second session of the budget session, Naidu said the attendance of members of other parties and groups fell to 27.60% from 40% last year. “Consequently, the overall attendance this year in the 21 meetings has fallen to 42% from 48% last year,” he said.
Naidu informed the House that eight committees of Rajya Sabha spent 12% more time this year examining the demand for grants for 18 ministries compared to previous years. He said the committees held 21 meetings for a duration of 70 hours and 27 minutes this year as against 20 meetings for a duration of 63 hours last year. The eight committees have a total of 242 members of Parliament (MPs), including 78 from the Rajya Sabha and 164 from the Lok Sabha.
Referring to the participation of members of Rajya Sabha in the Budget scrutiny by the committees this year, he said there was an increase in attendance to 58.24% from last year’s 52.57%. Also, 50% of the members attended all the committee meetings as against 36% last year.
The Rajya Sabha chairperson said the overall attendance of the Lok Sabha members in these meetings has, however, declined to 31.86% from 46.37% last year and the number of members who attended all the meetings of the committees has fallen to 26.21% from 35% last year.
The Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law & Justice has reported the highest attendance of 51.19% this year while the Committee on Commerce reported the highest improvement in attendance of 40% as against only 32% last year.
Earlier, Naidu complimented Mallikarjun Kharge on becoming the new Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
He said Kharge’s “vast and diverse experience” would benefit the House significantly.