Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
Parliamentary Panel report on Covid-19 management:
Report submitted recently by the standing committee on Home Affairs.
- Bring a comprehensive public health Act with suitable legal provisions to keep checks and controls over private hospitals in times of a pandemic.
- Curb black marketing of medicines and ensure product standardisation.
- The government should be proactive by holding awareness campaigns on cheaper and effective repurposed medicines to prevent people from panicking and spending a huge amounts of money on expensive drugs.
- There is need to have regulatory oversight on all hospitals working in the country to prevent refusal to accept insurance claims.
- A separate wing may be formed in the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) that will specialise in handling /managing pandemics like COVID-19 in future.
- Measures should be taken to avoid social stigma and fear of isolation and quarantine, by making people aware and treating them with respect and empathy.
- The problems being faced by farmers, non-corporate and non-farm small/micro enterprises in getting loans need to be addressed.
Need for comprehensive measures:
- There have been several reported instances of beds reserved for COVID-19 patients in private hospitals being sold at exorbitant rates.
- Also, medicines that ‘helped’ in containing the COVID-19 infection were sold at higher rates.
- In the initial phase of the pandemic, medical insurance was not extended to patients with COVID-19 infection.
- With schools shut down now for more than nine months, many children were deprived of mid-day meal. Many States continued the scheme by delivering dry ration to students at their homes or giving them allowances. But this was not uniform.
- Difference between Parliamentary vs Cabinet committees.
- Standing vs select vs finance committees.
- Who appoints chairperson and members of these committees?
- Committees exclusive to only Lok Sabha.
- Committees where Speaker is the chairperson.
What are Parliamentary Standing committees? Why are they necessary? Discuss their roles and functions to bring out their significance.
Sources: the Hindu.