Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will examine all aspects of the Centre's actions in tackling the COVID-19 crisis and may call the RBI governor to evaluate the economic cost and unemployment resulted due to the nationwide lockdown, panel chairman Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on Tuesday.
The 22-member panel, headed by Congress leader of Lok Sabha Chowdhury, may also call other top government officials, including the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director general, he said.
Underlining that the PAC should widely examine the Centre's actions and approach in handling the COVID-19 crisis, Chowdhury said, "The panel will study both health and economic aspects of this pandemic."
"We will certainly evaluate the government's actions in handling the unemployment arising due to the lockdown and if required the PAC may summon top government officials and the RBI governor," he told PTI.
He also suggested that the PAC will deeply examine the actions taken by the government on the health front in tackling the deadly virus.
The PAC, besides examining Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports, can select one or more subjects suo moto for in depth examination. It is perhaps the most important parliamentary committee that has the power to call all top government officials.
The meetings of the parliamentary standing committees have not been taking place for almost two months in the wake of the COVID-19-induced lockdown.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, presiding officers of both the houses of Parliament, have asked the secretary generals of both the houses to explore if parliamentary meetings can be held through video conference.
In view of the prevailing situation, both the leaders felt that alternative means for holding parliamentary standing committee meetings can be explored.