Sunday, August 31, 2014

Different types of Parliamentary Questions in form of Questions and Answers

In addition to Parliamentary Terms these questions also help you understand things that constitute the Parliamentary Parlance.

# What is Private Members Business ?

Every member who is not a minister is called a Private Member. Private Members business includes private member bills and private member resolutions. The period of notice for introduction of a bill is one month, unless the presiding officer allows introduction at a shorter notice, and that of a resolution is two days. But all submissions by a private member may not be taken into consideration by the Parliament.

# What is the Whip ?

It is a directive issued by a chief functionary of a political party of legislature to ensure the support of its members voting in favour or against a particular issue on the floor of the House. A person may loose the membership of party or legislature if he votes against the whip or abstains from voting, especially after the amendment to the Representation of People's Act.

# What is the filibuster ?

It is a Parliamentary device of long winded speeches not necessary relevant to obstruct or delay a matter under consideration for voting. It is not practised in India.

# What is snap vote ?

This term refers to a vote taken unexpectedly without voters being briefed or informed about it in advance.

# What is Hung Parliament ?

After a General Election, when no political party or coalition is in a position to form a majority government, the Parliament that is formed due to such conditions is called 'Hung Parliament'.

#What is Guillotine ?

When due to lack of time demand for grants are put to vote whether they are discussed or not in the House on the last day of the allotted time, it is called Guillotine and it concludes the discussion on demands for grants.

#What is the Quorum ?

This refers to the minimum required number of members to be present to validly transact the business of the House. The prescribed number of members to constitute Quorum in one-tenth the total number of members of the House including the Speaker.

#What do you mean by Zero Hour in Indian Parliament ?

Zero Hour may be defined as the interregnum between the end of Question Hour and the beginning of regular listed business in the House. In other words it is the time which begins at 12 O' clock after Question Hour which is from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon. Although euphemistically called Zero Hour, it may not last for an hour, it may be less, as well as more depending on the number and gravity of matters which members may like to raise. It is not a rule of the proceedings of the House that there be a Zero Hour everyday when the Parliament is in session, it is more or less a convention wherein members raise their issues and have their colleagues hear and discuss them.

#What is a Cut Motion in the Indian Parliament ?

Cut Motion is a veto power given to the members of the Lok Sabha to oppose a demand in the Financial Bill discussed by the Government. This can turn into an effective tool to test strength of the government. If the cut motion is adopted by the House and the government does not have the numbers, it is obliged to resign. This is also known as a weapon the opposition uses to bring down a government. The provision required for the opposition to bring a valid cut motion are listed in Chapter XIX of the rules and procedures regulating the conduct of business in the Lok Sabha, the Lower House of Parliament.

#What are the different kinds of cut motions of the Parliament ?

There are 3 kinds of Cut Motions - 

1. The Disapproval of Policy Cut - The motion is moved to reduce the amount demanded by Rs. 1 indicating the disapproval of the policy underlying the demand. A member giving notice of such a motion shall indicate in precise terms the particulars of the policy which he proposes to discuss.

2. The Economy Cut - This Cut Motion is moved to reduce the demanded amount by a specific margin. Such specified amount may be either a lump-sum reduction in the demand or omission or reduction of an item in the demand.

3. The Token Cut -  This kind of Cut Motion proposes that the amount of the demand be reduced by Rs. 100 in order to ventilate a specific grievance which is within the sphere of the responsibility of the Government of India. Any member could move the cut motion.

#What is the difference between a starred question and an un-starred question in the Parliament ?

Various numbers of questions are asked in the Parliament during the Question Hour. Members have a way of indicating which questions require what kind of response. A question for which an oral answer is desired by a member is distinguished by an asterisk and is called a starred question. A starred question may be followed by supplementary questions. A question without an asterisk is called un-starred and is admitted for written answers, and no supplementary questions may be asked once a written answer is provided.

# What is Vote on Account ?

Vote on Account is the power of the Lok Sabha (not Rajya Sabha) to authorise various ministries to incur expenditure for a part of any financial year pending the passage of Appropriation Act by the Parliament.

# What is a Point of Order ?

A point of order is a matter raised during consideration of a motion concerning the rules of parliamentary procedure. A point of order may be raised if the rules appear to have been broken. This may interrupt a speaker during debate, or anything else if the breach of the rules warrants it. The point is resolved before business continues.

The point of order calls upon the chair to make a ruling. The motion is sometimes erroneously used to ask a question of information or a question of Parliamentary procedure. The Chair may rule on the point of order or submit it to the judgement of the assembly. If the Chair accepts the point of order, it is said to be sustained or ruled well-taken. If not, it is said to be overruled or ruled not well-taken.

#What is the lame duck session of the Indian Parliament ?

A lame duck session of the Indian Parliament is held when the new Parliament has been elected, but the old one meets for one last time. If any voting takes place in such a session, it is done without any power being vested in the old elected members, and is actually of no governmental or legal consequence. In short, it is a token session and has no validity whatsoever.

#What is Protem Speaker ?

A Protem Speaker is a speaker appointed by the President of the country before a speaker is elected by the elected representatives of the people. He is normally appointed before the beginning of the session and usually a senior member is so appointed. His only and most important function is to take the oath of the elected members of the Parliament and conduct meetings till the Speaker of the House is appointed. If it so happens that the Protem Speaker becomes a candidate for the position, then he/she has to resign from the post and a new Protem Speaker is appointed immediately.

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