BENGALURU: The state Cabinet on Thursday gave in principal approval to the amendments of the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill 2017, but have left the final call to the Chief Minister. The decision of the CM, who is keen on also hearing objections to the amendments before approving the amendments, might delay the approval to the amendments raising the strong possibility that it might not be tabled in the House during the winter session beginning on November 13.
The amendments proposed to the Bill have been in the eye of the storm with the medical fraternity up in arms over some of its provisions calling for penalties for negligence as well as fixing rates for medical procedures.Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would review the amendments again with the Health Minister and the joint select committee and then then take a call on the proposed amendments. “We wanted to bring in a pro poor Bill, but there have been some demands from the doctors as well. The CM wants to hear about all the objections to the amendments before taking a call, so we have left the final decision to him. These meetings will happen before the sessions start and there are likely to be changes,” he said.
Jayachandra, who was noncommittal on whether the amendments would be tabled at the winter session in Belagavi, said there was 98 per cent chance that it would be tabled. Discussions at the Cabinet dwelt exhaustively on the necessity of having a grievance committee to hear complaints as well as the prudence in fixing uniform rates of various procedures across the state.
The cabinet also decided to ease rules regarding processing of applications for manufactured sand (m-sand) and handing it over to Department of Mines and Geology. At present, a task force headed by Deputy Commissioners are overseeing the processing, but taking into account the huge backlog of 2,000 applications and to meet the demand for m-sand, it has been handed over to Mines and Geology. In addition, the amendments to import and regulation of sand under amendments to Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession rules, mining policy for coastal districts have all been brought under one umbrella sand mining policy.