Very rarely is a private member resolution admitted in Parliament and taken up for consideration

The Trinamool Congress’ threat to move a resolution against foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail in the winter session of Parliament is much ado about nothing.

Under the rules, a resolution can be moved by any member for consideration by the House only on a day private members’ business is taken up. Normally, it is transacted in the afternoon session of Friday.

When the House is in session, bills introduced and resolutions moved by private members are taken up every alternate week. It means that on one Friday, the House would take up private members’ bills and the next week it would take up private members’ resolutions.

The probability of a private member resolution being admitted and taken up for consideration, leave alone being adopted, is very remote.

“It is not at all that simple for a member to move a resolution as the chances of it being considered by the House are minimal. If a member wants to enhance chances of a matter being taken up by the House, he/she should move a motion,” says Subash C. Kashyap, former Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha.

There are two kinds of motion. A motion moved by a member under Rule 184, subject to admission by the Speaker, would be discussed and voted upon by the House. However, if the motion is moved under rule 193, the House would merely discuss it.

It is the prerogative of the Speaker to decide whether a resolution or a part thereof is or is not admissible under these rules and the Speaker may disallow any resolution or a part thereof when in her/his opinion it is an abuse of the right of moving a resolution or it is calculated to obstruct or prejudicially affect the procedure of the House or is in contravention of these rules.

Even in the event of admission of the resolution by the Speaker or Chairperson, its introduction for consideration is not automatic. Literally, it is a lottery which decides the fate of a notice for resolution.

As has been the norm, since several members give notices for moving a resolution, the names of all members from whom such notices are received shall be balloted and only those members who secure the first three places in the ballot for the day are allowed private members’ resolutions. They are eligible to give notice for one resolution each within two days after the date of the ballot.

A resolution may be in the form of a declaration of opinion, or a recommendation; or in the form of approval or disapproval by the House of an act or policy of the government, or convey a message; or commend, urge or request an action; or call attention to a matter or situation for consideration by government; or in such other form as the Speaker may consider appropriate.

When a resolution is adopted, a copy of it shall be forwarded to the Minister concerned. Assuming that the House adopts a resolution voting against FDI in multi-brand retail, the government would be left with no choice but to roll it back.

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