New Delhi: Parliamentary panels have started scrutinising the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country a little over three months after Parliament was adjourned ahead of its schedule due to the virus and a shorter timeframe to hold the standing committee meetings would not have been possible given the present situation, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said on Sunday.
In a Facebook post hailing the media’s role during the pandemic, the vice president also said Parliament is “on course” for holding the Monsoon session. The Rajya Sabha chairman said he has held several rounds of discussions with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on enabling the meetings of the parliamentary committees and the Monsoon session of Parliament.
“Given the corona-induced social distancing norm, the logistics of seating of MPs required detailed deliberation and planning. The government also recently reached out to both the presiding officers (Naidu and Birla) on holding the Monsoon session. “We are on course,” Naidu said.
With the easing of restrictions on domestic air travel in May and to a lesser degree on rail travel, the department-related standing committees of both Houses of Parliament have resumed their meetings this month, he pointed out.
They have undertaken an examination of various aspects of the management of the pandemic and its fallout, Naidu said.
“This, in effect, means the required parliamentary scrutiny of the handling of the pandemic started in about three and half months of the last sitting of the apex legislature of the country. Any other shorter timeframe may have not been possible given the situation prevailing in the country,” he asserted.