The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has decided to examine the flexi fare system for premier trains — Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto. The committee headed by senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge will also look into the development of railway land for commercial use by the Rail Land Development Authority, according to a Lok Sabha bulletin. The panel has selected a number of subjects to study and examine, including operational readiness of the Indian Air Force and training of officers in the Indian Navy.
The PAC is Parliament’s audit watchdog, which serves as a check on the government especially with respect to its expenditure bill. Its primary function is to examine the audit report of the Comptroller and Auditor General after it is laid in Parliament. According to another bulletin of the Lok Sabha Secretariat, former Union minister Kalraj Mishra has been appointed as Chairman of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence, replacing former Uttarakhand chief minister B C Khanduri.
Chairmen of various other standing committees — Veerappa Moily (Finance), P Chidambaram (Home), Shashi Tharoor (External Affairs) — have been given another term. Both Moily and Tharoor faced opposition from members in their respective panels over their contentious reports. The External Affairs committee’s report on Doklam stand-off was adopted but the Finance panel’s report on demonetisation is still stuck, as the BJP members in the panel are opposing it.