Introduction of Committees
There are 14 Committees of the House which are constituted for one year term. These are: -
(i) Committee on Public accounts consisting of not more than 11 members from Legislative Assembly and not more than 2 members from Legislative Council.
(ii) Committee on Estimates not more than 11 members from Legislative assembly and not more than 2 members from Legislative Council.
(iii) Committee on Public Undertakings not more than 11 members from Legislative Assembly and not more than 2 members from Legislative Council.
(iv) Business Advisory Committee consisting of not more than 9 members.
(v) Committee on Petitions consisting of not less than 7 members
(vi) Committee on Privileges consisting of not more than 9members.
(vii) Committee on subordinate Legislation consisting of not more than 9 members.
(viii) Committee on Government Assurances consisting of not more than 9 members.
(ix) Rules Committee consisting of not more than 9 members.
(x) House Committee consisting of not more than 11 members.
(xi) Library Committee consisting of not more than 10 members
(xii) General Purposes Committee consisting of not more than 11 members
(xiii) Ethics Committee consisting of not less than 11 members.
(xiv) Committee on Environment consisting of not less than 11 members.
These Committees are appointed or elected by the House or nominated by the Speaker and work under the directions of the Speaker and present reports to the House. The Secretariat therefore is provided by the Assembly Secretariat. The three Financial Committees viz. Committee on Public Accounts, Committee on Estimates and Committee on Public Undertakings, as indicated above
are constituted annually from amongst the members of the Legislative Assembly through election according to the principle of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. The election may be held through postal ballot also. If the Speaker is satisfied that due to any reason it is not practicable to hold elections of the Committees at the appropriate time and also the election cannot be held through postal ballot, he may nominate the members of these Committees and request the Chairman Legislative Council to nominate two members to represent the Legislative Council in each of three committees;
The rules for conducting elections to these Committees are appended with this publication.
All other Committees are nominated by the Speaker for a period of one year or for the period specified by him. The Chairman of each Committee is also appointed by him from amongst the members of the Committee provided that if the Deputy Speaker is member of any Committee he is appointed as Chairman of the Committee. The functions of various Committees are given as under:-
(i) COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
The Committee on Public Accounts assists the Legislature in enforcing duty of the Executive to spend funds voted by the Legislature. It examines the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by the House to meet the expenditure of the Government of the State, the Annual Finance Accounts of the Government and Audit Reports thereon and such other accounts laid before the House as the Committee may think fit except those relating to such Public Undertakings as are allotted to the Committee on Public Undertaking. The Finance Minister is ex officio member of this Committee. As the work of the Committee is normally confined to the various matters referred to in the Audit Reports and Appropriation Accounts, its functions start only after the Comptroller and Auditor General presents his reports on the Accounts of the Government. The Committee examines the representatives of various Ministers/Departments in connection with the matters referred to in the Audit5 Report and Appropriation Accounts and present its recommendations in the form of a report. The Committee is assisted by the Accountant General in the examination of these accounts.
(ii) COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES
The functions of Committee on Estimates are as under:-
(a) to report what economic, improvements in organization, efficiency or administrative reform consistent with the policy underlying the estimates may be affected;
(b) to suggest alternative policies in order to bring about efficiency and economy in administration;
(c) to examine whether the money is well laid out within the limits of the policy implied in the estimates; and
(d) to suggest the form in which the estimates shall be presented to the Legislature.
(iii) COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC UNDERTAKINGS
The functions of Committee on public undertakings arte to examine the reports and Accounts of the Public Undertakings as listed din the Fifth Schedule of the Rules of procedure and conduct Business of the said rules and to see whether, in the context of their autonomy and efficiency, the affairs of the Public Undertakings are being managed in accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices. But the Committee does not examine:-
(a) matters of majors Government Policy as distinct from the business and commercial functions of the Public Undertakings;
(b) matters of day to day administration; and
(c) matters for the consideration of which machinery is established by any special statute under which a particular undertaking is established.
The Estimates Committee and Public Undertakings Committee call for preliminary material in regard to the working of the Government Department/Public Undertakings from the Ministers of the Government, and may also visit the projects for an on-the-spot study of the working. The Committee also examines official and non-official witnesses and take the assistance of the Accountant General in pursuing the matters raised in the Audit Reports relating to the undertakings and the statutory Corporations.
Each of the three Financial Committees has its own Internal Working Rules as reproduced in this publication. Each Committee presents the reports to the House from time to time. The recommendations/observations of these Committees contained in their reports are sent to the Government for the implementation. Progress of the implementation of the recommendations thus made, is being watched separately by these Committees and the House is informed through ‘Action Taken Report’
(iv) BUSINESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The Committee is nominated by the Speaker at the commencement of the House or from time to time as the case may be and he is himself the ex officio Chairman of the Committee. The main function of the Committee is to recommend the allocation of time for discussion of the various stages of Government Bills and other business that is referred to the Committee.
