Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, on Thursday asked Speaker Om Birla to let the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee examine the government’s coronavirus vaccination policy.
His demand comes in wake of shortage of vaccines and many state government floating global tenders for procurement.
“Today, the policy towards vaccinating the people for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic has become central and of utmost importance. As the lives and livelihood of the people of the country, as a whole, are dependant on an effective ‘Vaccination Policy’, I would request you to kindly permit the Public Accounts Committee to meet and deliberate upon this subject matter with the representatives of the government i.e, the Ministry of Health, the ICMR and others concerned (By any mode either physical or virtual, depending upon the Covid situation).
“Given the seriousness of the issues confronting us, and going by the past precedents and practice, I would once again request you to permit the Committee to meet at the earliest to discuss and deliberate on the ‘Vaccination Policy’ being pursued for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Congress leader said in his letter to the Speaker.
Chowdhury termed it unfortunate that “neither the Public Accounts Committee, which has a key role to play in our Parliamentary system nor any other Parliamentary Committee is in a position to meet either in a formal sitting in the precincts of the Parliament, or virtually, at this critical time”.
“I need not impress upon you the fact that the Parliament and its Committees, and the Public Accounts Committee in particular, have a serious responsibility to discharge by way of discussing, deliberating and giving suggestions and recommendations on ways of tackling and resolving the problems currently confronting us owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.” he said.
The Congress leader said that there have been numerous occasions in the past where, with the permission or the direction of the Speaker, the Public Accounts Committee has met and taken up matters of larger concern for discussion, deliberation and making observations and recommendations thereon to the government to act upon.