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AAP demands round the year sessions of Punjab Assembly

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

The AamAadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday demanded round the year sessions of Punjab Assembly including legislators and bureaucracy towards their respective constituencies.

In a three page letter to the Punjab Assembly Speaker, Rana K P Singh, AAP legislator KanwarSandhu, has suggested 12 Sessions in a year making it one session every month with five sittings. Sandhu said this would mean 60 sittings in a year.

He has suggested amending rule 14-A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business Rules, which now provide for three sessions in a year and the total number of sittings in all the three sessions put together to be not less than 40. “Unfortunately, this rule which is being violated with impunity, be amended to provide for 12 Sessions in a financial year, with every session to have not less than five sittings”, he added.

Sandhu said that monthly sessions of the Assembly will ensure that the whole state government machinery remains on toes and there is regular accountability of not only legislators but also of the government officers. This will also ensure that the peoples’ problems reflected by their respective legislators in the form of questions raised during ‘Question Hour’ get answered on a regular basis.

“Now since the House meets after three or four months, the Questions pile up and less than 20 per cent are taken up during a session. Holding a session every month would bring about a responsive government”, he added. The AAP legislators also pointed out that during the current budget session, the government was cornered by its own legislators and those of the opposition forcing it to concede to aRs 52 Crore loan waiver for Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes on Thursday after the demand was raised in Assembly.

As a result, loans of up to Rs 50,000 taken from the two public sector undertakings by more than 15,000 beneficiaries were waived off. The government was also forced to release the pension and shagun scheme dues to the tune of Rs 1,220 Crore on Wednesday following heated exchanges in the House on social security schemes earlier. Had it not been for the discussion in the House, these would have remained pending, as they had been for months, he added.

The letter further states that House sittings every month would also raise the level of debate, with legislators being forced to take up issues of their constituencies.Sandhu said that in order to bring about greater transparency in legislative and administrative functioning, all meetings of various committees of the Assembly should be open to the press or media.