New Delhi 21 April 2020: Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla interacted with Presiding officers of State Legislative Assemblies via video conferencing at Parliament House today.
Shri Birla informed the Presiding Officers that the four Committees of Presiding Officers that had been constituted earlier to look into matters relating to Disruptions in the House, Autonomy of Legislatures, Tenth Schedule of the Constitution and Information Technology and related matters - have made substantial progress in finalising their reports, and will submit the reports in due course.
Shri Birla also urged State Assemblies to explore the feasibility of extensive use of digital technology in legislative and financial work and for other routine tasks such as meetings and file movements so as to make sure that stringent social distancing norms are followed in their respective states. He said that, “Assemblies and Parliament must adopt technology for functioning more effectively.”
Shri Birla said that both Central and State governments have been vigilant with this pandemic and have taken necessary steps to contain its spread. He noted that mutual synergy and excellent disaster management efforts have allowed India to minimize the damage from this disease. Shri Birla added that efforts of the Government have been complimented by the strength of the people, which has helped mitigate the situation, he then thanked the people for their cooperation and spirited resistance to the disease outbreak. He said that, “The situation is largely under control and the government is fully prepared to meet any challenges.”
Speaking about India’s efforts to reduce the effect of the pandemic outside the country, Shri Birla said that wherever possible India has tried to help other countries by supplying medicines and other essential equipment, thereby living up to the ancient Indian philosophy of Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam.
In his interaction with Speakers of the State Assemblies, Shri Birla was informed that many states have taken proactive measures with regard to providing relief to affected people. He was informed that many state MLAs have actively contributed to COVID 19 relief funds, both at the central as well as state level. Many states have also extended direct relief to the people through cash transfers in bank accounts of the intended beneficiaries. States have also taken steps to provide cooked food to the poor and destitute and have given rations in the form of rice, flour and oil etc.
Shri Birla was informed by a number of Presiding Officers about the plight of stranded workers in many parts of the country, he was also informed that a large number of students have been left stranded in the educational Hub of Kota, which also happens to be Shri Birla’s constituency. Shri Birla assured the Presiding Officers of taking all the requisite steps to make sure that the stranded students and workers are provided with all necessary assistance.
He also called upon all the state assemblies to setup a control room for real time information exchange between the various state assemblies and Parliament, which would allow MLAs and MPs to discharge their duties in a more effective manner in order to fight the challenge posed by COVID 19.