Standing Committee on Finance

Summary

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance (SCOF) is a department related standing committee (DRSC) constituted by the Parliament of India comprising selected members of parliament for the purpose of legislative oversight on the policies and decision making of the following four ministries:

  1. Ministry of Finance (MoF)
  2. Ministry of Corporate Affairs
  3. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
  4. NITI Aayog (succeeding the Planning Commission)[1][2][3]
Standing Committee on Finance
Department Related Standing Committee
16th Lok Sabha
FoundedApril 1993; 29 years ago (1993-04)
CountryIndia
Leadership
ChairpersonVeerappa Moily
Chairperson partyHand INC.svgIndian National Congress
AppointerSpeaker of the Lok Sabha
Structure
Seats31
(Lok Sabha: 21)
(Rajya Sabha: 10)
Political parties  BJP (13)
  INC (4)
  AITC (2)
  AIADMK (3)
  TDP (2)
  BJD (1)
  SS (2)
  CPI(M) (1)
  SDF (1)
  JDU (1)
  Nominated (1)
Election criteriaThe members are elected every year from amongst its members of respective houses according to the principle of proportional representation.
Tenure1 year
Jurisdiction
PurposeLegislative oversight of the policies and decision making of the following ministries:
Rules and procedure
  • Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha 2014
Applicable rulesRule 331 C through N (page 122 - 125)
Fifth Schedule (page 158)

The committee consists of thirty-one members, twenty-one elected by Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament, and not more than ten members of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament. The members are nominated every year from amongst the members of Lok Sabha by the Lok Sabha Speaker and from amongst the members of Rajya Sabha by the Rajya Sabha Chairman.[4] Efforts are made as far as possible to allocate seats in proportion to party strength in respective houses.[5] The chairperson is appointed by the Lok Sabha speaker. The term of office of the members is one year. A minister is not eligible to become a member of the committee. If a member after his election to the committee becomes a Minister, he ceases to be a member from the date of such appointment.[6]

The committee currently is headed by Veerappa Moily, succeeding Yashwant Sinha from the 15th Lok Sabha.[7]

HistoryEdit

Following the adoption of the Reports of Rules Committees of the 10th Lok Sabha by the two houses on 29 March 1993, the way was paved for the setting up of the seventeen Departmentally Related Standing Committees (DRSCs) covering under their jurisdiction all the ministries or departments of the Government of India. Formally set up in April 1993, the committee used to consist of 45 members— 30 nominated by the Speaker from amongst the members of Lok Sabha and 15 members nominated by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha from amongst the members of Rajya Sabha.

However, during the re-structuring of DRSCs in July 2004 by the 14th Lok Sabha, the membership was reduced to 31 members—21 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha.

The inaugural chairperson of the committee was Debi Prasad Pal, a former Minister of State for Finance (1995–96),[8][9] member of the 10th Finance Commission, retired judge of the Calcutta High Court and member of the Indian National Congress.[10]

Scope and WorkingEdit

ScopeEdit

The functions of the committee are stated as below:

  • To consider the Demands for Grants of the concerned ministries or departments, preparing reports on the same which are to be tabled in both the houses.
  • To examine such bills pertaining to the oversight ministries as are referred to the committee by the Speaker, Lok Sabha or the Chairman, Rajya Sabha.
  • To consider the annual reports of the concerned ministries or departments.
  • To consider national basic long-term policy documents presented to the houses, if referred to the committee by the Speaker, Lok Sabha or the Chairman, Rajya Sabha.

The Standing Committees shall not consider the matters of day to day administration of the department.

Proceedings, Draft Reports and Minutes of the Committee are treated as ‘Confidential’ until the concerned reports are presented to Parliament.

WorkingEdit

Working of the committee has been designed so as to keep individual opinions and statements as confidential, so, that the atmosphere within the committee is more open to discussion without the need to toe the party line or indulge in political grand standing [sic]. The report presented by the committee "is based on a broad consensus and has persuasive value to be treated as considered advice. Hence it is not binding in nature. It is for the minister in charge of the Bill or any member to move necessary amendments in the House in the light of the recommendations or suggestions made by the committee.[10]

It ensures that detailed scrutiny of government finances, legislation and working continues to take place even if Parliament sessions are disrupted. With a representation of members from across political parties, these committees also act as a consensus-building platform.[11]

Demands for GrantsEdit

After the general discussion on the budget in the House is over, the Lok Sabha is adjourned for a fixed period. The Committee considers the Demands for Grants (DFGs) of the concerned ministries or departments under its jurisdiction during the aforesaid period and presents reports on them to the House. There is a separate report on the DFGs of each ministry or department.

