Oxygen, Vaccine Shortage, States' GST Dues Raised in Meet Chaired by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla

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Shortage of oxygen, medicines, vaccines, and GST dues of states figured in a virtual meeting of states' legislative bodies, opposition leaders and parliamentary affairs ministers with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday, sources said. Chairing the meeting held virtually, Birla suggested setting up a control room in all state legislative assemblies for extending help to people by coordinating with their respective public representatives.

The agenda of the meeting was 'Prevailing COVID-19 Situation – Role and Responsibility of Public Representatives'. During the meeting, leaders from Maharashtra raised the issue of shortage of oxygen, medicines and vaccines, according to the sources.

The leaders also demanded that GST dues be released to the states, they said. Interacting with reporters after the meeting, Birla said all public representatives irrespective of their political affiliations should work as one team for the welfare of people.

Birla said he has urged the presiding officers to sensitize the public to follow the coronavirus protocol. Public representatives should start a mass movement to create awareness that personal caution is the most potent weapon in the fight against the coronavirus and any negligence can prove to be extremely dangerous, he said.

"Presiding officers may set up control rooms in their legislatures for channelising the relevant information and difficulties of the public to the government," he said, adding if there is any issue related to the central government, it may be forwarded to the Lok Sabha Control Room. The Speaker noted that over 12 crore people have been vaccinated against the coronavirus and stressed the need for intensifying the vaccination programme across the country.

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