Ninety-five of the 244 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members in eight Parliamentary Standing Committees under the Rajya Sabha did not attend a single meeting of the panel that scrutinised the allocations for ministries post-presentation of the Union Budget.
An analysis of the attendance in the committee meetings in the past three weeks during the recess of Budget Session also showed that the MPs have taken more interest in meetings on issues concerning health, human resource development, Home Affairs and tourism and transport while “somewhat lesser interest” was seen in Commerce, Industry and Science and Technology.
This was disclosed by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu during Zero Hour on the opening day of the second leg of the Budget Session on Monday, while presenting the progress of the work done by Department related Parliamentary Standing Committees during the Budget Session recess.
This included 23 of the 78 MPs of Rajya Sabha and 78 of the 166 Lok Sabha MPs who are part of these panels on ‘Home Affairs’, ‘Commerce’, ‘Industry’, ‘Health and Family Welfare’, ‘Human Resource Development’, ‘Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice’, ‘Transport, Tourism and Culture’ and ‘Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change’.
Sixteen other committees are under the Lok Sabha.
The eight committees of Rajya Sabha held 20 meetings and discussed the demands of grants of 18 ministries over a total duration of 63 hours during the three-week recess after the first leg of the Budget Session ended on February 11, Naidu said adding, the total time spent by these eight Committees during the recess amounts to over 10 sittings of the Parliament.
“Ninety-five MPs accounting for 39% of the total 244 did not attend any meeting on Demands for Grants. Only 28 members had zero attendance last time (in meetings since the committees were reconstituted last September),” Naidu said. Twenty-three are from Rajya Sabha while 78 are from Lok Sabha.
These committees have had 2-3 meetings each and the overall attendance has been 45.35%. Four committees have reported more than 50% attendance.
“The highest attendance of 65.51% has been in the meetings of the Committee on Health and Family Welfare. I am also happy to inform that 19 of the 29 members of this committee attended each of the 3 meetings of the committee. Lowest attendance of 32.25% has been in respect of the Committee on Commerce,” Naidu said.
Rajya Sabha MPs clocked more attendance than their Lok Sabha counterparts— 52.57% as against 46.37%.
The attendance of members of the BJP and the Congress accounting for a total of 142 members, has been much higher than 50% but same from MPs of other parties accounting for 102 members has been only about 40%.