After most members of the Parliamentary Panel on Urban Development skipped a meeting to discuss the Delhi pollution on November 15, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu is likely to write to all committee chairpersons to ensure dismissal of any member who skips more than two meetings in a row.
As many as 25 of the 29 members of the committee were absent. Other than committee chairman Jagdambika Pal, only Sanjay Singh, Rajya Sabha member of the Aam Aadmi Party, C.R. Patil, BJP MP from Gujarat, and National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi were present.
“On the one side, the Opposition members complain that the government is not routing legislation via standing committees and on the other, they themselves don’t attend the meetings,” a top official of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said. Mr. Naidu will be writing to the heads of all eight standing committees that come within the Rajya Sabha’s ambit and other ad hoc committees. Parliamentary rules have a provision that if a member skips two consecutive meetings without notice, then the committee chairperson can remove him or her from the panel. Mr. Naidu’s office may invoke this rule to ensure better participation.
On November 21, Mr. Naidu while sending the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2019, to a select committee told the members that the committee’s chairperson should present the details of members’ attendance of its meetings while submitting the report. “When he (Select Committee Chairman on Surrogacy Bill) present the report, he must also put annexure about how many members attended how many meetings. Some amount of seriousness has to come into the deliberations of Standing Committees and Select Committees,” Mr. Naidu said.