Rajya Sabha passed the Mental Healthcare Bill, 2013.
The Bill repeals the Mental Health Act, 1987. The Statements of Objects and Reasons to the Bill, state the government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007. The Convention requires the laws of the country to align with the Convention. The new Bill was introduced as the existing Act does not adequately protect the rights of persons with mental illness nor promote their access to mental health care.
During the debate members raised their concerns about the shortage of mental health professionals in the country, the inadequate facilities available to persons with mental illness, and the larger need to integrate such persons with society. Members stated that there is a need to increase budgetary allocation towards mental health.
Lok Sabha today discussed and passed the Constitutional Amendment Bill on GST. The Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha last week with certain amendments. The Lower House passed the Bill accepting these amendments.
Members participating in the debate highlighted issues such as possible inflationary effects of a high indirect tax, fixation of a single tax rate, infrastructure development for implementation of the GST regime, etc. The working of the GST council and its role in dispute resolution were also points raised by members during their speeches.