New Delhi: Everyman or woman in a coveted post is best remembered by the legacy he or she leaves behind. Lok Sabha Speaker’s post is one such high office in the country.
Last three years has seen busy House proceedings often extending till late night and unprecedented precautionary measures during Covid19.
Speaker Mr Om Birla completes his three years in office on Sunday, June 19, 2022.
A jovial man and soft spoken, he was underestimated in certain quarters. This was mainly because he was made the custodian of the Lower House of Parliament merely at his second entry into the Lok Sabha. It could be a record at some level.
But overall, he has run the show well – without major controversy.
Certain things were discussed when he met some journalists and regular parliament reporters in groups.
At one point, he remarked, “Media should focus on publishing or giving coverage to positive aspects, otherwise some members also tend to resort to negative things like ‘shor sharaba'”.
A statement from the Lok Sabha secretariat said, innovations and initiatives of Speaker, Mr Birla, a lawmaker from Rajasthan, has led to significant improvement in the functioning of the Lok Sabha and prudent financial management has resulted in savings of a whopping Rs 668.86 crore in three years.
Since assuming Office of Speaker Birla has given utmost importance to financial management. Steps such as eliminating avoidable expenditure, reducing the use of paper, increasing use of technology and procurement through GeM portal for all purchases by the Lok Sabha Secretariat have played an important role in financial savings, the statement said.
The figures of savings of Rs 151.08 crore in the budget allocated in the first year of the 17th Lok Sabha in 2019-20, Rs. 251.31 crore in 2020-21 and Rs. 258.47 crore in 2021-22 speak for themselves.
This amount is about 27 percent of the allocated budget of three years.
Compared to this, savings of Rs 7.01 crores in 12th Lok Sabha, Rs. 99.52 crores in 13th, Rs.145.07 crores in 14th, Rs. 94.17 crores in 15th and Rs 461 crores were made in 16th Lok Sabha.
In his interaction, Mr Birla fielded various questions on parliamentary proceedings and the steps necessary to bring in “further improvement” in media’s interaction with the Lok Sabha secretariat.
To a question, he said as per parliamentary proceedings and precedence, some issues need closer studies such as the ‘need to codify’ the subjects related to privileges of members.
On another issue, Birla said, “I understand the problems of print medium especially. Because at times, matters expunged from the proceedings are reported live by television and are also available on social media but cannot be reported by newspaper journalists”.