30 - 11 - 2020

Cong's Sibal cites law, asks where’s national COVID plan

New Delhi, April 26,2020:Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday pointed to the provisions of the National Disaster Management Act, 2005 and asked the government whether it has formulated a national plan for COVID19 as per provisions of the law.

Sibal, a former minister, said the NDMA 2005 provides for a nine-member National Disaster Authority headed by the Prime Minister and Section 6 (2) of Act says that the authority would approve a disaster plan.

Section 11 of the Act specifically talks of the need to frame a national plan in the times of a disaster while section 10 specifies who will frame such a plan under the law.

“The Act itself provides for a plan. I want to ask the government where the national COVID19 plan. COVID is a national disaster and the Act clearly says that the National Executive Council under the NDM Act will formulate the plan which the National Disaster Management Authority headed by the PM will approve,” said Sibal reminding the government of its obligation under the law to come up with a plan to address the COVID 19 pandemic.

“You can’t have a lockdown of people and a lockout of the economy. That is not the way to formulate a policy. We are not criticising; we are only saying it is time to rethink. We are with Government, we will support the Government in every possible way, but, we are making constructive criticism so that the Government responds to us and responds to the needs of the people of this country,” the former minister asserted.