The conferences of the Standing Committees of Parliament kicked off Wednesday, after a two-month hole, to heated exchanges on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) between Chairman and Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and NDA members over his proposal that the panel take up for dialogue the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Chowdhury reportedly wished the panel to debate suo motu the vaccination programme and name representatives of the Union Ministry of Well being, ICMR and different associated officers for deposition, which was objected to by the NDA members. Sources mentioned 14 members attended the assembly of the PAC, which was the primary of the Standing Committees to convene on Wednesday.
As Chowdhury started studying out a press release proposing a dialogue on Covid vaccination, JD(U) member Rajiv Ranjan Singh (Lalan) was reportedly the primary to object. BJP member Jagdambika Pal joined him. The 2 are mentioned to have accused Chowdhury of politicising the panel’s functioning and informed him to as an alternative learn the assertion to the media exterior. Chowdhury repeatedly requested them to let him end studying the assertion.
The agenda of the primary assembly of the PAC on this monetary yr was to pick out topics for examination in the course of the yr 2021-22, and Comptroller and Auditor Basic G C Murmu was accordingly current, as is customary. The assembly progressed peacefully until Chowdhury, whereas concluding it, learn out his assertion.
The NDA members objected, arguing that the PAC can take up solely authorities expenditure audited by CAG.
Singh and Pal, backed by BJP members Ram Kripal Yadav and Ajay Misra, reportedly requested Chowdhury to hunt a vote. Chowdhury replied that he had not proposed something nor was he making an attempt to move a report on which a vote may very well be held.
Chowdhury, it’s learnt, then went on to record the quite a few instances the PAC had taken up topics for examination suo motu — proper from building of the Hirakud Dam undertaking within the first Lok Sabha to the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana within the sixteenth Lok Sabha.
He mentioned he was able to tender his resignation if there was something fallacious in his assertion, and continued studying it amidst protests.
The DMK’s T R Baalu and M Thambidurai, and the Congress’s Shaktisinh Gohil, reportedly urged the NDA members to let Chowdhury end his assertion. However the NDA members didn’t relent, forcing Chowdhury to conclude the assembly.
Chowdhury, it’s learnt, wished the PAC to debate the capability, manufacturing, dispatch, provide and prospects’ lists of the 2 home vaccine producers. He additionally wished the panel to ask non-public hospitals about their supply of provide since a number of states had complained of vaccine scarcity, and to query the federal government on the steps being taken to observe vaccine producers, the rationale behind the differential costs introduced by them, and the main points of grants offered by the Centre for analysis, growth and manufacture of the vaccines and the price of their manufacturing.
The scenes on Wednesday had been nearly a repeat of a PAC assembly held in July final yr. Chowdhury had then proposed that the committee take up for dialogue the pandemic and its affect on varied sectors, however the BJP members had strongly protested on the identical grounds as Wednesday.