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Moves afoot to shift Question Hour to afternoon

Moves are afoot in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to shift the Question Hour timing from morning to the post-lunch session in the wake of frequent disruptions in both Houses.



New Delhi: Moves are afoot in both the Lok
Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to shift the Question Hour timing
from morning to the post-lunch session in the wake of frequent
disruptions in both Houses.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today said that she had
begun consultations on rescheduling Question Hour to sometime
in the afternoon and hoped the change to happen by the Monsoon
session of Parliament in July.

"I have begun consultations on the matter," she told
reporters when asked about moves to have the Question Hour,
which starts at 11 A.M. later in the day.

During Question Hour, members raise queries on different
aspects of administration and Government policy in the
national and international spheres.

Kumar said to begin with she was holding talks with
officials and would also consult political parties and the
government in this regard.

"I hope so," was her reply when asked whether the new
timings for the Question Hour would come into effect from
the Monsoon session.

"Various options are being examined to make Question Hour
more effective, including shifting of timing if necessary,"
Rajya Sabha Secretary General V K Agnihotri said.

Question Hour could not be taken up for four days in the
Lok Sabha and seven days in the Rajya Sabha in the second part
of the Budget session as opposition sought to raise various
issues.

The idea of shifting the Question Hour gained ground
during the Budget session when 115 working hours out of 385 of
both the Houses were lost due to frequent disruptions and
walkouts.

Stressing the importance of the Question Hour, the
Speaker said it was "central to Executive`s accountability
to Parliament."

Kumar hinted at consultations with Rajya Sabha Chairman
Hamid Ansari so that the similar change could be reflected in
the functioning of the Upper House.

Of the total 620 starred questions admitted during the
Budget session in the Rajya Sabha, only 92, or 14 per cent,
were called in the House. Ministers have to orally respond to
starred questions and supplementaries put by members.

In the Lok Sabha, only 12 per cent of starred questions
received a verbal response.

PTI

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