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EXAMINING EXECUTIVE POLICIES


PARLIAMENT AND PUBLIC POLICY


A call for thorough examination of government policies in Parliament has led to increased discussions of the Executive policies. Such discussions play a key role in influencing government thinking on particular policies, in some cases completely altering them by taking into account the opinions of members from the ruling formation as well as opposition groups.


Shri Satya Narayana Sahu in New Delhi. Shri Sahu is Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. He served as an Officer on Special Duty to the late President of India, Shri K.R. Narayanan, and as a Director in the Prime Minister’s Office. The views expressed are personal views of author and are not of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.


Shri S.N. Sahu


There is a dearth of literature on Parliament and public policy, despite the foundation principle of parliamentary democracy being accountability of the Executive to Parliament. The role of Parliament in influencing public policy flows from the fact that it has the mandate to oversee the policies and programmes of the government. Executive accountability to the Legislature entails parliamentary scrutiny of government policies and


190 | The Parliamentarian | 2013: Issue Three


programmes. This is done as much by the Parliament as by its Committees. While the accountability of Ministers is ensured through parliamentary devices such as Questions and Calling Attention etc, the civil service, which implements the policies of the Government, remains accountable to parliamentary committees, whereby senior officials give evidence and interact with the Committee Members to explain government policies, programmes and their implementation.


Coalition government and public policy scrutiny in Parliament


Coalition politics and the formation of coalition governments has become a defining feature of our time. The logic and compulsion of coalition politics prompts many political parties of the coalition and the parties belonging to the opposition to demand for thorough examination of policies of the government in Parliament.


As a result, discussion of the Executive policies is being increasingly demanded by political parties both of the ruling formation


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