Covid 19: Prospect of monsoon session bleak | India News

NEW DELHI: While the monsoon session of Parliament could be delayed depending on the situation arising out of the Corona pandemic, some of the House activity is set to resume, with parliamentary committee meetings, where members from all parties scrutinise legislations before being passed, coming up next month.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that essentially looks into government expenditure, is the first one to be scheduled for July 10, to be held with members expected to be physically present on the premises.
The 22-member committee headed by opposition Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, was first slated to meet on June 26, but was rescheduled for July 3 and again further reslotted for July 10.
It is to be seen whether the PAC meeting is further rescheduled, depending on willingness of members to travel to Delhi for it.
Before the PAC, there were attempts to hold meetings of Standing Committees on home affairs and on labour, but they could not be held as attendance was a problem.
Even now while air travel has opened up to some extent, most people are wary of travelling because of the virus. In that situation, it remains to be seen whether most members agree to attend the PAC meeting.
Speaking off the record, many members said that they are “unwilling to take the risk” of travelling from their home towns across the country to attend the meeting for fear of catching the virus.
Of the 22 members of the PAC most members including the chairman, are from different states and many feel that social distancing may not be possible in the meeting rooms, and hence it is better to avoid meetings, where people are present in good numbers.
According to Chowdhury, Speaker Om Birla had been approached for holding meetings through video conferencing or other electronic devices, by members of different parties, but that proposal did not work out as there is a certain “confidentiality clause” attached to these closed door parliamentary meetings which cannot be maintained through electronic conferences. Hence the attempt to resume meetings with members present at the venue.
All parliamentary activity was suspended since Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a nationwide lockdown from March 26, towards the end of the Budget session that was still on, due to the spread of the Corona virus had already started.

[Source :Times of India]


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