Bills and Annual ReportsEdit

The committee considers only such bills introduced in either of the houses as are referred to it by the Speaker, Lok Sabha or the Chairman, Rajya Sabha as the case may be.

The committee also selects other subjects for examination on the basis of annual report of the ministries and departments under its jurisdiction

Statement of Minister under direction 73A of the Directions by the Speaker, Lok SabhaEdit

In terms of direction 73A, the minister concerned of the ministry or department makes a statement once in six months in the House regarding the status of implementation of the recommendations contained in the reports of the DRSCs with regard to her/his Ministry. This is aimed at ensuring that the recommendations of the Standing Committee are taken note of at the highest level by the government for follow up action not suggest anything of the nature of cut motions. The Demands for Grants are considered by the House in the light of the Reports of the Committee.

CompositionEdit

Keys:   BJP (13)   INC (4)   AIADMK (3)   AITC (2)   TDP (2)   SS (2)   BJD (1)   CPI(M) (1)   SDF (1)   JDU (1)   Nominated (1) = 31 members

Party-wise membership of Standing Committee on Defence

  BJP (41.9%)
  INC (12.9%)
  AITC (6.5%)
  AIADMK (9.7%)
  TDPTRS (6.5%)
  BJD (3.2%)
  SS (6.5%)
  CPI(M) (3.2%)
  JDU (3.2%)
  SDF (3.2%)
  Nomianated (3.2%)
21 members from 16th Lok Sabha; tenure – May 2018-19
Sr. No. Portrait Name Constituency, state Party
1 Veerappa Moily[a] Chikkballapur, Karnataka INC
2 Pushpendra Singh Chandel Hamirpur, Uttar Pradesh BJP
3 Bandaru Dattatreya Secunderabad, Telangana
4 Kirit Somaiya Mumbai North-East, Maharashtra
5 Nishikant Dubey Godda, Jharkhand
6 Harish Dwivedi Basti, Uttar Pradesh
7 Rattan Lal Kataria Ambala, Haryana
8 Rajiv Pratap Rudy Saran, Bihar
9 Gopal Shetty Mumbai North, Maharashtra
10 Kirit Premjibhai Solanki Ahmedabad West, Gujarat
11 Prathap Simha Mysore, Karnataka
12 Shivkumar Chanabasappa Udasi Haveri, Karnataka
13 Saugata Roy Dum Dum, West Bengal AITC
14 Dinesh Trivedi Barrackpore, West Bengal
15 T.G. Venkatesh Babu Chennai North, Tamil Nadu AIDMK
16 Gopalakrishnan Chinnaraj Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu
17 Bhartruhari Mahtab Cuttack, Odisha BJD
18 Chandrakant Bhaurao Khaire Aurangabad, Maharashtra SS
19 Jyotiraditya Scindia Guna, Madhya Pradesh INC
20 Rayapati Sambasiva Rao Narasaraopet, Andhra Pradesh TDP
21 Prem Das Rai Sikkim, Sikkim SDF
Notes
  1. ^ Chairperson of the committee for the current year.
10 members from the Rajya Sabha
Sr. No. Name State Legislature Party
1 Rajeev Chandrasekhar Karnataka BJP
2 Mahesh Poddar Jharkhand
3 Manmohan Singh Assam INC
4 Digvijaya Singh Madhya Pradesh
5 T.K. Rangarajan Tamil Nadu CPI(M)
6 C. M. Ramesh Andhra Pradesh TDP
7 Anil Desai Maharashtra SS
8 A. Navaneethakrishnan Tamil Nadu AIDMK
9 Mahendra Prasad Bihar JD(U)
10 Narendra Jadhav Nominated

Comments in recent yearsEdit

Demonetisation (2016)Edit

The committee has deposed the RBI governor and other government officials since the announcement for demonetisation was made. In Oct 2018, summoning the RBI governor for the third time, Chairperson Moily said, "[a]fter our meetings with the RBI chief and other senior officials of the RBI, it had given us a report. Now, we have called RBI governor Urjit Patel to come and brief us on demonetization and a legislative bill. Some members might also want to ask him questions." The notice for the meeting says, “Oral Evidence of the representatives of Reserve Bank of India on (i) ‘Demonetisation of Indian currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 and ramifications thereof’ and (ii) ‘The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018’ and issues related thereto."[12]

The merger of Railway budget with Union Budget (2016)Edit

In a sweeping recast of India’s annual budget process, the government ended the 92-year-old practice of having a separate rail budget. Commenting on this, Chairperson Moily said, "[w]e will discuss this issue with statistics and planning department, and also with the finance ministry. Railway Board, an important cog in this merger process, too will be consulted on the impact of this budgetary reform on Railways as an organization."[13]

