Discipline, decorum needed in parliament: Speaker

Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Jan 12 (IANS) Parliament is the best forum for discussion, debate and disagreement but discipline and decorum are also needed in the public interest, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said on Tuesday.

“In parliamentary democracy, every issue can be discussed and there cannot be a better forum than the house to discuss, debate and disagree,” Mahajan said at the 23rd Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth here.

“But in the larger public interest two more Ds – Discipline and Decorum – need to be added to avoid disruptions and decide issues,” an official statement quoted her as saying.

The speaker said she felt these objectives could be realised if house members are empowered through capacity-building programmes to become effective parliamentarians.

“They need to be given proper orientation and assistance so that they can make an invaluable difference to the lives of their constituents and contribute purposively towards strengthening and deepening democracy,” Mahajan said.

She said members of parliaments not only represent the voice of the people and their opinion but also play a vital role in shaping public opinion and debates.

The speaker said it was imperative for them to be adequately informed on the global thinking and perspectives on various issues.

“…members of parliaments have the responsibility for enriching debates and discussions in parliaments and appear to be adding value as in today’s scenario of live telecast of parliament (proceedings) their actions are under scrutiny 24X7,” she added.

In the last winter session, while the Lok Sabha had over 100 percent productivity, the Rajya Sabha could not even reach the half-way mark, working only 46 percent of its time.

The disruptions resulted in stalling of several key legislations, including one to introduce Goods and Services Tax in India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month called it the “country’s misfortune” that parliament was not allowed to function.

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