Capacity building of lawmakers is necessary for strengthening democracy: Om Birla

Ottawa [Canada], Jan 11 (ANI): Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has said that the capacity-building of lawmakers is necessary for strengthening democracy.

Birla was addressing the 25th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) at Ottawa in Canada.

"Speaker Birla observed that capacity-building of lawmakers is necessary for strengthening democracy. In this direction, he has recently initiated a practice of holding briefing sessions on important legislative business before the House to improve the awareness of Members on such issues, thereby facilitating good debate and discussion in the House," said a press statement.

Birla said that the future of a country is determined by its parliament and parliaments play an important role in making policies for the better future of countries, by keeping pace with the changing world order while at the same time ensuring that its invaluable traditions remain intact.

"In a parliamentary democracy, the speakers and presiding officers are the custodians of democracy and participative governance and their decisions have a lot of bearing in ensuring equal participation and representation of people," Birla said.

He also outlined that he has made efforts to bring in certain changes in the existing rules of procedure and conduct of business during the ongoing 17th Lok Sabha.

"In the two sessions held so far, the maximum number of members were provided the opportunity to participate in the business of the House and many young members and political parties having only one member have thereby benefitted. At the same time, more than 2000 matters of urgent public importance were raised in the House by the members," he said.

Birla is leading an Indian Parliamentary delegation -- comprising of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh and Lok Sabha Secretary-General Snehlata Shrivastava -- to the 25th CSPOC being held in Ottawa from January 5 to January 11.

Birla also held a meeting with Anthony Rota, Speaker of the House of Commons of Canadian Parliament and congratulated him for successfully hosting the 25th CSPOC.

"The two leaders acknowledged the growing India-Canada bilateral ties and the potential for further expanding mutual trade and investments. They noted with satisfaction the increasing cooperation in the education sector and the growing number of students from India in Canadian institutions," the statement read. (ANI)