The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, was referred to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha on Thursday after many parliamentarians raised concerns about several provisions of the legislation, including one that makes it mandatory for the surrogate to be a close relative, PTI reported.

The members of the Upper House approved by voice vote a motion introduced by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan seeking to refer the Bill to the select committee, The Hindu reported. Vardhan had moved the Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha in the previous session, for discussion on Tuesday. After introducing it, the minister said in the absence of regulations, India had emerged as a hub of commercial surrogacy for couples from abroad.

The select committee has been directed to submit its report by the end of the next session. The members of the panel are Bhupender Yadav, Vikash Mahatme, Saroj Pandey, Ashwini Vaishnav, Jairam Ramesh, Amee Yajnik, AR Biswas, A Navaneethakrishnan, Ravi Prakash Verma, Prasanna Acharya, Ramchandra Prasad Singh, Banda Prakash, K Somaprasad, RS Bharathi, Veer Singh, Vandana Chavan, Anil Desai, Naresh Gujral, Sushil Kumar Gupta, V Vijay Sai Reddy, Hishey Lachungpa, Parimal Nathwani and Sambhaji Chhatrapati. However, the minister did not name the committee chairperson.

Vice president and Upper House Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu said the head of the committee would have to attach an annexure in the report, providing details of the number of members who attend the panel’s meetings.