In view of spike in Covid cases, Jairam ramesh demands online Parliamentary committee meetings
Following an increase in Covid instances in the national capital, numerous Parliamentary committee meetings have been cancelled after more than 400 Parliament staff members tested positive for Covid-19 during random testing.
Jairam Ramesh, a Congress lawmaker, has now proposed holding standing committee sessions online.
“On the last day of the Winter Session, I urged that the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha enable online meetings of standing committees. And once again, it was turned down. Important committee meetings are being cancelled at the moment. I’m baffled as to why internet meetings aren’t possible “Ramesh expressed his thoughts.
According to sources, the major reason why approval for online meetings has yet to be given is the worry of leaking.
The Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, Urban Development, and Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology standing committees in Parliament have opted to suspend their sessions on Monday, according to sources.
The decision to postpone the standing committee on external affairs meeting, which was set for later this week, is expected to be made today.
Meetings of the standing committees had already been cancelled during the first and second waves of Covid.
During random testing, almost 400 members of Parliament tested positive for Covid-19. 65 members of the Rajya Sabha, 200 members of the Lok Sabha, and 133 members of the affiliated services are among those who have tested positive.
After a dramatic surge in cases in the national capital, random testing was undertaken, and the majority of those who tested positive showed no symptoms.
“In order to restrict the spread of the sickness, more random testing will be undertaken for persons going to the Parliament,” sources added.
Staff attendance is currently restricted by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. According to the new criteria, half of all employees and officials below the rank of undersecretary or executive officer must work from home.
M. Venkaiah Naidu, the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, and Om Birla, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, had previously urged that all personnel be double-vaccinated.