Members of Rajya Sabha will now have to strictly adhere to the time allotted to them and their parties for participating in debates and discussions.
From the budget session of Parliament beginning February 22, Rajya Sabha will display on electronic boards the names of the participating members, their party affiliation, Division number and the time taken by them to make their point.
According to Rajya Sabha sources, the display board will, in appropriate cases, indicate the total time allotted to different parties (including nominated members) and the time already taken by different speakers whose names have been sponsored by their parties or who are participating in that debate.
Independent members will be clubbed with the members coming under ‘others’ category for allotting time.
So far the boards just display the name of the members and the time taken by him/her during the zero hour. Now this would be extended to short duration discussions and discussions on Bills.
As regards calling attention debates and discussions on private members’ bills/resolutions, etc., the time consumed by the members would be indicated individually on the display board.
Rajya Sabha also took the initiative to amend rules for the question hour so that the government would have to answer a question even if a member, in whose name it appears in the list of questions for oral answer, was absent.