The two-day 83rd All India Presiding Officers' Conference concluded on Friday, after discussions on issues like India's leadership of the G-20, the need to make Parliament and legislatures more effective, accountable, and productive, and the need to maintain a harmonious relationship between the legislature and the judiciary in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution.
In his valedictory address, Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra, referring to the dialogue and discussions held during the Conference, said that legislative institutions should implement the conclusions, drawn from such discussions, in their conduct.
Describing presiding officers as the final interpreters of the rules, he called on all public representatives to work with sensitivity towards public interest. On the legislative process, he said that a majority in the house should not be the only basis for passing bills, but public interest and healthy debates should be the main basis.
Mishra added that decorum and discipline are extremely necessary within the House, and it is not proper to pass bills amidst disruption. Seeking enhanced participation of public representatives in legislative process, he observed that debate and discussions in the House benefit all members and active participation brings many benefits in public life.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, in his valedictory address, said that the All India Presiding Officers' Conference has always played an important role in establishing sound democratic traditions and parliamentary practices and procedures in legislative bodies and for sharing best practices among different legislatures.
In the Conference, nine Resolutions were adopted to make democracy more accountable, participative and meaningful, he said.
Birla highlighted that in the Amrit Kaal of independence, when the country is witnessing massive transformation, the role of legislatures has become more important.
Emphasising on meaningful, disciplined and productive discussions in the legislative bodies, he said that there should be maximum dialogue in the Houses, proper use of technology and strong connect between the people and the legislature. "Let this message go among the public that the growing hopes and aspirations of the people can be fulfilled through the legislatures," he said.
He noted that during the discussion in the legislatures, especially during the Question Hour, the proceedings should run smoothly without any disruption, and called for maintaining dignity and decorum in the House and for increasing the number of sittings.
Birla suggested that the Presiding Officers encourage those public representatives who participate in good debates and discussions and prepare an action plan to act against those members who constantly obstruct the proceedings of the House, so that dignity of the House is not compromised. He observed that India's democracy inspires all countries, so Presiding Officers and public representatives should contribute in making legislative bodies ideal institutions.
He also reiterated the need for uniformity of rules and procedures in legislatures, as this will help in strengthening parliamentary democracy.
Birla said that parliamentary committees, or 'mini parliaments', have an excellent tradition of working above party lines, and need to be further strengthened so that they can comprehensively review government policies and programmes and ensure accountability of the executive.
Referring to India's G20 Presidentship, Birla said that this is an opportunity to showcase the world about India's democracy and its capabilities.
He thanked the Rajasthan Governor, Chief Minister, and Speaker for successfully organising the Conference.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot hoped that the resolutions and decisions taken during the two-day Conference will have long standing implications. Appreciating the idea of financial autonomy to state legislatures, he also lauded the initiatives and innovations taken in the Rajasthan legislature to improve its efficiency and efficacy.
The Rajya Sabha's Deputy Chairman, Harivansh said that Indian Parliament has always been on the forefront of making endeavours to effect institutional reforms for enhancing legislative productivity. He urged the public representatives to ensure smooth conduct of legislative business and to engage in productive and meaningful discussion in the House.
Rajasthan Speaker, Dr C.P. Joshi expressed his gratitude to the Vice President and Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha Speaker for their guidance. Emphasising that without financial autonomy legislatures cannot function efficiently, he suggested that some measures are required to be taken for this purpose.
Citing the glorious traditions of the Rajasthan Assembly, he hoped that public representatives through their conduct will not only maintain the standard but will also enhance it further.
Twenty Speakers, including the Lok Sabha Speaker, five Speakers/Chairpersons, 12 Deputy Speakers, and four Deputy Chairpersons, including of the Rajya Sabha, participated in the Conference.
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