Question Hour and Zero Hour were given a miss once again in Parliament as both Houses adjourned repeatedly throughout the day. Amid disruptions, the Finance Minister tabled the supplementary budget for 2021-22 in Lok Sabha. The supplementary budget seeks an additional cash outgo of Rs. 23,675 crore. The government had sought an additional cash outgo of Rs. 1.67 lakh crore in the 2020 Monsoon Session.
In Rajya Sabha, the House took up a discussion on management of the COVID-19 pandemic. 26 Members from 21 political parties took part.
Some Members suggested that the government make use of public sector vaccine manufacturing units across the country such as Hindustan Antibiotics, Haffkine Institute and IVC, Chennai to scale up production of vaccines. One Member pointed out that the national database for unorganized workers remains to be created. In response to a Parliament Question yesterday, the Labour Minister had provided an update on the status of the database and said it will be rolled out next month.
Making his first speech in Parliament as the Health Minister, Mr. Mandaviya responded to the debate. He informed Rajya Sabha that a COVID Management Response Package with an outlay of Rs 23,000 crore has been announced to combat a possible third wave. Its components include setting up separate pediatric and ICU wards in district hospitals and building a buffer stock of medicines at the district level, among others.
He added that two Indian companies have started vaccine trials for children which are on track. The proposal for ramping up vaccine production through some public sector units have been approved, while others are under consideration, the Minister said.
Parliament will meet again on Thursday at 11 AM.
Numbers to Note
The Minister for Health and Family Welfare informed Rajya Sabha that 921 doctors and healthcare workers have been paid the insurance claim of ₹ 50 lakh each under the Insurance Scheme for Health Workers Fighting COVID-19. There are 140 claims pending.
(Data as of July 15th)