A comprehensive legislation is on the anvil to check the misuse of BPL cards, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the Assembly on Friday. Replying to a submission on a private member’s Bill, moved by Hibi Eden, the Chief Minister said that the government was thinking about introducing a Bill, with stringent provisions, to check people from claiming BPL cards illegally. Hibi Eden, who moved the Indian Penal Code (Kerala Amendment) Bill, 2012, proposed an amendment to Section 420 of the IPC and called for punishing those persons dishonestly possessing a BPL card instead of an APL card.
Referring to the Bill, the Chief Minister said that he agreed to the content of the Bill in principle. But Oommen Chandy asked Hibi Eden whether he would agree to include the provisions of his Bill in the comprehensive legislation being planned by the government, to check the misuse of BPL cards.
Moving another private member’s Bill, P Sreeramakrishnan of the CPM moved the Kerala Physiotherapy Council Formation Bill, 2012, proposing to constitute the council. Though Health Minister V S Sivakumar objected to the Bill citing that a case was pending against the formation of the Council, a discussion on the Bill was allowed. Sreeramakrishnan said that there were 10 specialties in physiotherapy and a post graduate in physiotherapy had to spend over seven years to get a PG degree. A Pradeep Kumar of the CPM said that similar courses such as nursing and pharmacy were allowed councils and it was the MBBS degree holders who torpedoed the plans for constituting a council for physiotherapists. He said that the government was doing nothing for the development of occupational therapy. Discussions would continue on the Bill.
Sreeramakrishnan had given notice for another private member’s Bill calling for the formation of a welfare fund for the workers of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Benny Behanan of the Congress, who gave notice for a Bill on the Kerala Disaster Management Authority, was given permission for presentation and a discussion was allowed. He said the state was lacking in disaster management preparedness. Another Bill by Benny Behanan on Kerala Organ Donation Licencing Board called for expediting the postmortem process, to help enable organ donation of persons declared as brain dead in private hospitals.
Benny Behanan said that under existing rules, postmortem could be conducted only at govt hospitals during daytime. He asked the govt to change the rules to allow govt surgeons to conduct postmortem at private hospitals even during night to help expedite organ donation. Notice had been given to 14 private members’ Bills, which would be taken up next week.