Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has re-nominated senior Congress leader KV Thomas as Chairman of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for a third term of one year.
The senior leader, representing the Ernakulam Lok Sabha constituency, was first nominated in August 2014 as Chairman of the PAC, one of the most important finance committees in the Parliament. He was re-nominated for another term last year.
He is the the 94th PAC Chairman. The Lok Sabha Secretariat went by convention in giving the post to a member of the largest Opposition party in the Lower House.
The chairmanship is for a year, but one person can hold the office for successive terms.
In the 15th Lok Sabha, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi was the PAC Chairman for four consecutive years.
The PAC, constituted every year comprises 22 members — 15 from Lok Sabha and seven from the Rajya Sabha.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) examines the report of Accounts of the union government submitted by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, to the President.
The Public Accounts Committee in India ensures Parliamentary control over government expenditure.
Because of the overwhelming importance of the Public Accounts Committee (P.A.C.) both the government and the opposition try to gain control over the P.A.C. The government has an inbuilt advantage in that, inevitably the majority of members of the P.A.C. belong to the ruling party.
But the opposition also has an advantage. It has now become a convention that the chairman of the P.A.C. is a member of the opposition. The chairman is nominated by the Speaker.