Punjab National Bank fraud (2018)Edit

The committee questioned the finance ministry civil servants including the Union Financial Services Secretary, Rajiv Kumar about the 11,400 crore (equivalent to 130 billion or US$1.7 billion in 2020) fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB) and asked them to submit a report on it. It is currently on its way to becoming India's biggest banking fraud. Other members noted that "[t]heir concern over such large scale [sic] fraud in the PNB and questioned the re-capitalization process of the state-run banks when they are not well managed and tax payers [sic] money is leaking".[14]

IL&FS default (2018)Edit

The committee took up the case of debt-ridden Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services, which defaulted on debt obligations for scrutiny a day after the government sacked the 15-member IL&FS board and nominated six new directors lead by Uday Kotak, to run the affairs of the company.[15] The chairperson of the SCOF, Moily said that "[w]hatever has happened at IL&FS is a matter of grave concern. It is a fit case for the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance to look into. As the chairman, I will take up the matter in the committee meeting" [16]

ChairpersonsEdit

Chairpersons of the committee (1993–till date)Edit

Sr. No. Name Term of office Terms Political party
(Alliance)
1 Debi Prasad Pal 1993-95 2 INC
2 No public records found 1995-99 4
4 Shivraj Patil 1999-2002 3 INC
5 N. Janardhana Reddy 2002-04 2
6 Maj Gen. BC Khanduri (Retd.) 2004-07 3 BJP
7 Ananth Kumar 2007-09 2
8 Murli Manohar Joshi 2009-2010 1
9 Yashwant Sinha 2010-14 4
10 Veerappa Moily 2014-19 5 INC

Reports publishedEdit

As part of its oversight process, the committee has published quite a number of reports over the course of its existence. The committee has published a total of 277 reports from 1993 to 2015. Out of these, 92 are reports on Demands for Grants (DFGs), 13 reports on subjects taken up by the committee, 72 reports on bills referred to the committee and 100 are reports on action taken by the government on corresponding reports of the committee.

Lok Sabha Tenure Demands for Grants Subjects Bills ATRs Total reports presented
10th Lok Sabha 1991–96 7 3 8 5 23
11th Lok Sabha 1996–98 4 1 5
12th Lok Sabha 1998–99 6 7 8 21
13th Lok Sabha 1999–04 20 1 10 24 55
14th Lok Sabha 2004–09 25 3 23 29 80
15th Lok Sabha 2009–14 6 24 84
16th Lok Sabha 2014–continuing 5 4 9
Grand total 92 13 72 100 277

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Planning Commission to NITI Aayog". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  2. ^ Sharma, Yogima Seth (2016-12-07). "NITI Aayog needs greater clarity on departmental coordination: Standing committee". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  3. ^ "Lost in translation: Is NITI Aayog a commission or an institution?". The Indian Express. 2015-02-18. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  4. ^ "Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha" (PDF). p. 126. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 June 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Handbook for Members of Lok Sabha" (PDF). p. 135. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 June 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Simply put: Parliament and its many panels". The Indian Express. 2015-12-29. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  7. ^ "Congress to retain M Veerappa Moily, Shashi Tharoor as heads of finance, external affairs panels". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  8. ^ "West Bengal Congress(I) leaders fight for 'safe' Calcutta-South constituency". India Today. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  9. ^ "Assisted Rao in selecting ministers, Pranab Mukherjee emerges as major power player". India Today. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  10. ^ a b "Recently set up Parliamentary committees start calling various ministries to account". India Today. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  11. ^ "Parliament Logjam Part 4: Strengthening committee system can improve quality of drafted laws, fast-track implementation - Firstpost". www.firstpost.com. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  12. ^ "RBI to face House panel for the third time on note ban". 2018-10-28. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  13. ^ "Budget merger report will be submitted by November: Veerappa Moily - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  14. ^ PTI (2018-02-15). "PNB fraud: Parliamentary panel seeks report from finance ministry". Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  15. ^ Manoj, C. L. (2018-10-04). "House panel to summon IL&FS board, LIC & SBI representatives, RBI officials". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  16. ^ Manoj, C. L. (2018-10-02). "Veerappa Moily: Standing committee to scan IL&FS mess". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2018-11-18.

External linksEdit

  • Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha 2014
  • Directions by The Speaker, Lok Sabha
  • Lok Sabha - SCOF homepage
  • 68th Report on banking sector in india – Issues and Challenges
  • The Chit funds (amendment) bill, 2018