New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speakar Om Birala on Saturday lauded the role of the media in strengthening the parliamentary democracy in the country, removing the false notion that Parliament is only a place for noise and disturbances. He told a press conference in New Delhi he was overwhelmed by the positivity and sensitivity of both print and electronic media and expressed confidence that its positive reporting and coverage of the Lok Sabha has been widely appreciated by the common people at large.
“I am happy that the poor image of the MPs has been totally transformed in the last session,” he said. Narrating the role of the media as a decisive and strong pillar of democracy and Parliament, the Speaker sought suggestions and advice from the media persons to make Parliament more vibrant to fill the gape between Parliament and people. Birla, who is the second term MP from Kota in Rajasthan, was unimosely elected the Speaker of the17th Lok Sabha in June. He was quite satisfied with the fruitful session as a record business was peacefully conducted.
He said in in the limited timeframe of 54 days, as many as 32 bills were introduced whereas 29 bills were passed, setting a new record. He recalled that in the past only in 1992 during 67 days of first session, 32 bills were introduced and 27 were passed. The Speaker said he gave maximum time to the first-time MPs to raise the issues and allowed all MPs to raise the issues in the zero hour instead of picking only a few through balloting. He also issued orders for the first time in the history of Parliament that every issue raised in the zero hour will have to be taken note by the government and the concerned ministries.
Disclosing his priority as the Speaker, Birla announced Parliament is going 100% paperless to save crores of public money which goes waste. According to him, views of the majority of members views have been already taken and 80% of MP’s are agree for total digitalisations of parliamentary commutation system. He it would also save the logistic and manpower of the Parliament House.
During the question-answer session, journalists asked questions such as oppositions charge of passing the crucial legislations in the absence of the standing committees and bypassing the established parliamentary procedure. He wriggled out saying he doesn’t come in the picture as it is the duty of the parliamentary affairs ministry to take the call.