(v) COMMITTEE ON PETITIONS
The Committee is appointed by the Speaker from amongst the members of the House excluding the Ministers. The Committee examines every petition referred to it. After the presentation of a petition to the House, the Committee meets to consider it as early as possible provided that in the case of a petition on a Bill pending before the House the meeting is held as soon as possible after the petition has been presented. The Committee submits its report to the House, or directs the circulation of the petition to the members, as the case may be, well in advance of the Bill being taken up in the House, In case the petition is received on a Bill already under discussion in the House, the Committee must meet to consider it immediately and submit its report or direct the circulation of the petition to the members, as the case may be, before the Bill is disposed of by the House. The functions of the Committee are by and large very limited. Similarly, all petitions which are received
In the Assembly Secretariat and are considered as admissible under the rules shall stand referred to the Select/Joint Committee on a Bill to which they relate if such a Committee has been constituted.
(vi) COMMITTEE ON PRIVILEGE
This Committee is also appointed by the Speaker. The Committee examines every question referred to it and determines with reference of facts of each case whether the breach of privilege is involved, and if so, the nature of privilege, the circumstances leading to it. The Committee makes such recommendations as it may deem fit. After a question of breach of privilege has been referred to by the Speaker to this Committee either under rule 242 or 244, the Chairman calls, as soon as practicable, a preliminary meeting of the Committee to consider the said question of privilege and to determine, subject to specific provisions in this behalf in the Rules and Directions the procedure generally to be followed in regard to the matter under enquiry, which, in its opinion is most suited for the purpose.
After the report is presented to the House it may be taken into consideration whereupon the Speaker may put question to the House and may permit a debate not exceeding half an hour duration, on the motion. Thereafter the House may agree on the motion or disagree or agree with amendments to the recommendations contained in the report.
(vii) COMMITTEE ON SUBORDINATE LEGISLATION
The Committee is nominated by the Speaker. Its function is to scrutinize and report to the House whether powers to make regulations, rules, sub-rules, bye-laws etc. conferred by the Constitution or delegated by the Parliament or State Legislature are being properly exercised within the scope of such delegation. It may also examine such other matters of similar nature as the Speaker may refer to it. The business of the Committee is conducted in accordance with the Direction Nos. 79 to 83 issued by the Speaker. The Committee has also its own internal working rules which stand incorporated in this publication.
(viii) COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT ASSURANCES
The Committee is nominated by the Speaker after each financial year. The functions of the Committee are to scrutinize the assurances, promises, undertakings etc. given by the Ministers from time to time on the floor of the House and to report on the extent to which such assurances, promises, undertakings etc; have been implemented and when implemented whether such implementation has taken place within the minimum time necessary for the purpose.
(ix) RULES COMMITTEE
The Rules Committee is nominated by the Speaker under rule 363 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Legislative Assembly. The Speaker is the ex officio Chairman of the Committee. The functions of the Committee are:-
(a) to consider methods of procedure and conduct of Business in the House; and
(b) to recommend any amendments or additions to the rules that it may deem necessary. It continues in office till reconstituted.
(x) GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE
The Speaker is the ex-officio Chairman of the Committee which consists of Deputy Speaker, Chairman of three Financial Committees and other members. The functions of the Committee are to consider and advice on such matters concerning the affairs of the House as may be referred to it by the Speaker from time to time.
(xi) HOUSE COMMITTEE
The Speaker is the ex-officio Chairman of the Committee and its functions are:-
(a) to deal with all questions relating to residential accommodation for members of the Legislative Assembly; and
(b) to consider matters connected with facilities for accommodation, food, medical aid and other amenities accorded to members in members’ residences and hostels.
(xii) LIBRARY COMMITTEE
The Speaker is the ex-officio Chairman of the Committee and its functions are;
(a) to consider and advice on such matters concerning the Library as may be referred to it by the Speaker from time to time;
(b) to consider suggestion for the improvement of the Library; and
(c) to assist a member of Legislative Assembly in fully utilizing the services provided by the Library.
(xiii) ETHICS COMMITTEE
The function of the Committee is to oversee the moral and ethical conducts of the members.
(xiv) COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT
The functions of the Committee are to explore measures to control and check the disastrous consequences of population explosion, deforestation, indiscriminate utilization of natural resources, gaseous, emissions, industrial pollutants and other ecological disaster