Rajya Sabha passed the Mental Healthcare Bill, 2013.
The Bill repeals the Mental Health Act, 1987. The Statements of Objects and Reasons to the
Bill, state the government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights
of Persons with Disabilities in 2007.
The Convention requires the laws of the country to align with the
Convention. The new Bill was introduced as the existing Act does not adequately
protect the rights of persons with mental illness nor promote their access to
mental health care.
During the debate members raised their concerns about the
shortage of mental health professionals in the country, the inadequate facilities
available to persons with mental illness, and the larger need to integrate such
persons with society. Members stated that there is a need to increase budgetary
allocation towards mental health.
Lok Sabha today discussed and passed the Constitutional
Amendment Bill on GST. The Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha last week with
certain amendments. The Lower House passed the Bill accepting these amendments.
Members participating in the debate highlighted issues such
as possible inflationary effects of a high indirect tax, fixation of a single
tax rate, infrastructure development for implementation of the GST regime, etc.
The working of the GST council and its role in dispute resolution were also
points raised by members during their speeches.