File photo of Om Birla
File photo of Om Birla

Members will get information on bills a day in advance: Speaker assures Oppn

ANI | Updated: Aug 01, 2019 15:21 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 1 (ANI): Opposition members in the Lok Sabha on Thursday accused the government of making frequent and late changes in the list of business, making it difficult for them for prepare for bills.
Speaker Om Birla assured them that he will take care that members get information about the bills on the agenda at least one day in advance.
Opposition members raised the issue soon after the House met for the day and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleged that bills were being brought in without taking members into confidence.
He was countered by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal, who said the bills were discussed in the meeting of Business Advisory Committee (BAC) and only those bills are coming for which time had been allotted by the committee.
The Speaker said that opposition members can have detailed discussion on their concerns in the meeting of BAC and the bills being brought had been discussed at the meeting of the committee.
Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy said Dam Safety Bill was not taken up on Wednesday and members had prepared for it, but three other bills had been listed in Thursday's agenda.
Another TMC lawmaker Sudip Bandopadhyay said that after the list of business, a revised list of business was reaching members after 9 pm.
He said members do not have any idea of bills coming up and do not have adequate time for preparation.
Another party MP Kalyan Banerjee alleged that the government was using its power "whimsically and arbitrarily".
"Parliament cannot function at whims and fancies of anyone," he said, adding that the BAC only allocates time and the list of business is prepared by the Lok Sabha.
DMK member Kanimozhi said that members have to wait in late evening hours for a revised list of business and "completely new bills" are brought.
"There is decorum in the House and I am sure the government also does not want to spoil it. The session was extended and we are cooperating. You can't take us for granted to that extent. You have to respect that," she said.
Gaurav Gogoi of Congress said they had hoped that there will be a discussion on floods in some parts of the country
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that BAC meeting has been held, time allocated and bills have been circulated.
"The purpose of the extension is that very important government business (is pending), that's why I appeal to you to cooperate," he said.
He said short duration discussion can be taken up in regular session.
Chowdhury denied that he had called for deferring discussion on dam safety bill and said he had only said that it was a new bill and should not be clubbed with an amendment bill.
He said the government should not take the Parliament for granted.
Birla said he had heard all the members and noted that Saugata Roy had not cited the whole point of order.
The Speaker said his effort is to run the House by consensus.
"The issue you have raised, I will discuss again in BAC with you. And according to your expectation, I will personally take care that before the bill is brought, all members get information at least a day in advance from Speaker's Office also so that you can prepare," he said.
Opposition members lauded the decision of Speaker with thumping of desks.
"Today what will be taken up is what the Chair decides," he added.
Later, Samajwadi Party (SP) member Mulayam Singh Yadav raised the issue of government extending the session and pressing with bills and alleged there was some "hidden agenda".
"The money of people is being spent. There is some agenda. How many seats are vacant," he said.
Joshi said it was a demand of opposition that Parliament should run for at least 100 days in a year. "There is a business. The laws are being made in the interest of people," he said. (ANI)