Consensus emerges on setting up DRSCs

The Rules Committee of both the state Assembly and Legislative Council has, in principle, agreed to set up Department-Related Standing Committees in the Legislature on par with Parliament to ease the burden and improve the quality of business in both houses. Both the presiding officers, Council chairman A. Chakrapani and Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar, co-chaired the Rules Committee meeting on Monday prior to arriving at this decision. Setting up DRSCs on par with Parliament is a proposal that has been on the cards from the time of the Telugu Desam's regime and actively considered two years ago too when N. Kiran Kumar Reddy was the Speaker.

The general functions of the Parliament DRSCs are, to consider the demands for grants by the various ministries or departments and draw up a report on them for the Houses; to examine the Bills pertaining to a ministry or department as referred to the Committees by the presiding officers and write a report; to consider the annual reports of the various departments and based on them, write their own; and to consider long-term policy documents presented to the Houses, as referred by the Presiding Officers.

The DRSCs do not concern themselves with matters of day-to-day administration of ministries or departments. Speaking after the meeting, Mr Manohar said that there was a broad co-nsensus on the setting up of DRSCs, which was obt-ained in the first meeting. Some more meetings were required for them to go into the related aspects of bringing in amendments to the rules.

He said that by the Winter Session, it would be clearer what the functions of the Committees were and from the next budget session, they may be able to start functioning. As for whether the examination of Bills too should be referred to Committees like in Parliament, this was not yet decided, he said.

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