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Meira for a reinforced democratic set-up

By Correspondent
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ITANAGAR, April 28 � Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has called upon the parliamentarians and legislators to reinforce the country�s democratic set-up, including State Legislatures, towards fulfilling the growing hopes and aspirations of people.

Asserting that the legislature embodies democracy in action and occupies a pre-eminent position in parliamentary democracy, the Speaker said the range, magnitude and complexity of the legislature�s activities have grown manifold over the years.

�Now, it is not merely an institutional arrangement but it is that system whose success depends largely on its efficacy, accountability and responsiveness to the people, who look towards their representatives at the legislatures not only for addressing their concerns and grievances but also for fulfillment of their hopes and expectations.

For fulfilling its tasks with objectivity, impartiality and fair-mindedness, it is imperative that the functioning of the legislature is independent of the executive,� said the country�s first woman Speaker.

She was addressing a galaxy of law-makers of the region after inaugurating the two-day 13th North East Region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (NERCPA) Conference at Itanagar this morning.

The topic of the conference was �Financial Autonomy of Legislative Assembly Secretariat adhering to the provision of the Constitution of India.�

Kumar said, �the Strategic Plan of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (2008-12) emphasizes on the necessity for adopting best practices of democratic governance and reinforcing the institution of the Parliament. The CPA Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures provide that the Legislature shall have an adequate non-partisan professional staff to support its operations. The legislature, rather than the executive branch, shall control the parliamentary service; the head of the parliamentary service shall have protected status to prevent undue political pressure.

In his keynote address, NERCPA Chairman and Meghalaya Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope said, �amid the fast changing democratic scenario at national and regional levels, the goals for which NERCPA was set up (in 1996 by curving it out of CPA India group) need to be revisited for better realization of its aims and objectives and to be dynamic parliamentary entity of the region.

�The voice of the Speakers of all eight North Eastern States including Sikkim must reverberate on every significant issue affecting national parliamentary governance and let us, from now on, tune the NERCPA to this avowed task,� he said, adding, �we must earnestly desire to reset the Rules of Procedure of our Houses (Assemblies) to maximize the regional aspirations.�

Earlier, in his opening speech, Arunachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Wanglin Lowangdong said the whole of NE region has got its own peculiar characteristic and problems as well. Whether it is Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura or Sikkim, the people of each of these states have their certain genuine grievances and problems which have remained un-resolved over the decades. He exuded hope that NERCPA could play a vital role in redressing the problems of North East and come up with more and more positive ideas to quicken the process of development.

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Meira for a reinforced democratic set-up

ITANAGAR, April 28 � Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has called upon the parliamentarians and legislators to reinforce the country�s democratic set-up, including State Legislatures, towards fulfilling the growing hopes and aspirations of people.

Asserting that the legislature embodies democracy in action and occupies a pre-eminent position in parliamentary democracy, the Speaker said the range, magnitude and complexity of the legislature�s activities have grown manifold over the years.

�Now, it is not merely an institutional arrangement but it is that system whose success depends largely on its efficacy, accountability and responsiveness to the people, who look towards their representatives at the legislatures not only for addressing their concerns and grievances but also for fulfillment of their hopes and expectations.

For fulfilling its tasks with objectivity, impartiality and fair-mindedness, it is imperative that the functioning of the legislature is independent of the executive,� said the country�s first woman Speaker.

She was addressing a galaxy of law-makers of the region after inaugurating the two-day 13th North East Region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (NERCPA) Conference at Itanagar this morning.

The topic of the conference was �Financial Autonomy of Legislative Assembly Secretariat adhering to the provision of the Constitution of India.�

Kumar said, �the Strategic Plan of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (2008-12) emphasizes on the necessity for adopting best practices of democratic governance and reinforcing the institution of the Parliament. The CPA Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures provide that the Legislature shall have an adequate non-partisan professional staff to support its operations. The legislature, rather than the executive branch, shall control the parliamentary service; the head of the parliamentary service shall have protected status to prevent undue political pressure.

In his keynote address, NERCPA Chairman and Meghalaya Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope said, �amid the fast changing democratic scenario at national and regional levels, the goals for which NERCPA was set up (in 1996 by curving it out of CPA India group) need to be revisited for better realization of its aims and objectives and to be dynamic parliamentary entity of the region.

�The voice of the Speakers of all eight North Eastern States including Sikkim must reverberate on every significant issue affecting national parliamentary governance and let us, from now on, tune the NERCPA to this avowed task,� he said, adding, �we must earnestly desire to reset the Rules of Procedure of our Houses (Assemblies) to maximize the regional aspirations.�

Earlier, in his opening speech, Arunachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Wanglin Lowangdong said the whole of NE region has got its own peculiar characteristic and problems as well. Whether it is Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura or Sikkim, the people of each of these states have their certain genuine grievances and problems which have remained un-resolved over the decades. He exuded hope that NERCPA could play a vital role in redressing the problems of North East and come up with more and more positive ideas to quicken the process of development.

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