New Delhi: There is a serious need to consider a proposal for Parliament to meet for a minimum of 100 days a year, vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Monday, ahead of the legislature’s winter session.

Speaking on “the importance of legislature" in a lecture organized by the PRS Legislative Research, Naidu said his priority in his first session as chairman of the Rajya Sabha will be to ensure that the house functions smoothly—“where every member, even the backbenchers, are given an opportunity."

“This will be the first session since I have taken over. It is a good moment to reflect on this theme ahead of the upcoming parliament session," Naidu said. He added, “I will work with all party leaders during the Winter Session and try to build a congenial environment in which public issues and national concerns can be discussed and where every member is given a reasonable opportunity to present her or his perspective."

The winter session of Parliament will begin on Friday and last until 5 January.

Naidu said that political parties need to decide on the minimum number of days the house should function.

“The number of sittings and the bills being passed are important indicators of the functioning of the Parliament. Some suggestions have been made for a minimum of 100 sittings in a year for both the houses. There is serious need to consider the proposal that Parliament should meet for at least 100 days a year. Political parties need to seriously consider the number of minimum days for which Parliament should meet" he said.

However, Naidu added that through standing committees, Parliament functions throughout the year.

“Contrary to the perception that Parliament meets only during sessions, committee meetings are held all round the year. Over 400 meetings of standing committees held. This means that Parliament is functioning all round the year. Department related standing committees is a major introduction. They are like mini-parliament. This is in addition to Parliament function. The kind of consensus which happens in these meetings, is not possible in any political and all party meetings." He said an area of concern is the thin attendance of members in both Parliament and state legislatures.

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