Whips meet recommends 100 sittings of Parliament in a year

A minimum of 100 sittings of Parliament in a year and a code of conduct for legislators were among some recommendations made by the All India Whips Conference which concluded its two-day meeting in Goa on Tuesday.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 14, 2014, 22:37 PM IST

New Delhi: A minimum of 100 sittings of Parliament in a year and a code of conduct for legislators were among some recommendations made by the All India Whips Conference which concluded its two-day meeting in Goa on Tuesday.

The Conference was also of the view that contentious and long-pending issue of codification of privileges of Parliament and State Assemblies should be considered by each House.

It wanted Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu to form a panel to attempt codification of privileges and to pursue the same with presiding officers.

This issue acquired significance with academia and media demanding codification of privileges to end uncertainty in the matter and enable transparent functioning of Legislatures.

Apparently concerned over repeated disruptions, the Conference also recommended measures like forfeiting of daily allowance to ensure that proceedings of the Houses are not disrupted/adjourned without transacting any business.

Taking cognisance of the urgent need to correct public perception of Parliament and Legislatures of states, the Conference desired a code of conduct for legislators which should be adopted after consensus.

It wanted a proper mechanism evolved about the ways and means of implementation of the Code of Conduct. The conference suggested a draft code for circulation to all the chief ministers and presiding officers for a final decision.

On the minimum number of sittings to be held by Parliament and State Legislatures, it said Legislatures which have 40 members and below shall meet for a minimum of 40 days in a year and those with more than 40 members to meet for a minimum of 70 days.

"Parliament shall have a minimum of 100 sittings in a year," it said adding that the Parliamentary Affairs Minister should coordinate with leaders of various political parties and Presiding Officers and arrive at a final decision.

The Conference, convened by Naidu, was attended by Chief Whips, Whips and Parliamentary Affairs Ministers from various states who made these recommendations unanimously.

Recognising the importance of the system of Private Members' Business, the Conference recommended that one full day in a week (preferably Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday) should be set aside for this purpose.

For better floor management in the House, the conference recommended regular interaction between Ministers of Parliamentary Affairs and Chief whips during the Session and at least once during inter-session period besides informal meetings with Prime Minister/Chief Ministers and Chief Whips.