17th All-India Government Whips Conference was held in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh from 29 September to 30 September 2015. The conference was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, while the Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu presided over it.
The two-day conference was attended by 179 Whips from various state assemblies, legislative councils and the two houses of Parliament.
Highlights of the Whips Conference
• Deliberation on releasing of more funds to Members of Parliament (MPs) if the funds allocated to them for the local area development are utilized properly to meet the demands of people at the lower rung in the society.
• The conference highlighted the need for MPs to assess the needs of the people in their respective constituencies especially at the village level in the areas of education, medical aid and cleanliness and sanitation.
• It was decided to form an All Party Coordination Committee to ensure smoother functioning of the Parliament, legislative councils and state assemblies.
• It was decided to adopt measures that will help in ensuring that MLAs, MLCs and MPs behave in a more refined manner in their respective houses.
• Discussion on MP Local Area Development Scheme to ensure proper utilization and implementation of the scheme was held.
Three-member Emoluments Commission
During the conference it was decided that the salaries and allowances of MPs will be reviewed in every five years and for this purpose it was decided to appoint a three-member independent Emoluments Commission.
The commission will be formed in consultation with Speaker of Lok Sabha and chairman of Rajya Sabha will recommend salaries and other allowances for the MPs.
The commission will consist of a Chief Commissioner who shall be a person of eminence in the field of public affairs with knowledge of functioning of Parliament and two more commissioners.
About Whips Conference
The Whips Conference is aimed at providing a suitable forum for periodical meetings and exchange of views amongst all the Whips in Parliament and the State Legislatures on matters of common concerns. It also looks forward to evolve standards to strengthen the working of institution of Parliamentary democracy.
In the parliamentary form of Government, Whips of various political parties are the vital links of the internal organisation of parties, inside the legislatures. The efficient and smooth functioning of Parliament and State Legislatures depends, to a considerable extent, upon the office of the Whip.
The 16th whips conference was held in Goa and had suggested nine recommendations for better house management, better coordination among party members, setting aside one-day for private bills and resolutions, privileges, members’ training, number of working days of assembly in a year.
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