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The largest committee of Parliament of India is
A. Public Accounts Committee
B. Estimates Committee
C. Committee on Public Undertakings
D. Joint Parliamentary Committee

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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> The Committee consists of 30 members and all these members are from Lok Sabha.
> A minister cannot be appointed as the member / Chairman of the committee.
> It is also called ‘Continuous Economy Committee.’

Complete answer:
The Estimates Committee was initially established during the British Era in the 1920s, but the first Estimates Committee of Independent India was set up in 1950. It is the largest committee of Parliament of India. The objective of this committee is to suggest ‘economies’ in public expenditure by reviewing the estimates covered in the budget.

> The Estimates Committee has 30 members, all of them being from Lok Sabha. There is no representation from the Rajya Sabha.
> The members of the Estimates Committee are elected by the members of Lok Sabha amongst themselves. This is done every year by principles of Proportional Representation by means of a single transferable vote so that all parties are duly represented in the estimates committee.
> A minister cannot be appointed as the member / Chairman of estimates committee. The chairman is appointed by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and is appointed invariably from the ruling party or coalition.

> This committee reports economy and efficiency in expenditures. It suggests what changes in policy or administrative framework can be done and suggests alternative policies to bring economy and efficiency. For the same, it is also referred to as ‘Continuous Economy Committee.’
> The committee continues to work throughout the year and keeps reporting to the house as examination proceeds.

> The power to examine the budget estimates is not absolute. The committee can only review the budget after it is voted upon and not prior to that.
> No power has been conferred upon the committee to question the policies of the Parliament.
> All the recommendations made by the committee stand non-binding for the parliament and are advisory in nature.
> The committee does not examine the budgets of all the ministries/departments in a year. A few departments are chosen by the committee, whose budget it wants to examine. Therefore, budget estimates of all the ministries/departments are examined not in one year but over a period of years.

Therefore the correct answer is B

Similarities between Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and Estimates Committee
> Both the committees are financial committees as well as standing committees of the parliament.
> Both have their origin in the British Era.
> Members of both the committees are elected and chairmen of both are nominated by speaker of the Lok Sabha.
> In either of them, a minister cannot be a member or chairman.

Differences between PAC and Estimates Committee
> While there are 22 members in PAC, the Estimates Committee has 30 members.
> While members of PAC belong to both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, members of Estimates Committee belong to only Lok Sabha.
> While PAC chairman is from the opposition, the Estimates Committee Chairman is always from the ruling party or coalition.
> The main difference in their functions is that PAC deals with Accounts whereas the Estimates committee deals with Policy.